(Review) Six Degrees of Separation ★★★★☆

Book: Six Degrees of Separation

Author: Taylor V. Donovan

Series: By Degrees (Book #2)

Book 1 Review

Genre: Contemporary Romance; M/M; Mystery

Pub date: 08/26/2013

Pages: 397

Note from the author:
By Degrees is an ensemble serial with continuing story lines. Six Degrees of Separation is the second installment, and it must be read after Six Degrees of Lust. Thanks.

In the sequel to Six Degrees of Lust, F.B.I. team leader Samuel Shaughnessy and bar manager Machlan O’Bannon are exploring a new phase in their non-relationship. The intention is to take it slowly but power plays are still their favorite activity, and it isn’t long before lines begin blurring. After ending their friends with benefits agreement no rules are left in place to guide them, and soon enough the only thing that’s clear is that neither man is fighting hard enough to reestablish the boundaries.

Their particular situations haven’t improved in the three months since their first encounter. Sam is still focused on his immediate family issues, and everything indicates Mac will have to go to war with his own family before he can reclaim his freedom. The last thing they need is additional complications.

But when the opening of a night club brings Mac to New York City and a break in the Leviticus investigation leads Sam to Houston, they discover how closely their worlds have been connected from the very beginning. Hiding from the life-altering collision is not an option. Will they take the easier road and go their separate ways, or will they come to terms with their past and take a chance on each other?

First, let me warn you that this review may be jaded by the fact that the third book in the series Six Degrees of Agony not only hasn’t been published but last word was that it was supposed to have been published in 2015.  This is very disappointing as Six Degrees of Separation ended in a total cliffhanger.  I find it so frustrating when this happens.  Especially since I read so many book series that it’s highly unlikely that I’ll stumble on the third book if/when it’s ever published.

Six Degrees of Separation picks up pretty much exactly where Six Degrees of Lust left off.  I was glad to see that Sam and Mac continue on as the main focus.  Just as I said in the review for the first book the anticipation of the point when everyone discovers that they know each other was killing me and when they reached that point it did not disappoint.  Surely, it was the best part of the book!

The serial killer mystery continues as well.  The plot thickens when they discover even more murders in Houston linked to the ones in New York.  A new police detective in Houston, Eric, joins the cast of characters as a possible love interest for Logan but of course we may never know since that thread of the story was only hinted at in this book and would have likely been continued in the third book.

Things get much more serious between Sam and Mac.  There are several bumps along the way that surprisingly don’t break them apart and only show how much they really care for each other despite the relationship starting as a one night stand and then a friends with benefits situation.  Thankfully, their story is neatly tied up and I wouldn’t be surprised if the third book would have had a different couple as the main characters.

As far as the supporting characters go there are some big revelations with several of them which of course would ruin the plot if I outlined them here.  I will say that I still dislike Sam’s ex wife Gabby, perhaps even more than I did in Six Degrees of Lust.  I really don’t understand what everyone sees in her and why they all adore her so much.  Also, there is Mac’s ex-best friend, the mother of the twins, I can’t stand her either.  I guess there always has to be someone in books that you’ll dislike though right?  It would be quite boring if we loved everyone.  All sunshine and rainbows would make for a very boring read.

I’m really not sure if I would recommend this book or not despite giving it a 4 star review because of the unpublished 3rd book.  If it wasn’t for that I would most definitely recommend it.  As I said in the review for Six Degrees of Lust I really enjoy the ensemble point of view.  I think Taylor Donovan did a great job making something that could surely turn confusing fairly easy to keep up with.  I will admit there were a few times that I had to stop and remind myself of what was going on with the different characters, especially if they weren’t featured more in the series.  So, keep in mind about the 3rd book if you decide to take on the first two.  Know that the big serial killer plot is left totally on a cliffhanger and you will be frustrated with the ending.

Favorite quote:

“Sam had never felt so aware of anything in his life, or wanted anything as much as he wanted that love.  It was like he’d just been awakened from one hundred years of slumber, and he was feeling everything at once.  Need, commitment, happiness… he felt love, too.  There was no escaping that.”

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