Hostile Ground is co-authored by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt, who are also known for their Market Garden series. The Market Garden series is heavy on the BDSM theme but light on the violence. The blurb for Hostile Ground speaks of mind games and undercover efforts so the reader is well aware the violence will likely not be light.
Mahir Hussain is working as Saeed, his cover identity, and hoping to get in with the security team of the man running a drug ring. Mahir has a major advantage by being gay as the big boss doesn’t want his men messing with strippers and only gay men are hired. First he has to go through Ridley, the head of the security team. Ridley is a scary bastard and possibly the person responsible for the deaths of several cops who came before Mahir.
The initial meeting between Ridley and Mahir triggers a dominance game that sets the tone for their working and personal relationship. Mahir has never been a submissive man but suddenly he is on his knees in front of Ridley and happy about it. Ridley has to be sure Mahir isn’t a cop and will go to anything length to keep his organization from being infiltrated. Mahir knows he will have to prove himself in many ways; prove that he is gay and prove that isn’t the cop he is suspected to be.
He doesn’t quite expect the lengths he will have to go to gain Ridley’s trust though. As the two engage in an explosive sexual relationship they must keep secret, the club and the big boss intrude on their time together. Drugs, violence and promiscuity are a way of life with the club he is now a security guard for and Mahir must involve himself in all aspects if he wants to avenge his fellow cops’ deaths. There is one scene where Ridley forces Mahir to use cocaine in order to prove himself not a cop. Part of me was absolutely appalled at the length Ridley would go to force truth from Mahir; but then an equal part of me thought the scene was overwhelmingly hot and dirty. Even now I am not sure part feels stronger.
You’ve been eight inches up my ass, but you still think I’m a goddamned cop. Great.
When Mahir’s real life begins to intrude on his undercover work he knows he has some difficult decisions to make. To escape a judgmental father, his nephew has moved into Mahir’s house but he is off on assignment and cannot be there to watch over him. Mahir asks for time from his nephew but he is an emotional, flight teenager and isn’t willing to give that time. Instead he follows Mahir to work one day and suddenly involves himself in the club business. Mahir is terrified for his nephew because he has recently learned boys his nephew’s age have started disappearing off the streets and his boss might be the one behind the missing.
Mahir and Ridley have grown close but is it close enough for Mahir to trust him with his nephew’s life? Does he have any choice trusting Ridley as he is the one in deepest with the gang? What do him and Ridley really have going? These are all questions Mahir must answer if he, his nephew and his new lover are going to survive the most dangerous assignment he has ever taken on.
Voinov and Witt have written a dark, compelling and sensual novel that will grab the reader in the first chapter. Hostile Ground is a gritty book that pulls no punches and kept this reader on the edge of her seat. This book is freaking hot and dirty and hot and dirty and well….you get my point, right? There are some scenes that might make you need a glass of ice water. Parts of the plot are a little predictable but really I was too involved in the romance and hotness to really even be bothered by that. Overall, this is a read that will stick with you for a while. Final grade- B
What a fucking box of lunatics this place was.