Spanking At Your Heart (And Occasionally Your Eyes)

Zero at the Bone - Alan Smith, Jane Seville

“I’m just grateful we have each other now. And all we can do is make it good."


After witnessing a mob hit, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody to keep him safe until he can testify. A hitman known only as D is blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he tracks him down, his weary conscience won't allow him to murder an innocent man. Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies. Forced to work together to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D's cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the man he once was. As the day of Jack's testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives... but also fighting for their future. A future together.’


Zero At The Bone is not a book for everyone. It’s weirdly written. It’s overlong as fuck. It’s also catching and entertaining and frustrating and a general glass case of emotions.



Most of the entertaining value comes from the relationship between the two main characters. Jack and D have chemistry, physics, math and any other complicated school subject you want to throw in.


Many of the aspects from their personalities are interesting, but I mostly enjoyed how realistic flawed they were. D in special was often insecure and rude, especially when faced with the fact that he might not be good enough for Jack.



Jack never simply forgot who D was. His love for his new found partner did not make him change his morals. He never truly accepted D’s lifestyle and I admire his backbone and ability to stay firm, sticking to his own self.


The sex scenes and the heavy action scenes were well balanced, giving me time to change my wet panties take a long breathe and wonder where the plot was going. Sadly, I had to do that a lot since the plot often spins around on the same place and doesn’t seem to be moving forward at all.



Another minor complaint is D’s dialogue. For some reason the author decided to show his accent rather than simply tell us he has one. If you do this with a small character? No problem. A main character that appears a lot in the entire story? Don’t do this, authors:


“Jus hold me a little longer, Jack. Tell me again that ya wanna be with me, fer real, cross yer heart 'n' let me know you ain't foolin', cause I dunno how or when it happen but somehow I come ta need ya like air, like blood.”


Annoying, right? Now let’s see how much different it would look if his dialogue was written normally:


“Just hold me a little longer, Jack. Tell me again that you want to be with me, for real, cross your heart and let me know you’re not fooling me, because I don’t how or when it happened but somehow I came to need you like air, like blood.”


I don’t know about you guys but it sounds much better to me now. This is definitely a case where show,don’t tell doesn’t work.


Back to the positive qualities, we did have some good side characters that I would like to see expanded in further installments. The lack of side plots was quite noticeable though. How can a plot be too straight lined when it’s also spinning around like a retarded bunny? No idea,but Zero At The Bone manages it.


The romance though. It was incredibly full of soul, mirroring the complex heart of the characters. D’s heavy past and Jack’s sweet nature collapsed into a beautiful story that seemed to be running towards disaster more often than not. But both of them wanted it hard enough to keep going.And may it be eternal while it lasts.  


Sentence: Zero At The Bone proved to be as flawed as it’s characters,but still strong and full of heart.