“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Mouse is a man motivated by money, but for reasons few know about. He doesn't care much about his own reputation, but hates that it sullies his father's and possibly affects his business. Rascal that he is, Mouse loves and tries to protect him, even though it means being blackmailed. Mouse receives “an offer he can't refuse” to rescue Lord Garron, even though he senses that the motives for his imprisonment are murky. The truth about Garron's capture is startling. Things are not as they seem to be, even in Mouse's life either.
Mouse works hard to accomplish his goals, constantly honing his skills and training to be the best he can be. He doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. Mouse is used to doing whatever it takes, even murder if the situation arises; this job is no different. Against all odds, Mouse plans for Garron's rescue, feeling confident that he can succeed. After all, he's never failed to complete a task. The rescue is seriously hindered when Mouse discovers that Garron abhors violence. He's not against self-defense, but does not condone needless killing. Mouse is frustrated with Garron's attitude, but respects his wishes. Mouse was expecting to find a weak, entitled, useless man and instead Garron turns out to be not only handsome, but intelligent and resourceful. Together they manage to get out of the tower, but now the challenge is even more precarious; they need to find a way to get out of the castle itself. They need to find a way to escape other than the front door.
Mouse and Garron go from one stash to the next, all of which Mouse has left in the castle grounds, coming up with creative ways to get out of tricky situations. The longer they are together, the more Garron is impressed with Mouse's skill not only in battle, but his resourcefulness as well. Garron begins to admire Mouse, who unwittingly has shown him a different, more vulnerable side of himself. Garron is surprised by the strong attraction, especially since he's only known Mouse for a matter of hours, but he doesn't shove it away. In fact, Garron wholeheartedly embraces it, telling Mouse how he feels. Even though Mouse is beginning to have the same feelings for Garron, he rejects the idea Garron could possibly feel the way he says he does; even if he did, their lives are so diametrically opposed, finding a middle ground would be virtually impossible. For now, their first priority is to get away from the castle. Afterward they can take the time to discover who betrayed Garron and why. Only then can they concern themselves with their feelings for each other.
I can easily see this story as an action movie. The characters hit the ground running and never stop. Although most of the story concerns the rescue itself, Mouse's and to a lesser degree, Garron's desire not to fail is amazing. As long as Mouse is alive, he will not give up, even when many others might. Mouse is a rascal, for sure, but I was very emotionally invested in his quest, first to rescue Garron, then opening up to his feelings for him. I admired his indomitable spirit. Garron's personality was a welcome surprise along with his ideals. I really wanted Mouse and Garron to find a way to be together. Mason Thomas is new to the published authors scene, and I'd like to commend him on his story-telling abilities. I think it's a wonderful start. I hope to see a lot more books by him. If you like stories with an antihero theme, action, adventure, political intrigue, knights, castles, thieves, and surprising twists, you may enjoy this story. Thanks, Mason, for the epic literary journey.