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REVIEW: Undercover in Paradise – John Patrick

Undercover In Paradise - John Patrick

Genre: Post Apocalyptic, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Trans FTM

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

DEA Agent Hector Ramirez is on his first undercover mission. He’s been sent to a Buddhist monastery deep in the woods of Maine, where he’s investigating a confusing web of connections between a Peruvian drug gang, a prominent Mormon family and the monastery’s leaders.

Dallin Rigby, the young son of a prominent Mormon family, has been sent on a year-long retreat while the scandal associated with his mission to Peru dies down. The men, the sex, the blackmail tape—there’s a lot to get past. He’s not looking forward to a year in the middle of nowhere, but the presence of the attractive Brother Hector might make his time in exile more bearable.

No one at the isolated monastery is aware of the disaster unfolding outside its walls, as a man-made virus sweeps the globe, killing nearly everyone. Cut off from his contacts, and with dwindling supplies, Hector sets out with Dallin to learn what has happened. As the attraction between the two men grows, Hector begins to question the necessity of remaining undercover. But is it too late for him to finally be honest with Dallin, about his job and about himself?

The Review

Undercover in Paradise is the second novel in the “Paradise” series by John Patrick. It’s the continuing story of a world that has been destroyed, and those who survived.

Hector Ramirez is a new Special Agent in his department, and is already being assigned to an undercover case. He figures the only reason he’s getting the assignment is because he’s gay and can pass as Peruvian.

Director Ferguson has it wrong. Hector is Mexican, and he keeps the fact that he’s trans to himself.  To take the year long undercover assignment will dangerous – Hector hasn’t completed his transition, and he has to stay on a strict schedule of testosterone medication and check ups.  When the time is right and he’s saved enough money, he plans to take the next big step.

Director Ferguson is being very pushy about a video he emailed to Hector. Hector eventually watches the video, with Ferguson standing over his shoulder. Hector is very taken with Dallin Rigby, the subject of said video.

Dallin is a young Mormon man, and the video is being used for blackmail. It seems monies have been transferred to Walter Lang, the abbot at a remote monastery in Maine, from John Rigby, Dallins father. The big issue is that blackmail video was sent to Dallin by the Peruvian drug gang in Bangor, Maine, and the gang may be dealing drugs in the Monastery where Dallin and Hector will be staying.

After ten months of living in strict, solitary, seclusion at the Paradise Monastery, Dallin and Hector have been selected to journey into town for needed supplies and a mysterious pick-up, which Hector immediately thinks is drugs. Dallin and Hector have had their moment together, but Hector is still in undercover mode, and knows he’s made a mistake. But it’s hard keeping his secret and his feelings for Dallin under control.

As they realize the world has gone through a disaster, they meet the residents of Paradise Village.  Things quickly go downhill for Hector after the discovery, and the more that he reveals about himself to Dallin, the faster his hopes of even a friendship dwindle. 

Patrick continues to enlighten readers with his in-depth explanations of gender identities. This is another well written, amazing story about the variety of human beings that come to Paradise and contribute to surviving and rebuilding in a world filled with uncertainties. 

When I started to read this story, I really felt sorry for Hector. He tries to do what’s right in a world that has totally changed. He stays in his agent role, and takes his medication, but too many things keep changing on him. Not knowing if he’ll be able to complete his transitioning weighs on him, physically and mentally. And the communication between him and Dallin is rocky. Dallin doesn’t give Hector a chance to really explain his ideas and feelings – instead, Dallin always seems to run from Hector whenever he gets upset or angry.

Hector does have some meaningful moments, though -:when Vet says when he admits to being pansexual, and his discussion with Sibyl about sexuality. 

The lovable pair of Franklin and Patrick from book one, Franklin In Paradise lead the ever growing list of residents of Paradise Village. The variety brings all kinds of opinions, emotions, drama and humor to the story:  Sara Nakamura, Loris and baby Stanley, Emily, Vet, Lisa, Sibyl, William, Rosa and little Carla. And Roscoe and Prissy also have a new family.  

I highly recommend the “Paradise” series! You should read Franklin In Paradise first, though.

 John Patrick has me curious. I’m looking forward to the next book, and what new and exciting things will come to Paradise Shaker Village.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

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