[REVIEW] Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville

This is the final in a series of m/m guest reviews by my friend Dawn. Click here for more guest posts :)  -Ramona

Zero at the Bone Jane SevilleZero at the Bone by Jane Seville

From the Blurb

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.


D is the clichéd “killer with a code”; an assassin who only kills people he feels deserve it. Luckily, his character is fleshed out beyond the stereotype as Seville shows the toll his profession takes on him and the guilt he begins to feel when Jack makes him question his ethics. Dr. Jack Francisco’s set up as the civilian in over his head and embroiled in mob warfare he doesn’t understand is also cleverly inverted as, while he has no experience being on the run, he is used to facing death every day in his profession as a maxillofacial surgeon. The romance between these two simmers and, refreshingly, only really begins after they are out of immediate danger. This is a welcome change from couples who refuse to let a little thing like mortal peril prevent them from going at it like bunnies.

The suspense of this thriller is very tightly controlled until it becomes unwound towards the end when the plot goes on for slightly too long — the pacing suffers as a result. Readers should also note that D speaks in a particular dialect that some readers may find annoying. While it helps characterise D further by giving his dialogue a distinctive style, I found it both effective and irritating by turns.

There is also a problem with certain sex scenes (though they were generally emotionally satisfying). This isn’t (unfortunately) limited to this particular story but it bears repeating: lube. If there is going to be anal sex, lube should be there too. Preferably in large quantities.


I would recommend this to anyone looking for a suspenseful romantic thriller, provided they have a high tolerance for written dialects.



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