Book Review – Undercover by Eliot Grayson

Buy Link | Goodreads | Vino and Veritas Series Page

Gabe wants Alec between the sheets…too bad Alec’s undercover already…

Rich kid. Party boy. Gabe is tired of the labels. He’s a smart guy, but ever since he got kicked out of grad school, people are only interested in his no-limit credit card and his pierced ears…and other places.

Tall, dark, and scowling Alec hates Vermont, with its artisanal-freaking-everything and its irritating people. To be fair, most people irritate Alec, including the FBI director who sent him here to investigate a smuggling scheme involving yoga mats.

When one of the cutest twinks Alec’s ever seen takes an interest, Alec knows there’s an ulterior motive. No one with multi-colored hair, piercings, and an ass like that would want boring, serious Alec. The kid must be up to no good. Either way, Alec can’t blow his cover. If only he could keep his hands off of Gabe long enough to find out what he’s up to…

Can they ignore their explosive chemistry long enough to foil a smuggling ring? Or will their budding relationship sink faster than a yacht full of contraband?


I picked this story up as I’d read another by this author a couple of months ago and loved it. I loved this one too, and wow, such a good story. Wonderful characters, a compelling storyline, and a great mix of romance, drama, and action made this a very satisfying read.

I loved Alec and Gabe and how different they are from each other, yet both kick arse in their own right. That they meet in a bookshop was great, and I love the idea of an FBI agent rolling his eyes in the true crime section. It’s so obvious right from first glance that these two are interested in each other. Alec really sucks at social interaction to the point he’s very amusing, although he does actually have a sense of humour. I loved watching him trying not to get emotionally involved with Gabe and failing miserably. Protective Alec is totally hot, as an aside, as is his reaction to Gabe’s choice of under garments.

I enjoyed the balance of the romance part of the story, and Alec’s investigation. I became in invested in their relationship right from the beginning, and the drama, showdown with the bad guy was intense and exciting. Gabe’s wonderful in that scene, and I also totally felt for him when he realises the truth. His reaction is realistic, considering that Alec wasn’t honest with him about who he is.

I loved Alec’s sister, Amanda. She has him totally sussed. On the flipside, Gabe’s family are horrible, and he’s better off staying away from them. I loved how protective Alec was when he meets them, ready to go in to bat for Gabe, and puts them in the place with a couple of comments. He’s so in denial about being in love with Gabe.

The ending was perfect, and a lovely bookend—pun intended—to the beginning of the story. I’d highly recommend reading the bonus freebie that takes place several months later. It rounds the story out and gives Alec and Gabe their perfect HEA.

5 out of 5 stars.


I swallowed hard, not missing how his eyes flicked down to my throat for a second, and finally found my voice. “What do you want?” I’d tried for challenging, but it came out husky and a little plaintive. Like I’d really said something more like, Looking for a good time?

He took another step, putting him squarely into my personal space. I caught a faint thread of the scent of him, leather and man, just like I’d imagined. Oh God.

“I’m kind of new in town,” he said, still staring right into my eyes. I pressed my hands back against the side of the building, concrete rough beneath my sweaty palms. “Where does a guy go to have fun in Burlington, anyway? You kind of look like you’d know.”

He looked down, pointedly doing a sweep of me from my purple Chucks, up my skinny legs, over my chest—lingering there for a second; could he see the outline of my right nipple piercing through my shirt?—and back up to my ear piercings and multicolored hair. He landed right back on my eyes again. His own seemed wider and darker. Dilated. Yeah, he liked what he’d seen.

Fuck it. Maybe there was something wrong with me—okay, I knew there was something wrong with me. I always went for the wrong guys, and this was wronger than usual.

But fuck it, seriously. I’d never been cornered in a park by a guy who looked like he could break me in half, and maybe I’d been missing out. Not like I could get away if I wanted to.

And I really, really didn’t want to.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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