Monthly Archives: February 2015

Outing the Quarterback Audiobook by Tara Lain Narrated by John-Paul Barrel

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Outing-the-Quarterback-Audiobook/B00SKV13FW/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1424502838&sr=1-1

outing quarter audioBlurb

Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.

In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.

When a gossipmonger with a popular YouTube channel finds evidence that Will is gay, the quarterback’s closet doors begin to crumble. Hounded by the press and harassed by other players, Will has to choose. Stay in the closet and keep his family’s wealth, or let the doors fall off and walk out with nothing. Nothing but Noah.

Review

(This was previously posted for the book.)

Will is in his last year of business school (to satisfy Daddy) playing the straight, star quarterback for SCU. What he really wants is to be a gay painter, but he can’t afford to be honest with either his sexuality or his preferred profession. His goal is to win a scholarship for next year and be honest then.

Noah is an out and proud artist, working 3 jobs to pay tuition, hoping for the same scholarship Will is after because he’s so broke he’s having a hard time paying the bills. In the meantime he’s having an affair with his teacher, who is also a judge for the scholarship.

So… you can guess what happens. Will and Noah meet. They start a relationship. Noah and his professor end their relationship (this isn’t taken well by the prof.). Will gets outed by the media. Noah loses the scholarship (sort of) due to sour grapes. Will and Noah make a go of it and with some razzle dazzle Noah ends up with a scholarship, Will ends up in art school and we get a really lovely HEA.

**
I’m a huge Tara Lain fan and this book just sort of underwhelmed me. It took several starts for me to finish, I just wasn’t swept overboard by any of the elements. The attraction between Will and Noah wasn’t spectacular. The storyline was predictable, which can be fine if there are other things to hook you in, but I just didn’t feel any zing with this story.

I really liked the secondary characters, Jamal and his sister Ev, and am excited to read Jamal’s story in the next installment, however.

I thought the writing was excellent, it was edited well, and of course I loved the happy ending, but overall, I just wasn’t wowed.

Audio

John-Paul Barrel is a new narrator to me. I really appreciated that he tried to differentiate each person with a unique voice. Some of the voices were better than others. I didn’t care much for his intonation and emotionality (acting) and didn’t like his overall “narrator voice” much. For me, unfortunately, it detracted from the overall listening experience.

Writing/Editing 5
Romance 3
Sex/Heat 3
Storyline 3
World Building/Characterizations 4
Audio 2

Overall 3.3 of 5 hearts

3

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Palace Dogs ( RE Nelson) Book Blast with Giveaway

Final--Palace DogIn April 1975, as the government in Saigon is falling, Michael Andrews prepares to make his way back to Vietnam to find the love he was forced to leave. 

But Michael’s journey begins four years earlier. He joins the Air Force to keep out of the Army and out of Vietnam, but his first assignment is teaching English in Saigon to members of the Vietnamese military in an Army program called Palace Dog. 

As an artist, and a man, before his time in Vietnam, Michael found life lonely and unsatisfying. In the midst of war, Michael searches for direction and meaning. He ultimately finds love and hope with Thao, a young Vietnamese art student, only to have their already uncertain future wrenched from them when he is pulled out of the country. 

For Michael, his return in 1975 is inevitable and without question, though the outcome he hopes for is anything but assured.

Author Bio:
R.E. Nelson was born in Texas and raised in Southern California. He has been writing for as long as he can remember. One of his earliest recollections related to writing is winning an essay contest in sixth grade–something patriotic about the American flag. When he travels, his preference is staying in select areas for an extended period of time and learning about that place. He has lived in both Vietnam (twice, actually) and Saudi Arabia, and also spent time in Egypt, South Korea, Shanghai (his only China visit thus far), and Dubai. Now he is happy to call San Francisco home.
Where to find the author:
Twitter: @RENelson13
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Cherish & Blessed (Faith, Love & Devotion books 4 & 5) by Tere Michaels

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6061

cherish and blessedBlurb

2nd Edition

Cherished

After several years of happy coupledom, Matt and Evan can relax in the knowledge that their little family has survived the worst of it. The two older girls are away at college, the twins have yet to fully hit teen angst, Matt is doing well with his part time security consulting, and Evan is about to be promoted to captain—it seems like things are calm and bright.

Until they aren’t.

As the holidays approach, Evan and Matt get a shock no parent is ever prepared for: feisty Miranda, Evan’s eldest, has a new boyfriend, Kent, and they are talking marriage after just three months together. In fact, Miranda wants to bring him to Thanksgiving dinner—along with his parents, Blake and Cornelia.

Blessed

Lives are in transition as everyone gathers at the stunning Hamptons beach home of Daisy and Bennett to celebrate the christening of their new baby. Griffin and Jim—secretly growing tired of their rootless lifestyle—are in a rocky spot in their relationship. And as the godfather, Griffin finds himself yearning for something he’s sure Jim won’t be interested in.

Fatherhood.

Matt and Evan are looking to reconnect during the long weekend, as their respective careers pull them in separate directions. With less time spent together, Evan grows concerned about what will happen when the last two kids leave the nest.

1st Edition of Cherish published as an eBook by Loose Id LLC, November 2012.

Review

This is definitely not a stand-alone and is the fourth and fifth books combined in one edition.

In Cherished we see Matt dealing with parenthood as Evan’s daughter really puts everyone through the wringer. I loved the look into the couple as they navigate more of the everyday realities of being a unique family. The fact that Kent’s parents were more bothered by the guns than the gay was a great twist and I thought the whole storyline was well done.

In Blessed we see all four couples (Evan’s partner and her new husband, plus Daisy and her new baby along with Griff and Jim) at the Hamptons for Daisy’s baby’s christening.

Though Evan is still dealing with being promoted to captain and put in a position more for diplomacy rather than danger, he and Matt are just so damn cute and in love! Griff and Jim, however, are smoothing out some of the rough edges of their romance and this is a nice sequel to their story.

Something very interesting happened though at the end… it seems left open for another installment! I am hoping that with the re-release of the original stories and their audiobook debuts that we will see another (final?) installment giving our guys some even more permanent closure. (Hint, hint… a wedding perhaps???)

5 of 5 hearts!

5

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Winter’s Wolf (Tales of the Harker Pack Book 3) by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6064

Winter's WolfBlurb

Winter Thane was raised on the two cardinal rules of werewolf existence: don’t reveal yourself to humans under penalty of death, and there’s no such thing as a gay werewolf. It’s no surprise when his father drags him from his wild life in remote Canada back to Connecticut to meet his old pack in hopes it will persuade Winter to abandon his love of sex with human males. Of course Dad’s hopes are dashed when they come face-to-face with the gay werewolves in the Harker pack.

Winter takes one look at FBI agent, Matt Partridge, and decides bird is his favorite food. Partridge is embroiled in an investigation into drug dealing and the death of a fellow agent. He can’t let himself get distracted by the young, platinum-haired beast, but then Winter proves invaluable in the search for clues, a move that winds them both up in chains and facing imminent death. Winter quickly learns his father’s motives are questionable, the pack alphas are a bunch of pussies, humans aren’t quite what they seem, and nothing in the forests of Connecticut is pure except love.

Review

Winter and his dad, Damon, move from Canada (back) to Connecticut to join the Harker Pack. Damon thinks Winter needs the influence of a pack (they’ve been more or less living as lone/wild wolves for years) to settle him down and to find himself a mate. Of course, Damon means a female mate, he doesn’t believe in gay werewolves… HA! He chose the wrong pack, because the Harker pack is FULL of gay werewolves!

Winter catches the smell of someone amazing at the bar the Harkers frequent, it’s Matt, an FBI agent working with the pack on a series of crimes involving murder and drugs.

Matt is a human who suspects something is “off” with the Harkers, but he doesn’t know what. He suspects they are somehow involved with or know more about these drug related crimes, but he’s not sure how or what.

Winter and Matt are immediately attracted to one another but feel they can’t be together for several reasons. Winter: it’s against the rules to mate a human. Matt: he’s hiding a secret and a sick father and those don’t blend well with commitment.

Matt and Winter are put on the same task force, trying to track down drug runners and their attraction flares nearly out of control.

But… there are forces out there trying to stop their progress both romantically and professionally.

As a side note, there is some pretty fun family re-union stuff going on in the background that leads to an amazing new alliance and possibly some long-needed rule changes.

**

This, by far, was my most favorite of the three Harker Pack series and possibly my most favorite Tara Lain book to date!

The story line behind the romance actually kept me totally involved (which I admit is not always the case) and I loved seeing the earlier couples actively involved in this story.

Matt’s status (it’s a mystery – I’m not spoiling it!) was done so well! I thought it was very clever and fit in great with the overall story.

The sex between these guys is super hot and their love is also really, really sweet.

Overall a great book I highly recommend. But… you MUST read all three books to really appreciate it, which only makes sense because they are all awesome!

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Shadowing Mace by Cheyenne Meadows

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6090

shadowing maceBlurb

With his brother away at a conference, alpha wolf shifter Shadow finds himself paired with IT analyst Mace, the one man he can’t stand. Stuck with the partnership due to his pack leader’s order, Shadow can only count down the days until his life returns to normal. He’s a loner. Period. No matter how much his inner beast protests.

Mace isn’t thrilled either, but can’t resist the temptation to push all the surly alpha’s buttons, even as he fantasizes about what could be. Flirting with danger, he’s determined to make the best of the situation, if he can only get Shadow to give in to both their desires.

Unfortunately, a twisted revenge-seeker has other plans. A series of events rocks the entire pack, leaving innocent people hurt and fear running rampant. Both men are thrust into the chaos, working tirelessly to track down the culprit before someone winds up dead. The pressure of trying to stay a jump ahead, with absolutely no clues, pushes them to the brink. Add in a burning hunger for each other, and their world begins to crumble around them. With no other choice, they have to trust and depend on one another in order to have a chance at solving the mystery and saving lives.

Review

Mace is re-assigned to work with Shadow on security. Shadow is cranky and surly and of course immediately attracted to Mace.

Mace has been crushing on Shadow for awhile, but has a hard time breaking through his tough outer shell to the ooey gooey center he thinks is hiding inside.

At first there is a lot of sexual tension and flirting and fighting – Shadow can be a real son-of-a-bitch – but when Mace finally pushes Shadow over the edge – watch out! The passion between these guys is hot!

There is a mystery to be solved (this is the weakest part of this story) and Shadow takes out his frustration on the men he works with and Mace, but… Mace calls him on his crap and eventually they solve the case.

I was so pleased to see that this book felt much more like the first book I had read by Cheyenne Meadows, Feline Persuasion, and not much like the last book I had read by her, Friends with Benefits.

This book was full of sultry, sweaty sexual tension between two alpha males and they were smokin’ hot!

I loved how Shadow kept “marking” Mace and making him “his” without coming out and saying it. The emotions between the two guys was sweet but felt appropriate, too.

Writing/Editing 4

Romance 5

Sex/Heat 6

Storyline 3

World Building/Characterizations 4

Overall 4.4 of 5 hearts!

 

PS Another amazing cover by Reese Dante – so gorgeous!

 

4.5

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Love & Loyalty Audiobook (Faith, Love, & Devotion book 2) by Tere Michaels Narrated by JP Handler

Dreampsinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5828

love & loyaltyBlurb

Detective James “Jim” Shea is a Seattle homicide detective who has never taken his work home with him – until now. A case has gotten under his skin and though it’s “over,” it isn’t for Jim. The emotional toll has left him vulnerable and tied to the victim’s dying father.

Meanwhile, Hollywood comes calling for a hot story, and screenwriter Griffin Drake sees the tragic case as his ticket to more serious fare than his usual action blockbusters. But to get the whole story he needs to win over the stoic and protective Detective Shea.

Neither man has had much luck when it comes to romance or long-term relationships and neither is particularly looking but there’s an attraction from their first meeting that can’t be denied. Their impromptu first date seems to have no end in sight – quickly becomes a barreling freight train of romance.

Looming problems outside threaten their relationship – death, secrets and broken trust – and they’ll have to learn loyalty to save their newfound love.

Review

We met Jim in book one. He’s the guy Matt has the one night “fling” with and with whom he is now friends. He gives Matt “tips” on being gay.

Jim’s been working on a very tough/sad case that is now suddenly being turned into a movie.   (You will be surprised at who wants this done and why!)

While working on the film he meets Griff, a Hollywood director, and though he’s everything Jim swears he’s opposed to, the two set off sparks. Suddenly a short fling is looking more and more like something permanent.

**

This is almost a stand-alone in that if you haven’t read book one you wouldn’t miss much (if anything) and it doesn’t really need to be read to move on to book three. (However books 4 & 5 won’t be as impactful if you skip this one… so go on read it!)

Jim and Griff’s story is a lot different from Matt and Evan’s story and that’s a good thing. Their story is not a repeat of Matt and Evan with different names, but instead completely unique to them.

I really love Tere Michael’s characters. She’s taken a side character and made him a MC but he already had such depth that she was able to run with it seamlessly.

Griff is great. I typically don’t like Hollywood type stories but I really loved Griff and all his drama with Daisy. He was a great contrast to the tough cop trio of Matt, Evan and Jim.

Kudos to Tere for also giving us an interesting murder mystery as well. It definitely added to the story and highlighted the romance well.

I think this is another great book full of humor and wit and a sweet but realistic romance.

Audio

The narrator is JP Handler and as I have mentioned in the previous reviews, he is not my favorite. I just don’t get involved in his narrations as much as I’d like and as a result it detracts from the overall experience of listening to this great book in audiobook format.

Writing/Editing 5

Romance 5

Sex/Heat  5

Storyline 5

World Building/Characterizations 5

Audio 2

Overall 4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Better Than Good Audiobook (Better Than Book 1) by Lane Hayes Narrated by Tyler Stevens

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Better-Than-Good-Audiobook/B00J5REHHQ/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1424491337&sr=1-4#publisher-summary

better than goodBlurb

Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.
Aaron Mendez doesn’t believe in labels, and he’s leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he’ll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can’t deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means–especially when that someone has a girlfriend.

Review

Matt is a straight guy (ok, he’s maybe looked a time or two, maybe more…) who meets Aaron at a club one night. He’s immediately hooked. They dance and then … sort of date for awhile, but Aaron is skeptical. He’s been burned by men “experimenting” before and doesn’t want a closet case relationship either.

At first Matt is in agreement with Aaron. He’s straight, Aaron’s gay. What was he thinking? But as they get to know one another the feelings he’s feeling don’t go away, they grow stronger.

After what feels like a long time, they do finally agree to give things a chance and thus starts the beginning of a lovely relationship.

(There are many novellas Lane Hayes has updated us with – little stories about Christmas and Valentines day etc that showcase the couple later down the road.
https://lanehayes.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/better-than-candy-part-1-a-better-than-short-repost-nsfw/)

**

I just love Aaron. He’s a mostly, very self assured person. And, really, so is Matt. Once we get over the rocky start their romance is just so lovely and  very tender.  The smexy times are hot and them as a couple is great.

I loved the GFY/OFY exploration we get to see and the evolution as Matt identifies himself as gay.

As we get to see the couple evolve over time, they only get better and better!

Audio:

Tyler Stevens is an excellent narrator. I love the emotion and rhythm of his narrations. He does a tremendous job with this and makes the story really come to life.

Writing/Editing 5
Romance 5
Sex/Heat 4.5
Storyline 4.5
World Building/Characterizations 5
Audio 5

Overall 4.8 of 5 hearts!

5

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Inclination by Mia Kerick

inclinationBlurb

Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.

Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?

Review

There are a few things to know before you decide if this is the book for you.

First, this book is written as a first person present narration. For some people this is hard to read. (Read a sample before you buy it if you are picky about writing styles.) It’s well done here. It reads sort of like a diary or journal, but in the present tense, sort of like you are just glimpsing into the brain of Anthony as he goes through life.

Second, this is definitely a YA novel. There is almost no intimacy of any kind, a little bit of kissing but even a hand-job is aborted because “it’s not the right time for that”.

Third, this is all about being Catholic and/or devoutly Christian. Not just that Anthony is those things, but this is about his struggle with being gay and a Christian.

Fourth, it is written very well and would do well to be read by any young gay person or parent of a gay child who struggles with merging ideas from the church with being gay.

There were parts I really enjoyed. I loved the progression along the fear axis Anthony takes, from denial, to anger, to regret, to anger again, etcetera. I loved how supportive his family and his (to-be) boyfriend were in this struggle.

I didn’t grow up Catholic, never attended Parochial schools, did not have that vision of God as it was described in the Bible or in this book… so I couldn’t really relate to this story personally. But, I could totally see how it would be wonderful if that was your history.

As for me, I got mired down in the religious stuff and was disappointed the romance wasn’t a bigger part of the story.  That’s just my personal preference.

However, knowing that this is a coming of age story about a gay boy dealing with his religion and there is a little romance thrown in, I think if you choose this book based on that information you will be quite pleased with your choice.  Note:  This story is very respectful of religion and does not bash any religion.

Writing/Editing 5
Romance 3
Storyline 4
World Building/Characterizations 4

Overall 4 of 5 hearts

4

Buy from Amazon

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Emi-chan’s thoughts:

I’m almost 14, so I’m probably looking at this book differently than most reviewers (they seem to be mainly adults). There were a lot of things I liked about this book, and there were things I felt irritated about. First off, I am going to admit to being an atheist, so my reaction is probably not the same as a kid who is a Christian.

I was very angry with the kids and youth leader at Anthony’s church. While I don’t understand the need to believe in some invisible god being in the universe, I do firmly in one’s right to do so as long as they a aren’t hurting any with how they express that belief.  Telling people they are awful, perverted, and going to hell to suffer an eternal torment? Yeah, that’s seriously uncool. Also, being a kid is hard enough and becoming a teenager and having to deal with crushes and stuff is even harder without people adding more for us kids to have to agonize over.

I felt bad for Anthony’s family too. I could tell his family really loves Anthony, without any strings attached. To find out your kid is gay and you’ve raised him to believe wholeheartedly that to be a Christian means following doctrine so closely because it’s “the way”, only to discover you’ve unwittingly led him to soul deep despair? That had to be hard, especially given that Anthony felt as if he’d be a huge disappointment to them. I really liked how his family  rallied around him, knowing that Anthony was the same “perfect” son they’d always had, and that meant he couldn’t be wrong for being born gay. That it wasn’t wrong for him to be made, by their God, to love another male.

The romance in this isn’t the usual sort found in YA books. Anthony is terrified and spends a lot of the book trying to reconcile his faith with his gayness. He’s literally terrified that he’s going to go to Hell. It’s eating him up inside. When he crosses paths with David and finds they have this as a common ground, their relationship grows. It’s based on faith and mutual respect. I quite liked how the boys’ stopped themselves from going too far with their feelings. They recognized they weren’t ready yet for sex, so stopped. I did feel awful that they seemed to feel a bit of shame, because sex shouldn’t come with a shame tag. I guess that religiously, they have issues with sex before marriage though.

The overall message that love is love, and that if God is love, he can’t hate you over love, is something I think more people need to accept. Too much hate is spread around and wars happening because people want to use God as an excuse. I don’t think if God is actually out there, he’d be too happy with that. I may not be a Christian, but I study religion (a school subject here in the UK) and Jesus seems to say a lot about loving one another and not being judgmental. This book is good for pointing out how wrong that is, using the Bible itself to show why Christians who think being gay is a sin are wrong. Every person who is even slightly religious should read it, as well as anyone who is trying to understand what the religious fuss is all about.

emi-chan

Rating: 

 

Down and Dirty Audiobook (Cole McGinnis #5) by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Dreamspinner presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Down-and-Dirty-Audiobook/B00TA3XQH2/ref=a_cat_Ficti_c6_3_1_i?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=0SS78ADF7FR6WW7AN1GZ&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=2226709011&pf_rd_p=2037898462&pf_rd_s=cat-6

down dirtyBlurb

From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.

Much, much more.

Review

(Previously posted for the book.)

Bobby’s story! Woot!

Or should I say Ichi’s story? No, it was definitely Bobby’s story!

Woot!

An important first point: let me say that you must have read the other books for this to really mean anything to you. There are snatches of moments taken from the previous books to give you a time line so that the view as seen from a different angle makes more sense, but Ford does not “backfill” too much. She assumes you are an informed reader. (Thank you!)

This is pretty straightforwardly Bobby and Ichi’s love story. There is no mystery (those were Cole’s to solve and we see them through Bobby and Ichi’s lenses only.) We learn what makes Bobby and Ichi tick (mostly Bobby) and then we learn how they can fit together.

It. Was. Wonderful!

I absolutely loved digging deep into Bobby’s psyche. He’s a unique character, with years of experience that Jae and Cole don’t have. His history (being a closeted gay cop) must mirror what so many men of his generation experienced and it serves as a reminder for how far we (as a culture) have come along (hopefully) in our acceptance of “other” in our society. There was even a story thrown in as told by an older man who had similar experiences with his mixed marriage, that is, he was subjected to questions and cruelty as well.

Without reading this book, you may be worried that Bobby couldn’t possibly be seen as someone to trust in a long-term relationship. What Ford did was show us, by slowly peeling back the layers, just why Bobby is EXACTLY the type of guy you should trust in a long-term relationship. It was very elegantly done and felt completely organic.

Ichi’s history surprised me a bit too. There are things we find out that explain some of his personality; information about his mother (Cole’s too) and father and step-mother… fascinating. He’s an old soul and perfectly matched for Bobby.

I found the lack of mystery refreshing, not that the mysteries in Cole’s books aren’t great, but we got a chance to really focus on the characters in this book. Ford spends a lot of time developing these complex, rich characters (main and secondary) and this book show-cases that effort.

The ending was absolutely THE BEST. First, the way Jamie finds out Bobby is gay and then, the last scene at the tattoo shop… (le sigh) grab some tissues, it’s just wonderful. It feels so complete, but is just open enough that it hints at more excitement that we could see in upcoming book(s). I hope that both Bobby and Ichi (and maybe even Jamie?) will continue to play big roles in any future book(s).

Well done Rhys Ford, well done!

I highly recommend this and give it 6 of 5 hearts!

Audio

Greg Tremblay has done this entire series, so we are familiar with his deliciously growly Bobby and the exquisite way he handles all the variety of Asian accents.

I think he does another outstanding job with Down and Dirty. The emotion Bobby shows and the tenderness from Ichi are breathtaking.

I absolutely loved this audiobook and highly recommend it along with the entire series.

6 out of 5 hearts

amazing

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Fated by Indra Vaughn

Dreamspinner Presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5894

FatedBlurb

Two towns flank the looming Shadow Mountain. A dark myth of the Predator drifts through the dense trees, a tale Police Lieutenant Hart never paid much attention to. When one unresolved death follows another—some people dying without discernible cause while others are clearly, and often brutally, murdered—he can’t ignore it any longer. Truth may lie in myth, but this one is spread to deceive everyone. The Predator exists, but he’s not entirely human. Hart will have to find the connection between the mysterious figure and victims with only one thing in common: a faint tattoo on the backs of their necks, a mark left when someone healed their incurable diseases.

Isaac Lasko has been in love with Hart since he moved in across the street seven years ago. He’s been helping Hart renovate his home, and their friendship grows more intense with the years, but Isaac can’t help wishing for a deeper bond. When he finally breaks through the lieutenant’s armor, the mystery surrounding the Predator threatens them both. Help will come, but at a price.

Review

Hart has come back to town because his father has died. He finds the town in an uproar over a serial killer with some otherworldy elements involved.

Isaac, the neighbor, is too young for Hart (in Hart’s opinion) but Hart can’t stay away.

There is more to the story and way more to the mystery – this is a very complex book, but too much here would spoil the fun.

I found that, for me, the mystery took away from the romance and though there are definitely romantic elements to this story it was shared equally if not overshadowed by the mystery and the development of the characters themselves.

Depending on what you’re looking for this could be the story for you. If you’re interested in a “typical” paranormal romance – probably not. If you like complex story lines and twisting turning plots and a mystery with a paranormal bent – then yes, this is the story for you!

This is book one in a series and I think it’s likely that the romance may build more in book 2… but I can’t say that for certain.

Writing/Editing 4
Romance 3
Sex/Heat 4
Storyline 4
World Building/Characterizations 5

Overall 4 of 5 hearts

4

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