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review 2017-11-10 01:55
Let's go fishing...
Ebb and Flow - Andrew Grey,Greg Tremblay

One man worships at the temple of the almighty dollar the other man worships in the house of god...both men were given sons...kind and gentle souls to nurture and guide in a world that can be less than kind...both men failed.

 

Neither man truly understands the value of what they have. Billy Ray is the son of a Baptist Minister...man who has raised him to believe that he is less than he is. He loves working on the water as a part of the crew of one of Mike Jensen's Apalachickola Fishing Tour boats (we met Mike in Setting the Hook, book 1 in this series) and he has hopes of captaining his own tour boat one day. But growing up in a home where he's been made to feel like he's not good enough, smart enough...just never quite enough hasn't done a lot for his confidence and he knows that having his parents...especially his father find out who he truly is...that he's gay, is something that can never happen if he doesn't want to lose their love.

 

Skippy was born in Boston. The son of a successful lawyer. He's spent his whole life trying to get his parents approval. Sent away to private schools at the age of 8. He's worked hard to get his father's attention...earning a law degree from Harvard he then joins his dad's law firm and becomes one of their top producing lawyers, all in an effort to get his father to notice him...to just tell him that he's proud of him. Dad knows he's gay but like everything else about his son he doesn't acknowledge it and he keeps his son busy too busy to have a life. 

 

Billy Ray and Skippy (and yes this is  a nickname) meet when Skippy is sent to Apalachickola, Florida to provide legal representation to a client. Skippy takes some time for vacation and hauls the rest of his 'gay family' back to the house that they rented on their last trip there (it's all in the first book). When Skippy and his friends go out on a fishing tour with Bubba and Billy Ray as their guides they once again invite their Florida friends back to enjoy the bounty of their day giving the two men a chance to get to know each other.

 

Billy Ray and Skippy may come from different worlds but as they get to better acquainted what they discover is that their lives really aren't worlds apart.

 

I loved Skippy and Billy Ray, in their own way each man was very different but at the heart of each of them was a kind and gentle soul that had never been shown the love it deserved. That each of them became someone who was capable of showing such kindness to other people in spite of the poisoned environments that they grew up in only showed that we are each the makers of our own destiny.  They could have chosen to be bitter, negative people emulating what they were raised with but they didn't. They chose to be their own person...someone who was good and kind and gave back to the world rather than taking from it. Exemplifying that you get back from this world what you give to it. 

 

We first met William and Mike, the owner's of Apalachickola Fishing Tours along with Bubba, Skippy's gay family in 'Setting the Hook' and I loved the strong secondary role that all played in this book. Series like this where I get new MCs in each book and they become secondary characters in subsequent stories so that we don't really have to say good-bye to anyone are like catnip for me...they leaving me purring and content by giving me something new and shiny that's been surrounded by a touch of the old and familiar. 

 

I first started this series on audio and quite honestly I was so enchanted with both the story and the narration that I decided to continue it this way. Once again Greg Tremblay has added depth to the emotions of the characters brought them to life as he shares their story with the listener. 

 

I wish I could say that I had some insider knowledge on this and that I knew for a certainty whose story we will get next in this series...sadly, I do not, but I do know that I am hopeful that we will see Alex, Skippy's assistant, as one of the MCs in the next story and dare we hope that he will find some happiness with one of Skippy's friends? I guess only time will tell.

 

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An audio book of 'Ebb and Flow' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-01 02:13
Fire and Water (Carlisle Cops #1) by Andrew Grey Review
Fire and Water - Andrew Grey

Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.

 

Overhearing one of the officer’s comments about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.

 

Red and Terry’s worlds collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.

 

Review

 

I liked the idea of this book very much.

I was interested is seeing a character who had been vain and shallow change or reveal layers.

Sadly, this book delivers those changes either off page or too rapidly. The book becomes driven by several other plot elements that are way less intersting.

Red is a great hero but the love story is pretty flat as though the sex is hot the love is too quick and feels more just like loneliness.

Not a winner for me.
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review 2017-09-12 03:09
There's no place like home...there's no place like...
Trapped in Oz (Tales from Kansas Book 3) - Andrew Grey

'Trapped In Oz' is the third book in Andrew Grey's 'Kansas' series and at the heart of the story is 'home'. Martin Long has a good job and a good home. At least he did until his dad got offered a promotion that's a huge career opportunity for him...to bad it means moving. Suddenly Martin needs to find a new place to live. 

 

Gary Hunter has a house that was left to him by his grandmother and he has a roommate who's less than ideal and needless to say Gary's more than a little relived when said roommate has to move back home. 

 

When Martin calls in response to Gary's ad both men feel like maybe prayers do get answered. It's not love at first sight for these two but they like each other. Martin needs a home someplace where he's comfortable. He's not looking for a palace just someplace nice to call home and when he sees Gary's house he sees potential and offers to help Gary fix things up turning the house the Gary loves into a home where both men can find love and be safe. 

 

Gary knows what it's like to be rejected his family essentially disowned him when he came out as gay and it turned out that the man he thought he was in a relationship with, only  thought of Gary as a booty call. While Martin's never had a boyfriend he lives in fear of his parents learning he's gay. 

 

As Martin begins to move his things into Gary's house and both men begin working together to fix things up, with more than a little help from Martin's awesome mom, feelings begin to grow, get explored and tested.

 

Along with Martin, Gary, their friends and family we get a chance to see a bit of Lyle and Roger the MCs from 'Dumped in Oz' as they befriend Martin and Gary helping Martin come to terms with his sexuality and sharing stories with Gary about his grandmother. 

 

Once again Rusty Topsfield is the narrator for this audio book and his performance was solid, consistent, expressive and added life to the story creating an enjoyable listening experience for what is probably my favorite story in this series.

 

'Trapped in Oz' is a fairly short but sweet story about finding love, coming to terms with your sexuality, coming out and learning that home really is where the heart is.

 

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An audio book of 'Trapped In Oz' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest return.

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review 2017-09-11 17:28
This one slipped at little towards the end...
Never Let You Go - Andrew Grey

Ashton and Brighton have been friends for most of their lives...falling in love just seemed like a natural progression in their relationship. Ashton protected Brighton and along with his Aunt Petey gave Brighton a place to feel safe and loved when he first came out to his parents. When Ashton enlisted in the military Brighton was always there waiting for him to come home on leave...waiting for him to come home after his final mission and the end of his tour of duty...only things went wrong and Ashton never came home.  Brighton was left believing that the man he loved was dead and Brighton was left trying to put himself back together with only half his heart.

 

It's nearly two years later when Ashton and Brighton see each other again. Neither man is the same. Brighton has a niece to raise following the death of his sister. Ashton's still recovering both physically and mentally from the mission that nearly ended it all for him.

 

This one started out good for me and I liked the initial reunion between Ashton and Brighton. While the men were separated in part because of a misunderstanding when they finally talked it wasn't an over the top dramatic event and while the forgiveness came fairly easily it wasn't done in an unrealistic way things didn't instantly fall into place. It felt more like an acknowledgment of mistakes made and a willingness to try again.

 

Unfortunately it's not enough that Ashton and Brighton have to work through their own circumstances and get to know each other again...to learn the changes. They also find themselves having to possibly face Ashton's reaction to the news that his nightmares may be looking for him. 

 

There were things that for me just detracted from the story and niggled at me. Things like the fact that the reason Ashton had originally stayed away quite honestly made sense to me and Ashton's actions were done purely out of his love for Brighton and because he thought Ashton was happy and he didn't want to risk spoiling that for him. The fact that Brighton seemed to understand where Ashton was at one minute and then the next he acted like Ashton now should be the same Ashton who enlisted in the military years earlier and hadn't endured what he had...in other words at times Brighton just seemed a little wishy, washy in his responses and how he felt about things emotionally.  He loved Ashton enough to always be waiting for him, to understand when they put their plans for the future on hold while Ashton served in the military. He loved him enough to want to try again when they were reunited and suddenly when Ashton's behavior isn't what Brighton thinks it should be, even knowing what Ashton suffered Brighton's giving ultimatums and saying that he can't do it anymore and they're through? WTF? For me it felt like this was when Ashton needed someone the most. His behavior was like a neon sign screaming that Ashton needed help and Brighton walked away.

 

As much as I was enjoying the beginning of this book for me the last part of the story just wasn't working and then we got what was almost a magical HEA and things just ended up being ok and not as awesome as they'd started out being.

 

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An ARC of 'Never Let You Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-08 21:18
Let's all go to the movies, let's all go to the movies...
Can't Live Without You - Andrew Grey

When Justin came out to his parents seven years ago, he hadn't really expected to be rejected but that's exactly what happened when his father threw him out. He could have lived with the family of his best friend and the boy he loved...but something happened that forced Justin to leave town. 

 

Now seven years and a successful career as one of Hollywood's leading actors later circumstances are taking him back home to the father who turned away from him and is now dying and asking him to come home.

 

It's Justin's good friend and personal assistant Ethan who convinces him that maybe he needs to go back one last time in order to finally put the past behind him.

 

Going back doesn't just mean seeing his father though. For Justin it may mean seeing the love he ran away from and the reason that he ran. 

 

George Miller never forgot the boy who stole his heart and then disappeared with it. Seeing Justin standing beside his father's hospital bed is like having a wish come true for George...and no, I refuse to call him...'Georgie' so, no this just isn't going to happen. George knows that he's only asking to have his heart broken all over again when he invites Justin and Ethan to stay with him while they're in town but for a chance to be with Justin again even if it's just for a few days...he's willing to risk it.

 

"Can't Live Without You" is a second chance story about two men who are separated and then later reunited by circumstance...leaving both of them to wonder how many times can you watch your heart walk out the door before it breaks forever?  Luckily for these men they've got more than circumstance trying to bring them back together one last time.

 

Overall I enjoyed this one a lot. I liked that even though Justin and George never stopped loving each other they also both realized that the person that they had loved wasn't exactly the same person that they were being reunited with and they were both essentially the same time and distance had brought changes to both of their personalities and especially to Justin who had gone from being the small town kid with dreams to the man who'd made his dreams come true.

 

I found that there were a lot little things that happened that I liked...things like Ethan. I loved Ethan and damn, I want him to have his own story because...well, he was such an amazing friend to Justin and he always had his back and he's adorable. Justin's agent, Roy...ok, so at times Roy was a bit of a jerk. But in his defense he also knew when to quit pushing and accept that what he was expecting wasn't realistic. Plus on more than one occasion it showed that he genuinely cared about Justin as a person and not just as his client. Then there was George's mother...she was awesome!!!

 

So all in all there were really only a couple of things that kept this one from  being a five star read for me and they were a matter of personal preference and really didn't reflect on the quality of the story. First of all I wasn't a fan of how things resolved in terms of why Justin originally left his home town or maybe I should say I wasn't a fan of the fact that for me it just didn't feel like there was a resolution to this problem and the other niggle I had was Justin's father...sorry, but all things considered the man didn't deserve Justin's forgiveness and that he ran around bragging about Justin's success...really? What did he say? "I turned my back on my kid and kicked him out so he'd go to Hollywood and work his ass off to become a successful movie star? Aren't I wonderful...I think not. 

 

As I said the niggles were mine and while I could ramble on about why I wasn't happy with these things...reality is they didn't work for me and there are probably just as many people who were ok with these aspects of the story so...personal opinion is personal opinion...not right or wrong, not good or bad...just different.

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