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review 2017-09-03 18:40
Blow Down (The Plumber's Mate #4)
Blow Down - J.L. Merrow

More fun and snark from our psychic plumber. 

 

Tom's little secret - the ability to locate hidden objects (which occasionally includes dead bodies) and leaky pipes - is not so secret anymore now that someone let the cat out of the metaphorical bag. Tom's propensity to martyrdom allows him to be guilt-tripped into displaying his talents to the public - with the expected disastrous results.

 

Really, y'all, this is why you don't ask the guy who can find dead bodies to perform "magic" tricks. I mean, that should just go without saying.

(spoiler show)

 

I did feel the whodunit was a bit more obvious this time around and wondered why Tom and Phil didn't cotton onto them sooner. That aside though, the mystery was full of wackadoodles and cagey relatives aplenty, enough to be fun while still making you wish Tom would start wearing a helmet everywhere he goes. :P And it does seem Tom's abilities are taking on possible new skills - not that he's anymore open to testing them out than he was before.

 

I like the way Tom and Phil's relationship is progressing. There's still plenty of ways for them to miscommunicate without going the whole Big Misunderstanding route, and they trust each other enough that they don't blow everything (well, most things) out of proportion.

 

That's not the only relationship Tom has to foster here either, now that he's found his "real" dad. I like that their reunion and getting to know each other was realistically awkward and that they're taking their time getting a feel for each other. I still need to know a lot more about Mike, so hopefully we'll see that in the next book, which I'm pleased to see Ms. Merrow has planned for next year. Fingers crossed there are no delays it getting it to us. 

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review 2017-08-22 03:12
Heat Trap (The Plumber's Mate #3)
Heat Trap - J.L. Merrow

Oh geez, so much going on in this one! 

 

I complained in my review for the last book that I thought Tom and Phil's relationship took a backseat. That was not the case here. The case Phil's working on effects them both personally and even brings out some secrets Phil has been hiding about himself. It really tests their relationship, bringing up old concerns, but doesn't go into melodrama territory. 

 

The case is again well-done. Marianne, the new bartender at the Dyke, is running from her abusive ex-boyfriend, and Phil's asked to dig up dirt on him. The ex is a Douche-with-a-capital-D and annoyingly wily when it comes to the law. 

And I can't believe Tom fell for Grant's line about being misunderstood. Com'n Tom, that's Abuser Manipulation 101.

(spoiler show)

This has some good and creepy twists to it and definitely doesn't end up anywhere I thought it would.

 

On the personal front, Tom's still trying to sort out how he feels about a family secret coming out in the previous book,

about his mother having an affair and his father not being his biological father,

(spoiler show)

so there are family tensions to deal with but again it avoids from going into melodramatic territory. I enjoyed seeing more of Cherry and Greg, and of course Gary and Darren are always a hoot. Oh, and I have to give a shout out to Arthur and Merlin too. They're just the coolest cats, if maybe a bit too quick with their affections. :D

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review 2017-08-15 04:38
Destroyer of Worlds (SPECTR #5)
Destroyer of Worlds - Jordan L. Hawk

SO MUCH ACTION! Which Ms. Hawk has always been good at writing and it really shines here. Things with Spectr are not all they seem and the reveals here are nerve-wracking. There are twists and turns aplenty, so I won't say more so as not to spoil things. :D

 

As I said in my review for the first book in this series, I don't read M/M/M or polyamory of any kind. I was hesitant to start this one at first, but eventually decided to give it a go when the first one was offered free. I thought that it being M/M(/M) would make this series more along the lines of what I'm used to while still offering something new. I'm not a fan of insta-love, which this series definitely uses, but the implications of it aren't ignored and I do like that. The somewhat dubcon-y undertones of the first book, what with the involuntary possession and all, didn't help but that hasn't really been an issue for awhile now. I do wish though that John and Gray had more interactions prior to this, because while I can see why Gray would be falling for John, being influence by Caleb's feelings and thoughts, it's much less clear why John would be falling for Gray beyond having a yen for "phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space." It's at least acknowledged, so I'm hoping we'll get more of that interaction in the final installment. 

 

Can't wait to see how this ends!

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review 2017-08-13 20:51
Eater of Souls (SEPCTR #4)
Eater of Lives - Jordan L. Hawk

Ugh! NOOO! Not the "MCs refuse to talk to each other so Big Misunderstandings" occur! And not the "ex comes back and causes trouble" trope. You're better than this, Ms. Hawk. So I could knock off half a star for that nonsense, but the rest of the relationship stuff was strong enough to overcome it. (And I guess when you fall in love in just a few weeks, before you really get to know the other person, it's not too far out of the realm of possibility for these things to occur.) 

 

Complicating things further is just the basic way that possession works in this world, and we get to "go inside" the head of another victim. It's a great way to counter what's happening with Caleb/Gray and seeing why anyone would be extremely concerned about John at this point, and why Caleb is worried about losing himself completely if the 40 days come up and they haven't succeeded in exorcizing Gray. How can he really trust what Gray tells him, that Gray won't take over his mind, especially when they're getting better at sharing his body. 

 

And then cliffhanger! Thank goodness this series is complete already. Onto the next!

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review 2017-08-13 20:32
Reaper of Souls (SPECTR #3)
Reaper of Souls (SPECTR) - Jordan L. Hawk

The Fist is back, and they're not the only ones causing trouble for SPECTR and other paranormals at large. A political fervor is getting stirred up, and while that whole thing and its outcome were mostly predictable, it still amped up the tension and the stakes - but not actual wooden stakes. ;) No stakes near this vampire, who once again proves that real vampires do NOT sparkle. 

 

The situation with John/Caleb(/Gray) is getting more complicated too, but in a way I found interesting and compelling. It's still way too rushed, but since the time factor sort of dictates that, I can roll with it. I am bemused at John's continued PDAs while at work where anyone can walk in on them at the wrong time while simultaneously worrying about people finding out. Um... then stop calling Caleb "babe" where anyone could hear you! And stop sneaking kisses. And how are the empaths not picking up on any of this anyway, for that matter? Or maybe they are. Dun dun DUN! :P

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