Posts Tagged ‘established couple’

Reviewed by Taylor

The Scarlet Tide by Stephen Osborne eBookTITLE: The Scarlet Tide
SERIES: Duncan Andrews Thriller #3
AUTHOR: Stephen Osborne
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: Duncan Andrews, a private detective who specializes in paranormal cases, is back, along with his usual gang. Robbie Church, his boyfriend, is a ghost. Gina, a centuries old witch, is his best friend. And Daisy, Duncan’s bulldog, just happens to be a zombie. Odd man out seems to be Nick, a history teacher. He’s a normal, living human.

Duncan’s latest case leads him to a rock band in Indianapolis called The Scarlet Tide. It doesn’t take Duncan long to realize all of the band members are vampires. He sets out to destroy them, but runs into trouble with the charismatic leader of the band, Dominic Hunt. Duncan ends up under Hunt’s psychic control, and is forced to examine his relationships with Robbie and Nick, as well as his attraction for Hunt. Can Robbie and Gina help Duncan break Hunt’s psychic grip? Is there any hope the vampire can be destroyed once and for all?

REVIEW:

This is the third book in the Duncan Andrews Thriller series which focuses on Duncan, a private detective that takes on generally unusual paranormal cases.  He’s got a dead boyfriend that hasn’t moved on to the afterlife, a centuries old witch for a best friend, a zombie dog, and his human friend, Nick, along for the ride.

In this installment, Duncan is investing a series of vampire attacks and he believes a local band called The Scarlet Tide comprises of the culprits.  He aims to kill them all, but he starts falling under the spell of lead singer, Dominic Hunt, as well as dealing for his feelings for Nick and his love for his boyfriend Robbie.

It’s going to be difficult explaining my feelings about this book without giving major spoilers, but I will say, the series isn’t really going where I want it to go relationship-wise.  I can absolutely understand both sides, I can see the reasons, but I don’t have to like it.  It broke my heart.  I think when two characters fit so well; I just can’t see them with anyone else.  Nothing is definite with this author and series because every time I think a final decision has been made it twists, so I’m still holding out judgment until at least the next book, but I don’t know if my poor little heart can take it.  There is a lot of love there, and a lot of care and respect given to these characters, so I appreciate that.

That’s not to say that this book is all sorrows, though.  It’s still crackling with Duncan’s quick wit, his ability to be both effective and efficient, yet awkward, and his observations are hysterical, especially when they occur in completely inappropriate times.  An example is when he notices another character’s endowment and how large he is and he notes this in an almost surprised, high-five, yeahh-buddy-oh-wait-let’s-be-serious-detective manner that had me snorting with laughter.

There aren’t any new fancy tricks with the vampire plot, and it felt a bit clichéd to have them as a rock band (I swear I read vampire rockers almost every time I read about vampires), but I still thought all of the characters held their own and brought something fresh.

I liked the parallel plot lines of a young couple and one dies, and the other grieves and feels guilty at the idea of moving on coordinating with Duncan and Andrew’s position as a couple.  It was nice that the reader could see what might have been Duncan’s life had Robbie not stayed around for the last 11 years.

I hope the author switches it up a bit in the following book(s).  The reader still gets a recap of all the characters, and Duncan still keeps stressing and bemoaning his lack of sex and intimate touch with Robbie.  I get that it’s important, but it’s getting a bit stale.  I’d like to think in the next book a final decision is made on their relationship, and I’m praying it goes the way I’m hoping.

Recommend because I still adore Duncan’s personality, the mysteries are fast-paced and interesting, and Robbie will always be on my ‘fictional-husbands’ shelf.

Taylor rates it – 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

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Taylor is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: TAYLOR’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Heather C.

five-stars120205

Learning Curve (Life Lessons, #4)TITLE: Learning Curve
SERIES: Life Lessons series #4
AUTHOR: Kaje Harper
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
LENGTH: 117,000 words
BLURB: Mac is afraid he’ll never recover enough to go back to being a cop, while Tony is afraid that he will.

Three months after being shot, Detective Jared MacLean is healing, but he’s afraid it may not be enough to go back on the job. He won’t give up, though. Being a cop is written deep in Mac’s bones, and he’ll do whatever it takes to carry his badge again. Tony used to wish he could have Mac safely home, but watching his strong husband battle disabilities is far from Tony’s dream come true. When Mac is asked to consult on a case involving one of Tony’s students, both men will have to face old demons and new fears to find a way to move forward together.

REVIEW:

It’s Mac and Tony’s final book!!! Gah! I ♥ these guys so much!

For those of you who haven’t read Home Work, you’ve been warned there will probably be spoilers in my review.

This book was long…I mean really long with a lot going on. Some may even say it was “too long”, but I loved every page of it. Since this is supposed to be the final book of the Life Lessons series, there were a lot of things going on in Mac and Tony’s life since the very beginning that needed resolutions, and I feel happy about how things were wrapped up.

I’m going to break my review out into a list because…well, that’s just how I like to do it.

♥ Its a few months later and Mac is still recovering from the brain injury. Book 3 ended on a sad note with Mac’s career future still up in the air. I really liked how the author handled the realism of the aphasia and what all Mac has to do to retrain his speech and overcome his fears. It’s hard seeing Mac so vulnerable, but he will always have Tony there to support him in who he needs to be…no matter how much it scares Tony.

♥ The murder mystery. Honestly, it wasn’t the most interesting mystery in the series. It was a bit simple with really only one possible solution that was glaringly obvious to me. BUT…the key point of the mystery was how Mac was able to slowly reorient himself to working a case after the injury, without “officially” working a case. Also, a few of Mac’s old cases that we’ve been following over the last few books finally get resolved.

♥ Tony is still having problems with that stupid, homophobic, bitch Grady at his school. And that storyline also gets a bit tied into Mac’s mystery. Not a major factor in the story, but it also uses the time to touch on the realities of teen bullying and the benefits of a having a Gay Straight Alliance to support gay teens and their networks.

♥ Tony and Mac are still hot hot hot! I think this book was definitely the smexiest book in the series…as a whole; because nothing will ever top the hotness of their wedding night for me. They are so fucking perfect together!

“Look in that mirror,” he whispered. “There. That stunning, big, dark man, and that smaller guy. That’s you and that’s me. And that’s fucking hot and gorgeous and just about perfect. That’s as gay as an Easter parade, and still completely about two real men. Your family can throw insults, and they can shun us, and they can discriminate all they want, but they can’t make that less than fucking perfect.” ~ Tony

♥ Speaking of Mac’s family, we finally get to meet them. We learn a lot about Mac’s childhood and the foundation for many of his fears. It’s now obvious why being a detective is who Mac really is and that it will never change. His family is horrible; thank God he now has a new family with Tony, Ben, and Anna.

♥ Tony finally becomes Ben’s “Dad”! I know that’s a spoiler, but did you really think that wouldn’t happen? It was so sweet and perfect, and of course I had a happy cry through the whole thing! I just adore Ben, and I wish his judgmental, homophobic grandparents would give him the love he deserves. Maybe someday…a long time from now.

♥ The HEA. It was beautiful and perfect and I CRIED like a baby at the end. Tony and Mac’s journey hasn’t been easy, but seeing the life they made together is inspiring and still leaves me with happy tears and a smile on my face. I hope Kaje gives us happy updates of their future together.

5 stars…no question about it!

BUY LINK: MLR Press  ::  All Romance eBooks  ::  Amazon

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Heather C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: HEATHER’S REVIEWS
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