Tag Archives: Cop

NEW RELEASE: 3 stars for Outcast Cowboys by Sarah Masters @PridePublishing #MM #Cowboys #mystery

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Title: Outcast Cowboys
Author Name & Publisher: Sarah Masters — Pride Publishing
Publication Date & Length: August 18, 2015

Synopsis

You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.

Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…

Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.

When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?

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Review

ThreeStar

I struggled with this one.  I think I was expecting Andrew Grey or Ariel Tachna, but this is much grittier.  Not grit as in the struggle to keep a ranch going in a hostile environment – but grit as in family secrets, domestic abuse, homophobia, PTSD, grizzly murders and small-town cover-ups.  Ugly gritty.  And the author doesn’t offer up much hope or easy platitudes.  This is a difficult book.

There is an awful lot going on in a relatively short novel.   Ross leaves his job as an undercover detective in London, answering an advert for a job on an American ranch.  As you do.  I’m sure work visas are easily obtained for unskilled labourers.  In America (I’m not sure we know exactly where?) Ross finds himself working for a family hiding many dark secrets.  And he finds himself falling for a man who just might be the most dangerous member of the family.

Joe has been treated badly by his family since he came out to them.  Allegations are made against him, he is physically harmed and blamed for all of the family’s problems. He is wary of Ross, but inexplicably drawn to the Englishman.  Slowly, as Ross unravels the family secrets, he and Joe find themselves in increasing danger.

There was too much angst in this story for me.  The author exploits every Southern small-town stereotype to create conflict. As a result, the story never really moves past stock characters and cliche stereotypes.  Small towns and the people who live in them are bad; California is safe and its residents are good people.

I’m still not sure about the main characters.  It felt like the author was trying to develop the characters through their respective troubles.  Good characters transcend their troubles with quirks, attractive flaws and endearing characteristics – but for me, neither of these two ever became more than troubled men with difficult pasts.

The story ends after a lengthy time lapse which didn’t work for me.  I wanted the details!  Unusually for an m/m story, or for any romance,  there are limits to Joe and Ross’ HEA.  The end of the book is sad and quite dark.

~Sarah

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AuthorBio

Sarah Masters is one of three pen names I write under. Sarah mainly writes m/m. Natalie Dae writes het erotica, while the third, Charley Oweson, writes thriller/horror/suspense books with no sex.

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Filed under 3 Star, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah, Uncategorized

5 stars for Frat House Troopers (Brandt and Donnelly Caper #1) by Xavier Mayne @XavierMayne @dreamspinners #Bisexual #MM #crime

Frat House Troopers

Title: Frat house Troopers (Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Case File One)
Author Name: Xavier Mayne
Publication Date & Length: December 19th, 2012 – 260 pages

Synopsis

State trooper Brandt’s new assignment to infiltrate a sex-cam operation puts him in a very uncomfortable position, especially since he’ll have to perform naked on camera for his audition. Fortunately his partner and best friend, Donnelly, has his back—whether that means helping Brandt shop gay boutiques for sexy underwear or offering Jäger and encouragement while he researches porn.

Despite his mortification, Brandt gives the audition his best “shot”—and becomes an overnight sensation. But to meet the man behind the operation, he’ll have to give a repeat performance, this time live on webcam opposite the highest bidder. Donnelly makes sure to win that auction for his partner’s sake, but their plan has a flaw: faking it is not an option.

In the aftermath, Brandt is a humiliated mess trying desperately to come to terms with what he’s had to do for the job and his own mixed feelings. But Donnelly has been on a journey of discovery of his own. Suddenly everything the two men thought they knew about themselves and each other gets turned inside out. Meanwhile, they still have a case to solve… but it may not be the case they thought it was.

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Review

 FiveStarsFrom locker rooms to Greek villas to porn sets, Mayne seems to delight in crafting titillating settings for his stories.  I’m pretty sure it must be a drinking game he plays with his friends:  who can list their top five places to find naked young men?

 

This time the setting is a web-cam porn set designed to look like a college frat house.  Where everyone walks around naked.  Oh – and to make it even sexier, one of the housemates is an undercover officer who also gets to be naked.  Fantastic.

 

What I love about this series is the way Mayne spins the most emotionally raw love stories in absurdly sordid environs.  Instead of mindless literary soft-porn, Mayne offers his reader poignant lessons in the fluid nature of sexual identity and the beauty of love between best friends.

 

Mayne always delivers his lessons with a wink, a nudge and a wicked sense of humour.  The Brandt and Donnelly books are playful, silly, well observed and beautifully written.  Brandt and Donnelly themselves are two of my all-time favourite m/m pairings.

 

While you can read these books out of sequence, this is the first and the best place to start.  You will understand Brandt and Donnelly best if you start here, and you’ll also meet stalwarts like Bryce and Nestor for the first time.

 

I have received other books by this author in exchange for honest reviews for Inked Rainbow Reviews, but I purchased this book myself.

~Sarah

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Xavier Mayne is the pen name of a professor of English who works at a university in the Midwest United States. Versed in academic theories of sexual identity, he is passionate about writing stories in which men experience a love that pushes them beyond the boundaries they thought defined their sexuality. He believes that romance can be hot, funny, and sweet in equal measure.The name Xavier Mayne is a tribute to the pioneering gay author Edward Prime-Stevenson, who also used it as a pen name. He wrote the first openly gay novel by an American, 1906’s Imre: A Memorandum, which depicts two masculine men falling in love despite social pressures that attempt to keep them apart.

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Filed under 5 Star, M/M, Review, Sarah, Uncategorized