Bad Company by K.A. Mitchell

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Grade: B+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m
Series: Bad in Baltimore #1
Published: 6/7/11
Reviewed by Anne
154 pages

Kellan and Nate were best friends as boys… up until right before freshman year of high school, when Nate trusted Kellan enough to tell him he thought he was gay, only to have Nate turn around and help a group of boys bully him at school.  Then their fathers had a falling out at work, and Kellan’s family is pretty much responsible for ruining Nate’s life. 

It’s been years since that happened, and Nate’s now a successful newspaper editor and advice columnist, but Kellan is still a sore spot with him.  So he’s shocked to the core when Kellan approaches him in a gay bar asking for his help getting back at Kellan’s dad.  Kellan wants to make his dad think Kellan is gay, and having Nate be his boyfriend would make it even harder on Kellan’s dad.  Kellan is quite an asshole, but he persuades Nate to play along, but then confuses them both with his curiosity about all things gay, his ever decreasing asshole-ish behavior, and the feelings he seems to be developing for Nate.

What a great read!  Right now I’m fairly new to m/m books and I’ve been working through recommendations others have made of really good books.  It’s a great place to be, reading one good book after another!  Oddly, Bad Company was a book that had mixed reviews.  I’d read that book two in this series was incredibly good, but not so much this one.  So, I actually read the second book, Bad Boyfriend, first.  I really liked it, so I decided to read this one, too.  Maybe my low expectations helped, but I really enjoyed the story!

I loved it when Kellan and Nate worked through issues by Kellan composing oral letters to Nate’s advise column persona.  It was so sweet!  Kellan and Nate were actually both assholes in their own way to each other, and that’s what really created teh conflict in this story.  Their affection for each other was believable, though.  Kellan’s questions and concerns about gay sex seemed realistic.  Watching him figure all of it out was pretty entertaining.

Eli was an interesting character – even though I’d already read his story in Bad Boyfriend.  The causal sexual affection he had for others was a new thing for me.  I’m not sure what to make of it, but it worked for Eli.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s going on my best of the year list!  What older book do you really like and think everyone should read?
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Dangerous Ground by Josh Lanyon

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Grade: B
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, mystery, suspense
Series: Dangerous Ground #1
Published: 4/22/2008
Reviewed by Anne
89 ebook pages

Taylor and Will are special agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security.  They’ve been together for three years.  They’re great friends and are both out of the closet gay men, but not lovers.  That doesn’t mean they don’t have an attraction to each other, but they’ve never acted on it.  Still, things were thrown out of balance a few weeks ago when Taylor was shot.  He’s almost ready to come back to work, but the strain between them is an issue.  They decide that a weekend camping together will give them time to work through things.  As if working around emotional shrapnel between the two of them isn’t enough, they stumble across the remains of a plane used in a crime a few months ago.  Now there’s a lot more on the line than just their friendship and work relationship.

I’m pretty picky when it comes to mysteries.  I really enjoy some authors, but find others to be way too intense for me, especially without the balance of a romance or HEA.  I do enjoy JD Robb, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Josh Lanyon, though.  I’ve been slowly working my way through Lanyon’s backlist.  That’s what brought me to Dangerous Ground.  

Lanyon hasn’t failed me yet, and this was no exception.  Will and Taylor are interesting and distinct characters.  I liked the way they were both caught off guard by their feelings for each other and it was interesting to watch how they handled them.  They have a banter and humor together that kept me smiling.  The suspense was realistic enough to keep me wondering how in the world they would work things out.

I’m glad I read it, and now I’ve got a new series to read!  That said, it didn’t grab me and refuse to let go the way that the Adrien English series did.  Still, I look forward to the rest of Taylor and Will’s stories.  How about you?  Do you read mysteries?  If so, do you have a favorite series?

Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

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Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, sports
Series: Tigers and Devils #2)
Published: 10/15/12
Reviewed by Anne
306 pages

I first read Tigers and Devils (the book before Tigerland) in December 2012.  It was a book I instantly LOVED and is an all time favorite read of mine.  When I read it, I immediately bought its sequel, Tigerland, but I couldn’t bring myself to read it.  See, it’s not a story about another couple, it’s the same couple from Tigers and Devils, Simon and Declan.  I was so elated that Simon and Declan were finally happy together at the end of book one, that I just couldn’t bring myself to read a sequel where they would surely face more challenges. I just really needed them to be happy together in my head for a while.

So, I got around to reading book two.  I did a reread of Tigers and Devils first, and that was no chore.  Still an incredible read!  I went right on to Tigerland, and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long.  If you haven’t read Tigers and Devils, go read my review here: http://dirtygirlsgoodbooks.blogspot.com/2012/12/tigers-and-devils-by-sean-kennedy.html and then get the book and read it.  You must read it book one before continuing on to book two.  Honestly, Tigerland could probably stand on it’s own, but it’s so much more enjoyable having already met the characters, so don’t deprive yourself!

OK, so, if you’ve already read Tigers and Devils, read on for my Tigerland review.  

It’s few years after Tigers and Devils and Declan has retired from the AFL and is working as a commentator.  Simon is now working at a community TV station developing shows with LBGT content.  Life is good.  Then Greg Heyward, retires from the AFL and comes out of the closet.  He’s Declan’s ex, and he’s decided to write a tell all book about his time in the AFL and, knowing it will sell books and win him time in the spotlight, his time with Declan.  Simon and Declan don’t exactly agree on the best way to handle this news, but they stumble through together.

This was a non-stop read for me.  Well, ok, I had to stop, but I resented it!  I tore through it without really making any notes to write a review on, which is a good indication that it was a great read for me!  Declan and Simon are great together.  Declan is so down to earth and Simon is so dramatic.  They each need to deal with Heyward in their own way, and they support each other, but the friction it causes is stressful.

Fran and Roger are still on the scene and are now trying to become parents.  The opening scene in the book was so hilarious I made my husband read it.  Abe and Lisa are separated, and their relationship is another thread in this story.  Sean Kennedy’s humor is solid throughout the book, but there’s also the heartclenching sweetness that made me love Tigers and Devils.

I highly recommend this book – but read in order!