Dangerous Ground by Josh Lanyon

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?

Double Feature: Whitetail Rock and The Fix by Anne Tenino


Grade: B
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m
Published: 2011
Reviewed by Anne
73+27 ebook pages

*Note: I’m reviewing these two stories together because they are very closely linked and short!

Nik was adopted from India as in infant by his very white family.  He grew up in a very white town very conscious of his skin color. On top of everything else he’s gay – just one more way to be different in his conservative home town.  Fortunately he’s got a solid family who has always stood behind him and supported him.  It’s when he’s home from college visiting them that he meets Jurgen, who looks like someone Hitler would have drooled over and pushes all of Nik’s buttons.  Unfortunately, those buttons are a mixed bag.  Nik is turned on by Jurgen, but also unwittingly reminded of some bad experiences in his past and people who were only interested in him because of his skin color.

Whitetail Rock is the story of how Nik and Jurgen meet and work through their issues.  The Fix is a very short update on them working through a new issue.  Both were good, hot reads.  Nik is very insecure, and Jurgen is more insightful than he looks.  I would have enjoyed these stories even if I’d paid for them, but it’s an extra bonus that they’re available for free!  And some of the characters apparently feature in the book Too Stupid To Live, which I *did* buy and am looking forward to reading!

Her Best Laid Plans by Cara McKenna

Grade: B
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, Cosmo Red Hot Read
Published: 4/15/14
Reviewed by Anne
88 pages

Jamie is a 20-something American house-sitting for two weeks in Ireland.  Connor is a bartender she meets there and has instant chemistry with.  She’s up for a vacation fling, and he is, too.   But what will happen if they want more and neither has time or room in their life for more?

This was a well written short story and I enjoyed it.  There were some funny moments, and I liked how things worked out in the end.  Unfortunately it suffers from me expecting to be blown away by every word Cara McKenna writes.  So when she writes a nice short story that’s just pretty good, I find myself a little disappointed.  

I’m also beginning to think that maybe Cosmo Red Hot Reads just isn’t meant for me.  It’s been very hit or miss.  I’ve got another one lined up to read.  I’ll see what I think after that.