Tag Archives: great characters

A stunning second entry in this New Zealand set series from Jay

58853256._SY475_On Board by Jay Hogan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay maybe a couple of days later and I’m ready to review this stunning entry in Jay’s Painted Bay series.

It takes a rare skill to turn an antagonist into a hero but that’s what happens with Leroy, Judah’s brother from book one and someone who is about as true to the grumpy loner archetype as you can find.

However, as this book unfolds, it becomes very clear that Leroy has so much more depth to him, that the Leroy of Off Balance isn’t really his true self and that he’s repressed so much over the years.

When the book starts, he’s still not dealing with the way the mussel farm is struggling, he’s still coming to terms with his mother’s relationship with Martha, his own relationship with his brother Judah is still on shaky ground and – most importantly – he’s buried his attraction to Martha’s son Fox so deep down he’s convinced he hates him.

So finding Fox in his kitchen making a sandwich sparks a whole load of self-protection hyper masculine and quite possibly masochistic deflections that set the tone for a lot of the book.

Fox is hurting from his marriage breaking down after his husband cheated on him. He’s missing his home in the south, his fishing boat, his community. His attraction to Leroy is inconvenient and potentially even more capable of causing him devastating loss than his impending divorce.

There is perhaps a bit too much of the self-introspection from Leroy, although there’s not much, thankfully, of the will they, won’t they back and forth.

Once Leroy admits he’s bisexual and always has been, though he’s buried it down for years after seeing how Judah was treated, he sets his determined head on and is willing to go all in and there’s some gorgeous moments between the two men.

The sexual exploration is some of the best I’ve read, as Leroy determines to embrace everything he feels about Fox and everything he wants to know about being with a man. It’s emotionally charged, vulnerable and smoking hot all at the same time.

Intelligent dialogue as ever, the incredible sense of place that every Jay Hogan book embodies, a superb cast of secondary characters and a sub-plot which keeps the narrative moving outside of the relationship development, make this book an utter triumph.

Now, book three can’t come soon enough because I can’t actually work out who it’s going to be starring other than one of the MCs is likely to be Judah’s choreographer friend he’s inviting along to help with the studio!

But there’s still Kane’s secret to be discovered, and what’s going to happen with Teddy and Hannah, they need someone to love them too!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Fast paced, dramatic historical which still leaves some questions!

Of Hope and AnguishOf Hope and Anguish by Silvia Violet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Argh, there better be a book three on its way because, although this wraps up the majority of the narrative, we’re still not at the end of the Revolutionary War.

The pacing in this one is faster, it’s more dramatic as Eli and Jack are now a pair in love but separated by duty. There’s a few plot threads still left open by the end of this which need some sort of conclusion but it’s still a rollicking good read.

Constance is still a brilliant solid presence in this and we get to know Randall Bradford a bit more too, with as few new characters joining the roster, the dangers are ramped up hugely over book one.

Without going into vast detail, there’s the usual beautiful emotions between Eli and Jack – and the incredibly hot sex – but there’s a few ups and downs too.

This is another truly engaging historical in a setting which often gets overlooked for romance.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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