Hunter (Brawlers #4) by J.M. Dabney

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Brawlers-Book-J-M-Dabney-ebook/dp/B071HPRKD8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498072959&sr=8-1&keywords=hunter+dabney

Blurb
Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

If there was a way to completely destroy his life, Hunter Black would do it. He was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Survival was his only priority and having to leave his old life behind that meant a job of the legal variety. He’d found one as a bartender at Brawlers Bar and a safe place in a huge house with the rest of the bar crew who quickly became the family he’d never had. The one thing Hunter didn’t need was his old life tracking him down.

Deputy Wren Gramble hated his job and his weekend assignment of staking out a bar in the middle of nowhere waiting for drunks. Although he’d heard the homophobic and racist jokes going around about the crew and customers, he kept his head down and stuck to his job and nothing else. He despised being driven back into the closet, but he’d reached the end of the line and what he’d do if he earned another transfer he didn’t know.

Linus Trenton was considered the normal one in his family and according to the weird ones that meant he should be punished on a daily basis. He never came out one way or another, if he found someone attractive he was attracted. His life was complicated enough having a crush on the sweet and awkward Hunter but now he had to throw Wren into the mix. Linus didn’t have time for dating or romance, most of the time he didn’t even think about having a sex life, although, Wren and Hunter were ruining his calm.

Hunter was in lust with the handsome deputy the minute the man pulled him over, but a man like that wouldn’t give him the time of day. His friend, Linus, was another matter all together. Hunter wanted both. His bosses made it work with their man, why couldn’t he? Could Hunter prove he wasn’t as much of a screw up as he appeared or would he have to call in backup to claim his men?

Review

Man! Hunter is a mess! He’s the world’s biggest clutz and his self esteem is super low. He wants Wren but thinks he’s not good enough and he’s worried about bringing bad things into Wren’s life.

I thought it was hysterical when the relatively straight-laced Wren gets forced into the madness that is the Brawler’s house and the non-stop nearly always visible/audible sex-o-rama!

Just as with the others in the series, we have a somewhat broken MC who meets someone with his own baggage and together they manage to “fit” and make it work.

This is not as memorable as some of the others, but just as fun to read.

Highly recommended for fans of the series, but I don’t think it’d be as good as a standalone as some of the others.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased  for Honest Review

Catch and Release (The Release #3) Audiobook by BA Tortuga Narrated by Lou Lambert

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/catch-and-release-by-ba-tortuga-8465-b

Blurb

Dakota Landry just got out of prison after twelve years. If anyone can understand how that feels, it’s his new friend, Sage, who is determined to help him get used to life on the outside—and believes Dakota didn’t commit the crime he was in for.

Jayden Wilson is a former prosecutor who agrees to look into the case at the request of Sage’s lover, Adam. He sets out to prove Dakota is just another “innocent” ex-con, but once they meet, Jayden is more and more convinced Dakota just didn’t do what everyone thinks he did.

Trouble follows Dakota, and nothing is easy as he struggles to figure out how to live, now that he has choices. And Jayden isn’t sure how Dakota, or any lover for that matter, fits into his life. Their path from friendship to romance is a slow one, but Dakota begins to believe he deserves a chance at life, and Jayden falls a little more for Dakota every day. Now they just need to tell each other how they feel.

Review

(Book Reviewed Here Previously)

This is book three in a series and it’s a heartbreaking group of men BA Tortuga has given us.

We met Sage and Adam in book one – and the hard, hard life Sage led, inspires him to help others, in this case, Dakota.

Dakota is a character that thoroughly smashed my heart to pieces. GAH! I cannot imagine living his life and yet he’s still persevering and trying to live his life when I think many others would have given up. He’s an amazing character.

Jayden is a bit more difficult to pin down. He’s a lawyer, and in the beginning, he’s only interested in Dakota’s case because he’s bored. Later, he admits to maintaining the research into the case because he’s attracted to Dakota. At some point these feelings deepen, but I honestly think it was his “lawyerly” interest that drove this primarily.

I have to say that I’m a big fan of this series and I’d really, loved books one and two. I was looking forward to this once I’d read the blurb because I’ve seen how well BA Tortuga can handle “broken” men and turn them around.

Unfortunately, I was left a little bewildered by the end of this story.

What worked for me: Dakota’s story. It’s one of triumph, perseverance, strong-willed, growth, discovery and faith. If you read this as a story about a man leaving prison and re-discovering life – who happens to be gay – then I think this story “works” really well.

I also loved seeing the guys from books one and two. It’s always nice seeing old MCs and following up in their lives again.

What didn’t work for me was Jayden and the “romance”. Jayden never felt like he really connected with Dakota, or vice versa. I’m just not sure how well they fit. The chemistry wasn’t there nor was there more than just a friendship/lawyer connection. For the reasons given below and more, I just didn’t feel their love like I had with other couples by this author.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I think that this would have been better listed as gay literature, because the bulk of this is Dakota’s life story. Jayden’s presence as his lawyer and friend were more important than as his lover. It was too platonic and didn’t feel authentic to me.

If you’re a fan of the author or this series you’ll probably want to at least give this a look. If you’re new to the author/series I wouldn’t start here.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Lou Lambert is a new narrator to me and his voice is definitely “western” – which fits the characters, but he’s a bit older sounding than I thought the characters would be.  He does a fairly nice job as far as being clear and easy to understand.  He didn’t do a lot to differentiate characters and he wasn’t great with expressing different emotions.  He gives the listener that “country” feeling and is an acceptable way to listen to this, but it didn’t really add to my overall enjoyment, nor did it change my overall rating.

 

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Jase (Kennedy Ink. #4) by Jenny Wood

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Jase-Kennedy-Ink-Jenny-Wood-ebook/dp/B072HZ28SG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1495051670&sr=1-1&keywords=jase+wood

Blurb

Jase is home from college and is nervous to tell his family that he’s wanting to stay home for good.
Stopping by the shop on his way into town, he meets the new guy; Joker.
Quiet, mysterious and ridiculously gorgeous; he doesn’t seem to like Jase, too much.
Or does he?

Fresh out of prison and trying to start his life over as an adult, he finds work at the shop with the Kennedy’s
and their fella’s. Little brother Jase comes home for the summer and everything Joker is working to rebuild is
threatened… Especially when Jody finds out where he’s been and why….

Love em’ or hate em’… this is Jase and Joker’s story…

No cheating, no cliffhanger, HEA or HFN, more to come 🙂

Review

This is another excellent series! I love the hurt/comfort we get in Jenny Wood’s stories. Jase, we met earlier, is back from college, but still feeling at loose ends and like he still doesn’t quite trust that he has family or a home. Joker has a very, very sad story to tell and his life has shaped him, as well.

Unlike some of the others in this series, this wasn’t quite as tear-jerking, though it does have it’s moments.

I also didn’t feel as connected to Joker and Jase as I did previous couples – but I get the sense there’s more of these two to come – and maybe that will help.

I didn’t love this as much as the others in this series, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I still think the author needs a good editor as there are still a distracting amount of grammatical errors.

While you can probably read this as a standalone, I really think this story needs the background from previous books to really give it substance, so I don’t recommend you read this without having read the other Kennedy Ink books.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review