Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on November 18, 2015
Length: 3 hours 59 minutes
A while back, I had a conversation with Anna @ Herding Cats Burning Soup blog. It started out with a discussion about how many of our older reads were getting hazy in our minds and that we didn’t even have notes or reviews on them to help jog the memory. From that was born the idea of doing an occasional (and by that I mean quarterly at most) re-read to catch up with some of those oldies, but goodies. So watch for the occasional Oldies review at our respective blogs and feel free to join in. I cheated a bit on this one b/c I do in fact have review notes on these stories, but I soooo wanted to hear them read that they became my re-read choice. J
This is my second opportunity to enjoy this first of the Sidewinder spin-off series with Nick and Kelly taking the lead roles. It has been a couple years since I read this one so I was excited to take the opportunity to grab the audio version for my re-read. Audio adds nuance to a story and a good narrator, like Brock Thompson, makes an already good story even better.
I read through my older review out of curiosity to see if my impressions had changed. I pretty much felt the same way about this novella and the second follow-up one, but I also found that I was influenced by the fact that I’ve finished the Cut & Run series since then and it has affected my impression of the characters. I enjoyed going back to the relatively simpler and easier times of the beginnings of Nick and Kelly’s romance with this story.
This pair are entertaining, engaging, and one hot couple.
[quote]”I’m not under the influence anymore. Much. Even if I was, I’ve done things way worse than you that I’ve never regretted.”
Nick barked out a laugh and they both began to chuckle. Suddenly the tension was gone again and it was just the Devil Doc across from him once more.
Shock & Awe Quote by Kelly to Nick[/quote]
Though this is the beginning of a new series, I can’t recommend reading it in isolation. It should be read following Touch & Geaux in the Cut & Run series because it takes up right after that one ended with the focus shifting to a couple of the secondary characters of which one has been a recurring character through several of the Cut & Run series books. This story focuses on Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott.
Nick helps get Kelly home and helps him with his aftercare from the healing bullet wound Kelly received trying to protect Nick’s life in the last mission. They are really close and tight after years of serving together and know each other better than anyone else knows them. But after Nick’s big confessions in the last book, Kelly starts to see things with Nick in a whole new light and Nick isn’t far behind him in noticing that things between them have altered.
Things turn into a sexual game of cat and mouse as Kelly tries to convince Nick that he’s healthy enough for a romp between the sheets and then Kelly really rolls the dice when he tries to pin the commit-o-phobe Nick into letting what is happening between them stand a chance. Nick is hesitant because the friendship with Kelly is important to him and he is worried that Kelly isn’t really gay or bi and will eventually back off and essentially destroying their close friendship. Reality comes knocking even to their Colorado mountain cabin and may end the fragile beginning between them before it even gets started.
A secondary short follow up story called Bait & Switch added more to the above story and gave a peek in with the Ty & Zane situation.
This one got right down to it with Kelly & Nick. They know each other well and as a recurring of the series they are not unknown to the reader so it is easy to dive right in with them. Kelly wants to explore things with Nick and he is honest and communicates what he wants openly. Nick, on the other hand, wants Kelly just as bad, but he shies away from going all in and doesn’t communicate well with words- man of action type.
There is tension from this and it was good stuff. There is also sweltering heat generated between these two guys and it simmers for most of the story. Nick is one rough and tough, but passionate, caring and tender alpha. Kelly is right there with him and gives Nick the feeling of trust and safety that he has never had with anyone else.
And if you’re like me and go all sniffly at those ‘good-bye at the airport don’t know if I’ll see you again’ scenes then keep a tissue handy.
Brock Thompson’s narration was engaging as I mentioned before. His pacing, voices, and storytelling ability was good whether it was a playful, flirty scene or a smoldering hot bedroom moment. His narration was good storytelling and I was never once distracted from the story itself.
Though this was a shorty, it developed a strong story, characters, and relationship beginning. I definitely recommend it for all the Cut & Run series fans, but I strongly encourage those who enjoy strong, humorous, gritty and spicy m/m Romantic Suspense to get busy and read these.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #404 LGBT
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on November 15, 2015
Length: 6 hours 50 minutes
Nick and Kelly on a murder case and hunting down a Colonial Era treasure in Boston. I had an absolute good old time traipsing along with them. Of course, their style of doing things involves a mysterious man with amnesia who may or may not be what he claims, the Irish Mob, other treasure seekers and the enigmatic Julian Cross. Oh yes, fasten your safety belts, people, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
This second book in the Sidewinder series is part of the Cut & Run universe and chronologically falls after Ball & Chain. I really don’t recommend reading this one without having read that one since this one assumes the reader knows some of the situations that carried over from that story, but I suppose it’s possible to manage it right after the first book in this Sidewinder series.
The story opens with Nick O’Flaherty coming back off of desk duty after his surgery to be confronted by a double homicide and an amnesiac as his only witness to the crime. It’s no ordinary robbery gone wrong, but he sets it aside for the weekend to welcome his lover, Kelly Abbott to town for a two week visit. Nick hasn’t seen Kelly in some time.
Kelly arrives to visit Nick just in time to get roped into helping him with his investigation that gets even more dangerous and unusual when Julian Cross pops up claiming to have info about the case and JD the witness seems to be in danger. Kelly and Nick manage some loving, but it is clear that they have to figure out the case before they’ll get any time to themselves.
The story is no shorty, but my goodness did it feel like it went by fast. The pacing on these books is so different and matches with Nick and Kelly’s personalities somewhat. I enjoy them both as narrators and I really enjoy them as a team both as lovers and as two guys working a case. I was delighted with the guest appearance of Julian. He was there helping and had his reasons. There are also Ty & Zane cameos. There is still that heavy tension going on between Nick and Ty coming off the last Cut & Run book.
The treasure hunt is the exciting part, but I loved the build of suspense in that scene with the Irish Mob. Nick’s got some depth to his backstory and that was very fascinating stuff there. As to the romance, Nick and Kelly are a firmly established couple and in the open, but it is a new thing so adjustments need to be made as well as some doubts and suspicions dealt with. Nick is presented with a temptation to stray and and then there is how they can blend their two separate lives.
I was introduced to the narrator, Brock Thompson, in the last Sidewinder book and really liked his work. This one, I still liked his portrayal of Nick and Kelly and the way he can tell a story with pacing, voice inflection, and timing. I felt he had a little struggle with the more complicated character accents in this one. There are Irish, Boston Irish, Tidewater Virginia, and plain Boston and there were many characters. This was a mild issue and in no way prevented me from enjoying the listening experience.
All in all, I enjoyed this sequel in the Sidewinders series or more like a side story in the Cut & Run series. I will definitely continue on. M/M Romantic Suspense lovers would enjoy this one.
My thanks to Riptide publishing for the opportunity to listen to this one in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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