A Tiny, Roped In, Murder Wash Out – 4 Mini Reviews

Posted May 24, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 16 Comments

A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Reid Watsford has a lot of secrets and a past he can’t quite escape. While staying at his grandmother’s condo in Key Largo, he signs up for introductory dive classes, where he meets Joaquim Oliveira, a Brazilian dive instructor with wanderlust. Driven by an instant, magnetic pull, what could have been just a hookup quickly deepens. As their relationship evolves, they must learn to navigate the challenges of Reid’s mental illness—on their own and with each other.

Review: This is a book that is kind of difficult to review. I really liked the overall story and I thought Reid’s mental illness was handled well. There’s an author note that lets you know that what Reid suffers from is something the author has as well, so it’s #OwnVoices in that way and I love it. It’s great to get these perspectives from someone who personally understands, even if their or their character’s experiences differ from others. I really liked that Joaquim isn’t shown as the cure for Reid – he cares for him and he’s learning what he should and should not do or say when Reid is dealing with his mental illness, but he’s not able to make Reid better. He can just be there for him when Reid lets him, and most importantly, he can listen to what Reid wants and needs, while at the same time knowing that it might not be best for Reid, so it’s okay to push when warranted. I think one of the small “issues” that I had with the book is that it felt like it ended in a really wobbly way. Wobbly probably isn’t the right word, but I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s a good book, but I guess the ending wasn’t my favorite. All in all though, it’s an interesting look at a relationship forming under the “cloud” of mental illness, and how mental illness doesn’t make you any less worthy of love.

Roped In by A.M. Arthur

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): For Colt Woods, Clean Slate Ranch is home. The dude ranch in Northern California helped him heal from a devastating breakup. So when his ex-Dom, the man who broke his heart, waltzes onto the ranch, Colt doesn’t know how to deal.

A research job at a nearby ghost town brings history PhD Avery Hendrix to Clean Slate. He’s not in town forever, but it doesn’t take long for him to feel the familiar draw to Colt. When they find out they’ll be sharing a cabin on the ranch, it’s all Avery can do to stop himself from bending Colt over a saddle right then and there.

In such close proximity, Colt’s and Avery’s old feelings come galloping back. Soon Colt is doing his master’s bidding again and loving every moment of it. And the pair may be in for the ride of their lives—if the dedicated professor and his rugged cowboy can learn to trust again.

Review: I really liked the first book in the Clean Slate Ranch series, and Roped In is the second book. After how Wild Trail ended, I was excited to learn more about Colt and his one-time love, Avery. These two are very different but they work well together, and I liked seeing how much the two of them genuinely care about each other. We probably get more of this from Avery, though, as they have a BDSM relationship and Avery is the “sir” and Colt is the “pet” which honestly sounded weird to me every time I heard Avery call Colt this. Anyway, their relationship in the past actually started this way, without the sex, and eventually evolved to combine the two. It obviously works for them, and while this doesn’t normally bother me in books, I wasn’t a huge fan of it in Roped In, which lessened my enjoyment of the book overall. Regardless, I still do really love the characters – and the series. I’ll definitely read the next Clean Slate Ranch book, and I’m curious as to which couple it will focus on!

Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author.

Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.

Drawn into the intrigue, Carter searches for answers, trying to fend off his growing attraction toward John. As unexplained tragedies continue, the whole tour must face the fact that there may be a murderer in their midst—but who?

Review: Every time I read a book by Josh Lanyon, I love it, so this is one author I should definitely read more of in the future. I love that while there is a romance in this one, it’s also very much a mystery novel and that takes the forefront. I like when mysteries have romance, but I also don’t want the romance to overshadow everything else. Murder Takes the High Road had a fun premise as a group of people are on a Scottish tour based around their favorite mystery author’s books. How fun, right? The latter half of the book even takes place in the author’s large home where she allows the guests to stay and get to know her more.

Since these guests are all murder mystery fans, it’s no wonder some of them become intrigued by the news that someone died on the last tour…and then when things start to happen to their own group, it really amps up the mystery! This book has a couple twists and turns that really do keep you guessing, which I love. As for the romance in the book, librarian Carter is roomed last minute with John Knight, who doesn’t seem to even be a fan of the author’s, pinging Carter’s curiosity as to why he’s on the tour. Regardless, the two strike up a relationship of sorts over the course of the trip and I thought they were wonderful together – especially since Carter’s ex, and the ex’s new boyfriend, are also on this trip! Murder Takes the High Road is definitely recommended by me!

Wash Out by L.A. Witt

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Casey Olson has always known he was destined to be a Navy SEAL, and the best day of his life was when he was accepted into training. The worst day was when a snapping bone ended his dream.

After three combat tours in five years, Logan Carter left the Marines and self-destructed. Now he’s sober and, thanks to a forgiving ex with friends in high places, has a promising job as a civilian contractor. All he has to do is stay on the rails and out of a bottle, even when his demons won’t leave him alone.

Logan likes his job, and he really likes the gorgeous man at the next desk. Casey tries not to check Logan out, but who is he kidding? From the start, despite their best efforts, neither man can resist the other. Sizzling chemistry leads to sex so hot they can both almost forget why they’re stuck in this office to begin with.

It would be perfect, except Logan can’t stop reliving wars he’ll never forget and Casey can’t stop grieving the SEAL he’ll never be. And they’ll never have a future together until they can make peace with their pasts.

Review: Wow, Wash Out is already the seventh book in the Anchor Point series. If you don’t know, these books are all companion novels with m/m couples. Previous couples are often in the new books, which is one reason to read them in order, but you definitely don’t have to if one sticks out more than others. Anyway, back to Wash Out! I really loved this one and I certainly rooted for Casey and Logan to work out together. They both have their demons, though in different ways – Casey trained to be a Navy SEAL but an injury means he’ll never have that dream and Logan whose time in the Marines he doesn’t regret is also dealing with PTSD and finally getting sober (which is how he dealt with said PTSD). So yes, both of the guys are having a hard time adjusting to a new career and the idea of what their future will now hold. They weren’t always considerate of each other’s feelings, and I certainly got made at Casey during a particular moment in the book, but it’s clearly shown that he acted badly and I appreciate that. I wish I got a bit more of their everyday relationship dynamics though, as it would have been nice to see how they worked together as a couple without all the drama and past hurts. Regardless, I did like this one, and I’m more than ready for book 8!


4 new #mmromance book reviews on the blog - do any stand out to you?! #bookbloggers Click To Tweet

I tried to make most of these reviews shorter than normal so if you do want to read them all, it won’t take too long (I hope!) Do any of these titles sound good to you? Let me know!!

16 responses to “A Tiny, Roped In, Murder Wash Out – 4 Mini Reviews

  1. I have never read this genre before (mmromance) But I am intrigued as their would be lots of different emotions come into play compared to typical romance series.
    Mental health was mentioned a couple of times – so there would be some interesting vulnerabilities to learn about from each of the characters

  2. candy

    Always like an honest review and that you will continue to read the series says it is worth reading. Will have to look for this series.

  3. Great review! I’ve never read books in this genre but You have me thinking that I might like it! I’m always looking to broaden my reading horizons.

  4. These mini reviews are so great! I have to admit finding the blatant names (Clean Slate!) in some of them both intriguing and a turn-off. But I really like that this genre is so diverse in subjects and storylines!

  5. I like the description of wobbly as to how the first book ended. I think I understand the idea you’re getting at! Overall sounds like four good reads!

  6. I am with you, I do enjoy romance in mysteries it does take it to a whole new level and makes you more attached to characters

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