The Monet Murders by Josh Lanyon

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Monet Murders: by Josh Lanyon
Series: The Art of Murder #2
Release Date: May 25th, 2017
Pages: 311 • Format: eARC
Published By: JustJoshin Publishing Inc
Purchase Links:
Amazon

All those late night conversations when Sam had maybe a drink too many or Jason was half falling asleep. All those playful, provocative comments about what they’d do when they finally met up again.

Well, here they were.

The last thing Jason West, an ambitious young FBI Special Agent with the Art Crimes Team, wants–or needs–is his uncertain and unacknowledged romantic relationship with irascible legendary Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy.

And it’s starting to feel like Sam is not thrilled with the idea either.

But personal feelings must be put aside when Sam requests Jason’s help to catch a deranged killer targeting wealthy, upscale art collectors. A killer whose calling card is a series of grotesque paintings depicting the murders.

 

three-half-stars

It took me a while to come to grips with writing this review, because I spent the majority of the book pissed off. I was 38 Hot about this being the Jason West show. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy him alot but he was 75% by himself with all of his feelings and emotions. Stoic Sam Kennedy was nowhere to be found. I mean, what the hell? Josh completely took these two in a different lane compared to where they were at the end of book one. How much angst can a person deal with? I wasn’t to happy about the crime either. It was so long winded and all the compartments surrounding it didn’t make it better.

Of course with my rage flowing, I don’t get to stay mad at Sam, he says and does some cold-blooded things in this book. Never fear lads, Lanyon might be an a-hole, but her heroes redeem themselves in the best ways. That’s a compliment Josh if you read this lol.

They haven’t seen each other in 8 months, but that hasn’t stopped them from communicating and potentially falling more in something over the course of the distance and late night phone calls. Jason on the surface is way more into Sam, and is starting to realize what he wants from this. He wants a relationship; someone he can be happy with and someone to discuss and have fun with. Doesn’t seem like a bad thing, but Sam throws a complete wrench into the plan. Not only is the wrench in the plan, but they have to deal with this smack dab in the middle of a case that throws them together. Like I said earlier, it’s pretty much the Jason West story from start to end. Yeah, I was getting perturbed my the lack of Kennedy around, but when he was he sure was impact in those scenes.

I really hope this isn’t trilogy and much longer for the series. I feel like the author can take these characters really far. I would like to see their personal setting a lit bit more, and don’t want it to end. As much as the crime didn’t really pull me in, I still liked the story overall. Lanyon always creates these amazing characters and world for us to salivate over and this wasn’t a disappointment at all.

 

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About Josh Lanyon

Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called “arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today.” Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. The Adrien English series was awarded the 2nd Annual All Time Favorite Male Male Couple by the Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

The Chance (Thunder Point, #4) by Robyn Carr

The Chance (Thunder Point, #4)  by Robyn CarrSeries: Thunder Point #4
on 2014-03-01
Pages: 400
AmazonNarrator: Therese Plummer
With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she'll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge.Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he's a man with a dark past, he's determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.
four-stars

There is something so endearing about this series and it starts with the narrator Therese Plummer. Her voice feels smooth and velvety. When I am listening to this book, I feel relaxed and chilled out– like I am sitting on a hammock with a glass of wine. Her various voices fit the personalities so well, her pace is excellent, her cadence is soothing and her chuckles make me chuckle. The narrator makes the story come to life!

The Chance picked up right after the raid on the compound from Book 3, The Hero. FBI Agent Laine Carrington was still recovering from the gunshot wound she sustained while being held hostage by the cult leader. She was successful in rescuing Devyn and the other members and as a result, she was getting a commendation from the FBI. She wasn’t sure what direction her career would take after that, so she decided to come Thunder Point to recuperate and also get closure. There, Laine met ex-con and local garage owner Eric Gentry (also the father of Gina’s daughter Ashley) and she was instantly attracted to him. They were both trying to find solid ground and they had fun together.

Laine was hilarious as she was such a cavewoman. Me see, me want, me take. Good for her. It was really cool to see a woman not playing games or pretend coyness. Instead, Laine was aggressive, vocal and upfront about what she wanted from Eric. I also loved her devotion to the father who inadvertently hurt her so much over the years. She got a chance to bond with him as well as closure while starting a new life with Eric. Eric was redeemed in this book because we finally see the dependable man he has become. He paid his debt to society and now cherishes his responsibilities to his loved ones.

I really enjoyed the side story with Al, Ray Anne & Justin. Ray Anne has been a permanent fixture in all the prior stories as she is the local relator extraordinaire. She’s had some epic battle with Lou Anne but we finally see the softer side of Ray Anne. I loved the “make up” regime and Al being nonplussed about it. I also loved Justin’s unwavering devotion to his family and how his tenacity made the runaway Al finally put down some roots.

This series is becoming one of my favorites. It’s everything I enjoy in Contemporary Romances. It has a great plot, great writing, and such likable characters. It has been a fun ride so far. I look forward to the next one.

Review: Mexican Heat (Crimes & Cocktails, Book 1) by by Laura Baumbach & Josh Lanyon

Review: Mexican Heat (Crimes & Cocktails, Book 1) by by Laura Baumbach & Josh LanyonSeries: Crimes & Cocktails #1
on October 26th, 2008
Pages: 272 pages
Amazon • (Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
A new romantic crime series from the combined talents of popular award winning authors Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon. Tough, street-smart SFPD Detective Gabriel Sandalini is willing to do whatever it takes to bring down West Coast crime boss Ricco Botelli -- including a dangerous, deep undercover gig as one of Botelli's hired guns. But Gabriel's best laid plans may come crashing down around him when he falls hard for the sexy, suave lieutenant of a rival Mexican drug lord. Turns out his new love interest may have a few secrets of his own: secrets that could destroy both men and the fragile bond between them.
three-half-stars

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. There were some pacing issues for me. Also, I liked the characters, well I liked Lorenzo, and I am ambivalent about Sandalini.

This book featured an SFPD detective, Gabriel Sandalini, and an FBI agent, Antonio Lorenzo who went deep undercover to bust a mexican drug cartel. From the beginning, Lorenzo & Sandlini were drawn to each other, but they were unaware that the other was one of the good guys.
So they fought their attraction because 1) it was disturbing being attracted to such a bad character and 2) there would be no future as betrayal and arrests were inevitable.
Unfortunately, one of them got their cover blown. Now they are in the fight of their lives. It’s hard to even focus on love, when you have to watch your back against everyone.

I never connected with Sandalini. He was a reckless smart mouth kid. He wasn’t as tough as he thought he was. He was annoying. then I didn’t understand how a hardened agent like Lorenzo could be so sensitive when he comes to Sandalini. I like them together but something was missing for me. I think it was the writing. It was too sterile for me. the only real show of emotion from Sandalini was a prelude to sex or during sex or post sex. Whereas Lorenzo wore his heart on his sleeve. I don’t know how the heck Lorenzo made it as an FBI undercover agent. He is too nice. I would have liked him to be vocal with Gabriel. I will read book 2 to see they are progressing.

Ezi

About Josh Lanyon

Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called “arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today.” Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. The Adrien English series was awarded the 2nd Annual All Time Favorite Male Male Couple by the Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

E-arc Review: Turned (The Belladonna Agency, Book 1) by Virna DePaul

E-arc Review: Turned (The Belladonna Agency, Book 1) by Virna DePaulSeries: The Belladonna Agency, #1
on April 1, 2014
Pages: 384 Pages
Amazon
Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.

Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden. But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.

Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.

When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.

Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?

This series has potential. I hope the author can really deliver the kind of story that can rival the Midnight Breeds and Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The general population in the United States were unaware that vampires existed among them. However, the federal government had recruited some of the vampires to turn some soldiers into “super vampire soldiers”. Some of the newly turned vampire soilders turned rogue and escaped. FBI Agent Ty Duncan was sent to recruit Eliana “Ana” Duncan to the Belladonna Agency, a covert goverment agency hunting rogue vampires. Ty was one of the “turned vampire”, but he work with the goverment as it secretly hunted the rogues, through the shadow organization, Belladonna, as they tried to clean up the mess.

The rogue vampires were being aided by a gang organization that Ana and her sister had belong to. The rogues hid among humans, making the mission very trickey. This is where Ana’s past was vital. Ana’s relationship with the members of the gang would allow her to inflitrate the organization and spy for Belladonna. In exchange for Ana’s assistance, Belladonna will locate Gloria, Ana’s sister who had been missing for years.

Ana and Ty were drawn to each other from the start, but each had unfinished business which should supercede personal attachments. However, as Ana and Ty posed as “lovers” in the undercover operation, it became difficult to ignore their attraction. Fantasy was becoming reality and the lines of mission were getting blurred. Ana and Ty had to make some decisions before they blew their cover, the operation and possibly compromise the goverment’s mission.

The author’s writing style was enjoyable and I will continue with the series. However, there were still many missing pieces to the puzzle at the end. I still didn’t get what was really special about Ana, that she trained others. I didn’t understand the real issue between Ana and Gloria. I didn’t get the sibling rivalry for Miguel. Who were the silent players? Regardless, I found the story interesting. I liked having a new vampire series with it’s own unique elements. I liked Ana and Ty, but the lack of real closure with Gloria really bothered me. I hope the author addresses it more in sequel. I look forward to more background in book 1.

**I was given a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell via Netgalley.

Ezi