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M/M Romance Reviews by Maybedog

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Honesty and Artifice
S.H. Allan
S.H. Allan
G.S. Wiley, Rowan McAllister, Dawn Douglas, Stephen Osborne, Anna Martin, Elizabella Gold, K. Lynn, Eva Clancy, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Anna Butler, Caitlin Ricci, S.H. Allan, Rob Rosen, River Clair, Nico Jaye, A.C. Valentine

Private Eye (Liaisons #1)

Private Eye (Liaisons #1) - S.E. Culpepper Wow. This was just amazing. It was perfect. The things I didn’t like were minor except for one, and it wasn’t enough to mar the story at all. I LOVED this book.

Here are some of the reasons why:

Author mentioned that domestic abuse happens with all classes and that saying it is a poor thing is stereotypical.

The detectives are Not To Stupid To Live. When clues came in that pointed to something in particular, they figured it out right away, as I figured it out. This happened several times. There was none of that, “Come on folks, can’t you see it’s blah blah?”

There were several women in the story, almost as many as men.

His ex was a complex character, not always a bad guy, just kind of a jerk, but we know Rafe had a hand in making him that way. He's got good qualities, too. I'd like to see him get his own story.

The emotions that the “straight” guy, Jeremy, go through are really well done. In most books it’s superficial, but in this one, the things he says and the way he deals with them are very realistic. He also doesn’t hang onto them forever, lying to everyone. The first time it is appropriate and someone gives him the opportunity, he talks it out.

The best friend. He was just awesome.

The sister was amazing.

Rafe was not 100% perfect. He was sometimes an asshole and he knew it and he was called on it.

I like the fact that the cover is not the typical two men overlaying some vista, although it doesn’t totally fit the story.

The cop was a regular cop, not some hot shot detective at 27. He's just now no longer a rookie as he describes himself. This is realistic for a change. I get so irritated when stories have a 25 year old detective.

Although Jeremy has considered himself straight, as has everyone else, the narrative makes it clear that he probably has been gay all along. I hate when a really het guy suddenly becomes gay.

The tenderness between the two of them is beautiful.

The plot could definitely stand on its own. It’s not really a thriller, not exactly a mystery, but a mixture of different genres and you don’t know everything until the end.

The climax is just the right length, just the right amount of danger and casualty, just the right amount of intense emotion. It was perfect for me.
When thinking about getting Jeremy to come out, Rafe actually thought about himself coming out, what it was like, how long it took him, etc. Most GFY books have the gay guy intolerant of the straight guy coming to terms with it and it pisses me off. It’s really hard to come out and it isn’t one time or a few in the beginning. Gay people have to come out over and over again throughout their lives. Everyone assumes they’re straight, and so many people have a problem with it that it’s always a scary thing.

The pacing, the word usage, the writing, the characters, everything was done really well. I was riveted and didn’t pay attention to the length of the book like I usually do. I didn’t want it to end and desperately want more of their story. I’m disappointed to find out that the next in the series is about different men.

Things that weren’t great:

There was instalove, but the book felt like the timeline was a lot longer than just a week. I really didn’t notice until the end how short a time it was.

The sex scenes were good but when they got to intercourse, it faded to black! No fair!

This is the big one for me and it’s a really big spoiler: The mother really has known all along that the father has been raping the daughter, she just didn’t want to see. The daughter accuses her of this and she doesn’t deny it. The daughter said she tried to talk to her mom about it but the mom just walked away or changed the subject. This is akin to doing the deed herself. If you witness a murder and do nothing but watch, in court you are considered a co-conspirator and can go to jail for a very long time. Women like this have their children taken away because they are unfit parents. Yet everyone feels sorry for her, including Rafe. Although, I have to say, if she were really a victim, Rafe was amazing and 100% redeemed himself for anything he ever did wrong.

4.5 stars because of the spoiler I just mentioned but rounded up to five because that’s what I want to give the book.