I discovered this series last year and absolutely fell in love with it. When I saw a new book was coming out in January, it seemed like a perfect reason to re-read the first books. I ended up reading all of them except for In Pieces (#3) which is rather angst filled and requires me to be in a certain mood before reading. On to the reviews for those I re-read...
Way Off Plan - This first book sees Jamie Nolan, a cop, working undercover at the hottest club where he meets Dmitri Teplov, the club's owner and known Russian mobster. Jamie finds Dmitri hot but is turned off by the steady flow of blondes at his table. When Dmitri invites Jamie over, he declines and soon leaves the club. Dmitri follows and a hot time is had by both. Jamie finds himself talking with Dmitri (after some non-talking activities take place) and is surprised by how sweet and innocent Dmitri seems. Soon they are in a relationship. Only, Dmitri has a fiance and Jamie has just gotten out of a long term relationship when his boyfriend decided to pretend to be straight and has recently gotten engaged. Jamie knows he can't go through that again, and yet he can't let what might be the best thing to ever happen to him get away. So, knowing his heart will be shattered, Jamie just can't resist spending time with Dmitri. Okay. Discussing the plot straight out makes this book seem ridiculous and yet I love it. It is sweet, and funny, and good things happen to good people and Jamie and Dmitri just fit together so perfectly. Jamie is fairly young and feels it at times and Dmitri never reads (to me) as major mafia player but I am able to overlook those things because the story is just so gosh-darn adorable and enjoyable. I love Alexa's writing style and this book showcases it beautifully. Love!!
All In - Charlie, Jamie's ex who broke it off with him and tried to be straight, has come out of the closet and was immediately kicked out of his parent's house and is now working for his ex while also living in his ex's apartment since Jamie now lives with Dmitri. The one highlight has been Dante, a hot guy who asked him out but has since blown him off...twice. Dante, in the mafia, is more believable in the role than Dmitri was. He and Jamie have an epic first date breaking into Dante's parents' house in order to get his stuff. I laughed out loud so many times the first time I read this book and each re-read I still chuckle and giggle at certain scenes. Several of those have to do with Peaches...the worlds' worst and stinkiest dog. Dante is all about Charlie and wants to make his life easier. Charlie wants to quit living in fear and to feel confident enough to love who he wants to love. However, Dante gets worried that he isn't healthy for Charlie and tried to talk him out of loving him. He does this partly by handcuffing Charlie to a prostitute. It doesn't really work though, because Charlie ends up getting a best friend and new roommate out of the deal. Somehow, Alexa Land makes insane plot points like that work, and work well. This might be my favorite book in the entire series...or maybe its a tie between this book and Gathering Storm.
Gathering Storm - Hunter Storm is the hottest gay porn star in the industry. Brian is a double amputee who is dealing with PTSD after serving overseas in the military. Hunter is a touchy-feely man who gets comfort out of snuggling and cuddling. Brian is grouchy and a loner. Hunter is up front about his sexuality. Brian seems to be homophobic. How do they end up as one of the bestest couples ever? How does Alexa Land make this work? It starts with a rainstorm, a stalker breaking into Hunter's apartment and Brian becoming an unwilling bodyguard and ends with them being absolutely perfect for each other by working hard to overcome some pretty significant roadblocks to their happy ever after. This one always makes me happy (and it was the one I expected to like the least the first time I read it...Just goes to show!)
Salvation - Trevor is doing the best he can to survive. He and his younger cousin Melody have run away from her abusive father; she is pregnant and he is working to keep a roof over their heads and to prepare for her baby's arrival. Then, her boyfriend shows up and Melody disappears leaving Trevor frantic with worry about her and unable to do anything about it. Trevor is a busboy at Jamie and Dmitri's restaurant and works part time for River's fledgling catering business. It is at one such event that Trevor meets Skye (River's brother) who needs help getting a large piece that he knows is perfect for his art. Trevor volunteers and off they go. It is after they have loaded the monstrous piece and are navigating San Francisco's notorious hills that all hell breaks loose and hilarity ensues. The metal piece goes rolling out of the back of the truck, Skye and Trevor go racing after it and who should witness this fiasco? Vincent, a mysterious Dombruso brother, who fascinates Trevor. Vincent, whose background is shady even by Dombruso standards, knows he isn't in a place to have a healthy relationship, especially with someone as sweet and innocent as Trevor but he can't quite make himself stay away. Trevor is everything that Vincent wants and needs and Trevor is fast falling for Vincent as well. There is more angst and less certainty that all of their issues can be resolved peacefully in this one, but the payoff is so worthwhile. Maybe this one is my favorite...
Skye Blue - Skye is an artist, a sculptor, and maybe a hoarder (when it comes to his art). He has driven his brother away from their apartment due to his habit of filling every possible space with rusty metal bits and bobs. Skye has also agreed to six months on an online dating website in support of his friend and it is here that he meets someone that he can truly talk to in a way he hasn't been able to in a long time. The anonymity of it all allows him a freedom to truly be himself and he finds himself falling for his online buddy. In real life, in order to pay rent Skye gets hired as a dancer at a club and finds himself wondering if the hard-nosed dancer he meets there has hidden depths. Skye is certain there is more than meets the eye. Feeling torn between two guys, Skye is unprepared for heartbreak from both. In true series fashion, the angst is well balanced with hilarity and craziness. Skye has the worst luck when it comes to getting ready for dates of anyone I have ever read about! And Mrs. Dombruso is up to her greatest, quirkiest hijinks yet! Add in a pink mouse in a Taj Mahal cage and you have one amazing read!!
Hard Core Re-Reading
I bought all titles with my own funds.