Early Review: Fish Out of Water by Amy Lane

Fish out of WaterFish Out of Water by Amy Lane
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, LGBTQIA
Publication Date: June 29th, 2016
ARC provided by Dreamspinner Press

Synopsis from Goodreads: PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

Angie’s Review – 4 Stars – B+

This book was a surprise for me. As it was my first read from this Amy Lane, I had only one expectation going it. From the synopsis, I anticipated this would be heavy read, and that’s exactly what I got. When I first started reading, I felt like the conversations were a bit disjointed and hard to follow, but the more I read the more I got used to the author’s style. It wasn’t long before I was sucked into the story. It felt like the main dish of this story was suspense with a side of romance. While page time between Ellery and Jackson was pretty neck and neck, Jackson had such a presence that he dominated every scene he was in. He comes off as being very alpha and gruff, but one of the things that I loved about him was his clear, unabashed adulation for the people he called family. And I also liked that Jackson wasn’t too prideful to fall apart when he was finally able to catch his breath. He also had a mini-me called Billy Bob, his feline who, like him, liked to cat around! Billy Bob was as much of a scene-stealer as his owner! Ellery was sort of geeky and while he wasn’t quite as brazen as Jackson, I loved that when he took Jackson to the bedroom, he was all possessive and dominating. It was like the way he was in the courtroom spilled over into the bedroom. Speaking of the bedroom, while these scenes were hot, the use of the word ‘clotted’ when used to describe ejaculation completely jarred me from the scene. Luckily it was only used a few times, but I have only ever seen this used in conjunction with the blood, and it was not romantic or sexy here. Back to Ellery – he gave me a good laugh, because his thoughts about his mother were so dramatic, yet when we finally meet her, it was clear she adored her son and would do anything for him.

There could have been more time spent on the suspense portion of this story (I hesitate to say ‘mystery,’ because we know whodunit from the beginning,) but it looks as though the bad guys arc will be playing out over more books, and I did feel Jackson and Ellery’s story was wrapped up in a satisfactory manner. This was more of a happily ever now than a happily ever after, but with Jackson, I think that’s the most believable ending we could have been given. It’s clear Ellery will have to continue to woo him if they’re going to make it work. Fish Out of Water was a wonderful read, and I am excited to read more from this author.

Rating: 4 Stars

Thank you to DREAMSPINNER PRESS for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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