Review: Daylight Again (Hell or High Water, #3) by SE Jakes

Before Prophet Drews can have a future, he must first put his past to rest.

Prophet Drews is a man on the edge, and he’s pulling Tom Boudreaux, his partner on the job and in real life, right over with him. When his old CO calls in a favor, Prophet asks Tom to join the off-the-grid rescue. But the mission raises all of Prophet’s old ghosts: CIA assassins, the terrorist Sadiq, and most importantly, John—traitor, former teammate, and Prophet’s first love.

To help bury those ghosts for good, Prophet and Tom gather the members of Prophet’s former SEAL team . . . and a spook named Cillian who’s been tailing Prophet for years. In the process, Prophet is forced to face his team’s shifting loyalties, ghosts who refuse to stay dead, and scariest of all, his own limitations.

With everyone’s lives in danger, Prophet and Tom must unravel a tangled knot of secrets, including their own. Prophet must decide how much to reveal to Tom, while Tom must decide how far he’s willing to go to help Prophet lay his ghosts to rest.

Hello and how are you? 

If you're reading this review, you're obviously invested somewhat in the Hell or High Water series. You must be, because we're at good 'ole book number three, "Daylight Again". Now at this point in the series game, the major plots are afoot, hot actions are going down (as are mouths), key pieces are being set and we're closer to that glorious end, where we can finally learn what the hell is going on! Prophet, Tom, the John mystery, Prophet's diseases, Prophet's team and the romance in between all the modern day warrior antics. 

Do I really need to do a rehash of the entire plot and cast of characters, so far? It's too long and we'd be here for hours. I suggest you start with "Free Falling" by SE Jakes and do not skip - follow the suggested reading order, if you're new to SE Jakes'  Hell or High Water world. I'm going to make this as spoiler free as can be.

Let's get some of the main complaints out of the way, shall we?

There are a lot of abbreviations and initials - There sure are. In fact, after awhile I started abbreviating words that I didn't need to because it felt like I was surrounded by code. Ah, the life of double agents can be PDAH or Pretty Damn Abbreviation Happy. I finally found out what a BDU was!! Success! SRALIL! (Or SheReadsALot is learning!)

There are a lot of characters to keep track of - There are. But I was able to follow along since there was enough reintroduction to jog my memory. Thankfully, this series ends at book #4 or I'd probably have to jot down notes. ;)

This series is similar to that other series - Meh...not really. Hell or High Water does have an end in sight. The last book will be released later in 2014 so thankfully no drawn out plot lines. Yes, there are spin offs but if you read these men and are as intrigued as I am, you could enjoy getting to experience them in other settings. Because Hell or High Water is all Prophet and Tommy.

I think this is the most perfect gif to sum up "Daylight Again"
This could be my favorite book of the series yet I am not rating it the highest. I'll get to why soon. What I reveled in from Daylight Again was the relationship level Prophet and Tommy are at. This is where I wanted to see these two men get. Don't worry, Prophet is still as snarky and Tom is just as crazy and possessive. But these men have grown. Their relationship has foundation and it's rock steady, bebe. These warriors have learned to share, to compromise and to love. And I thoroughly enjoyed their comfort of each other as separate entities and as a unit.

“You've got the fountain of youth hidden in your pants."
"What the fuck does that even mean?" Hook demanded, then held up a hand. "Never mind, I don't want to know." 
"Means fucking keeps you young.”
Don't expect flowers and pretty pink prose either. It's just alpha men loving each other. And yes there's tons of sex (hot, heart pumping, body liquefying sex...sweet Cheesus that bedroom scene...I'm still drooling) But also crap tons of plot and mysteries being revealed in this novel. A good number of questions are answered especially about Prophet's past with John, his ex-lover & teammate. 

And we get to read more of Prophet's team in action. And Mal and Cillian of Dirty Deeds fame are back. (This is not their series so don't expect them to usurp Prophet and Tom's spots) I love Prophet from the moment he snarked his way in Free Falling. But Tommy is...delicious. And Mal...has secretly become my favorite. He's damaged and cray-cray and who he's compared to makes it even more sweeter. *claps with glee*

The main mystery is slowly coming to a head, at the right pace. I liken it to a game of chess. There's bullets flying, plane jumping, kick ass action but compared to the previous two books, it's a little tamer. But the information given makes the book more satisfying in a way. Now I don't want to prematurely call checkmate for this series...but I'm liking how it's progressed.

The ending...I-hmm...I had to reread the ending a few times, to be honest. It's a perfectly good ending. It's a great setup for the end of this series. But...there was something that left a smidge of a sour taste in my mouth. I need books #3.5 and 4 to see the entire picture. I can't put my finger on what gave me the most pause. Plus, I don't want to spoil it. But...really? He went through all that trouble to do that? Either this is the biggest mind fuck or the oddest plot device. I'm reserving my 5 hearts for how this whole thing ends. So it's a tentative 4.5 for now.

The story ends with an obvious cliffhanger that changes the game...with unexpected moves. but I have a feeling Tommy and Prophet will come out swinging. And will win...any way possible. ICWFTROTSBITLTGSF. DIWIIOA?

(I'm going to leave now before the abbreviations spread!)

Review: Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane

Heroes fall.

Peter first came to the tiny backwater of Daisy, California, as a child, and he was sure of one thing: his cousin Michael would take care of him. When Michael started a friendship with the fragile, haunted Bodi Kovacs, Peter's consolation in losing any claim to Bodi was that Michael would care for him too. But tragedy struck, and Michael ripped himself out of their world and threw away the people who loved him most.

Six years later, Michael is coming home in a box. All it took to destroy a hero was a town full of bigotry and hatred. Reclaiming him will take strength of heart that neither Peter nor Bodi had six years ago. Since Michael left, Bodi has been lost and alone. Peter can try to make Bodi his and take the role Michael should have had, but first he and Bodi have to confront the past. They will need to face Michael, the good and the bad, the beauty and the sadness, and see his memory truly for what it was and not what it could have been. It's a simple act that may destroy them both: sifting through the flaming ruins of heaven is a sure way to annihilate a bleeding mortal heart.

 "'If that's all it takes?' he said when he pulled back. 'The coming back for you? If that's all it take to keep you? I can do that, Peter. I can always come back for you.'"
If there is any author that can make you feel for, empathize and love a character, it's Amy Lane. I couldn't help but become completely immersed in Peter and Bodi, right from the beginning.
"Bodi grunted and relaxed, and their hands were still clasped between them, but Bodi's shoulders melted into Peter's body, like he belonged in Peter's arms."
And he so did.

It was said over and over that Bodi was the broken one, but Peter didn't have the perfectly healthy life either. He lived with a relative who didn't understand him, or want to for that matter. He also lived in a town he hated and they pretty much hated him right back. Not the best of living conditions. Now that Michael was gone there was no reason for him to stay and every reason for him to find Bodi.

Bodi was kind of lost before Peter went to tell him that his ex-lover had died. For Bodi, Michael had died years before and was still dealing with the loss, all on his own. He was broken, and yes, that was said quite a few times in the story, but it didn't bother me much since that's exactly what he was. Broken. And Peter was going to fix him. Bodi could fight all he damn well pleased, Peter wasn't budging. I just love reading about that kind of dedication.

Since Bodi, Michael and Peter grew up together they had a story to tell, besides the one that led to their HEA. Their past flashbacks were perfectly woven into the present and told both stories simultaneously and flawlessly. It didn't matter which time the story was in, I was equally involved in both.
"When Peter walked through that door, he was done with mourning heaven, and living it instead."
They just belonged together. The circumstances that brought them together were devastating, but their story together was beautiful.

Review: Resistance by L.M. Turner

Ryan's relationship-phobic, preferring to live his life from one anonymous hook-up to the next. He never remembers a name, and he never goes back for more. But then he meets Jayden, the one-off who won't get out of his head, his life -- or, indeed, his bed.

Ryan remains in a denial, however; he has no place in his life for emotion or feelings, despite how much difficulty he finds in keeping away from the gorgeous, confident Jayden.

It's not until Jayden gets a boyfriend, bringing their non-relationship to a sudden end, that Ryan thinks he might have been feeling something all along. Feeling a lot, actually, but it's too late.

Jayden's happy with his new man, and Ryan shouldn't want to get in the way of that -- but he's selfish, and he's had an epiphany, and maybe the only way to get Jayden back is to reveal more of himself than he knows how to handle. But is it enough for Jayden to take a risk on a man who, by his own admission, has no idea how to love?

This has all all the things I love. ALL THE THINGS I TELL YOU!!

It's basically perfect. I've had it recommended to me at least 3 times and I was "meh & shrug". WHY? Why was I "meh & shrug" when Resistance is all the things?!?

I officially recommend this to everyone because of reasons:

1. Jayden. Ugh, Jayden.  So, Ryan has issues (to say the least) with all his rules about relationships, or the lack-thereof, in his life. Jayden? Jayden doesn't care a whole hell of a lot about Ryan's 'rules'. He knows they have something and he's going for it. I just freaking loved this about him
"When Jayden pulls away with a final lingering press of lips, his face remaining so close, Ryan's breathless. 'What are you doing?' he says but he gets the feeling it comes out more like a hoarse mumble.
'It's called sweeping you off your feet.'
Ryan's stomach jolts. 'It's not working.'
'Liar,' says Jayden and kisses him again."
2. Ryan. In all his fuckupedness in the beginning, hell, throughout most of the book, he's really able to make up for it in the end. It did take Jayden having to get another boyfriend for him to finally wake up and see what's right in his face, but once he did he (mostly) made all the right choices and he ended up winning me completely over.

3. Snarky-snark FTW!! *twirls* I'm picky (really picky) about what I consider 'humorous'. What many readers find hilarious, I find myself rolling my eyes. This was effing funny, people. The dialogue was witty and smart and engaging. I basically highlighted the whole thing.
'"You can't just invite yourself to stay in a stranger's house.'
'Dude, I had my tongue in your ass. You're way past being a stranger.'"
"'I can't believe this is happening to me.'
'I know, right? Who knew when you left the house today you;d end up meeting the incredible Jayden Cobain? I'd be in shock too.'"
I really could go on and on with all the fun.

4. Oh, the angst! It was angst without feeling like that was the intention because it was also so much fun to read. I'm having myself a grand old time reading about Ryan and Jayden with all their snark and hotness and then BOOM! I'm crying! Wait. What? This type of book isn't supposed to make me cry. I'm supposed to laugh and swoon and maybe melt a little. Well, I did all that, plus felt enough feels to produce a few tears. *dreamy sigh*

5. These boys know how to get it on and they got it on gooooooooood. *bites lip*

6. Back to Jayden. FFS, Resistance wasn't even from his POV and I could feel just how much he really wanted Ryan all to himself. Amongst all of Ryan's self-made drama, Jayden's character and emotions were really able to shine through because of the awesome dialogue and the way the author brilliantly showed the way he felt. *melts* Hell... *quelts*

7.  I could not stop reading. I was just so into Ryan and Jayden's love-drama that didn't quite feel like drama and before I knew it, the book was over. Sad, sad unicorn (<-me). I tried to savor the end, but let's face it, that never works. I kept going until the last swoony, wonderful word. *turns the page looking for more & panics*

So. Yeah. Those are all the reasons and things.

Read it.

Review: Semper Fi by S.J. Frost

Though Marine staff sergeant, Cameron Brightman, is miles away from the Middle East and back in his hometown Chicago, memories of the war and lost love continue to haunt him.

**This is a free story, unedited, offered on S.J. Frost's website.**

Semper Fi, short for Semper Fidelis, is a Latin phrase meaning "Always Faithful"

Semper Fi is the story of Cameron Brightman, a marine staff sergeant and Gabriel (Gabe) Roland, a grad student at Chicago’s Art Institute. They meet in a gay bar in the Boystown area of Chicago while Cam is on a thirty-day leave from the Marines. Cameron and Gabe share an incredible night together but is this just a one night stand, or is there something special between them?

This is a sweet short story that you can read free on the author's website or download here

I was totally smitten with Cameron and Gabe from the start. The chemistry between them was there and I felt the mutual attraction. In this short story the sex between Cameron and Gabe was hot and felt realistic. Ok, so there was no swinging from the chandelier, but it was steamy and satisfying just the same. Also, if unprotected sex is one of your pet peeves, you have nothing to worry about here. They practiced safe sex yet it didn't interrupt the scenes or seem awkward in any way. I admire and applaud the author for this.

There's also a bit of humor in Semper Fi and that is something I always enjoy in any story.

If you’ve not read anything by S.J. Frost, I think you’re missing out. This free short story would be the perfect way to sample the author’s work risk free.

Happy Hour Chat - "A Little Bit Country" by S.J. Frost

Hello, lovely visitors! Welcome to May's Happy Hour Chat here on Boy Meets Boy Reviews. Recently we came together to discuss A Little Bit Country by S.J. Frost. Check out the chat below and then let us know what you think about music, rock stars, nipple rings, and Hallmark movies. :D

S.J. Frost will be this month's Author of the Month, so keep an eye on BMBR for more reviews of this author's work in May!

Quick copy/paste of blurb for reasons:
Rock singer, Ash Ivers, and country music star, Jackson Abrams, have intense passion that brings them together, but will they be able to overcome all their differences when Jackson's career is threatened?
Ash Ivers says and does what he wants, and with being the lead singer of the world famous rock band, From Ashes, he gets away with both. Three years ago, his mouth got the better of him, and he started a media feud with county music star, Jackson Abrams. When they’re both booked to play a charity concert, he sees his chance to finally confront Jackson in person. Though, he’s uncertain if his anger will hold against his attraction to the singing cowboy.
Jackson Abrams is the darling of country music. He’s polite, charming, handsome…and he has a secret that he fears could jeopardize his career. When it comes to the cocky rock star, Ash Ivers, he’s infuriated and intrigued by him. He wants their feuding to stop, but he also doesn't want to lose the attention it gives him from Ash.
As Ash and Jackson meet, the heat of anger turns to passion. But when Jackson’s world starts crumbling around him, will their differences make them stronger, or drive them apart?
Jo: can we talk about something I noticed in the book?
Justin: Damn Jo, did you think this was a book chat?
Jo: How did I know you guys would get sharks into a story. If I didn’t know better while I was reading I would have been very scared for the direction the story was going. There was even a DP shout out.
Jenni Lea: Jo, what book are you talking about?
Justin: A little bit country mentioned sharks and a DP
Audrey: Yes, yes it did.
Lorix: It did mention sharks
Jenni Lea: Duh! I forgot!
Breann: It did?
Justin: All the talk about DP & dildos, humma humma
Jenni Lea: It did!
Audrey: Yessum...and roping.

Audrey: Yeehaw.

More on our favorite quotes, whom we could see as the main characters, and general shenanigans after the jump!

Review: Loving Jay by Renae Kaye

One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he's not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.

An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football anymore either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality... unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he knew in life had been a convenient excuse to stay hidden. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn to overcome his fears—and his father—before he can accept his sexuality and truly love Jay.

I loved everything about this book.  No seriously, every last bit!  It was just so… so… charming.

We first meet Liam at the train station where he’s missed his train and he’s upset, not because he will be late for work but because he won’t be able to see the beautiful blonde he’s been fascinated with for the past few weeks.  Not that he’s gay or anything.  Nope.  Not gay.

    “My dad would kill me, so I can’t be gay.”

It was heartbreaking to read passages like that in this book.  I really felt for Liam and wanted to cuddle him close when he made comments like that.  What he was going through hit close to home.  You see, I recently watched my own child go through the anguish of coming out as transgender.  I watched my sweet baby, whom I love more than my own life start to withdraw from her friends and family.  Her grades started slipping in school and she seemed so depressed that I was afraid she was on the verge of suicide.  It turns out she just felt she was living a lie and was not comfortable in her own skin and she was so afraid of telling me what was going on.  So, I got where Liam was coming from.  I could see echos of my own child’s fear in Liam.  So when he finally came to terms with who he really is I was overjoyed.

    “Then I came to a sudden realization.  I’m so gay.”

What I liked most about this book is that everything seemed so real.  Like reading a story about my neighbor or cousin or friend.  Neither of the MCs had fancy or exciting jobs.  Neither of them were rich, nor were they orphans or savants.  They were just two everyday ordinary people who were in actuality, extraordinary.  Well, maybe just Liam.  Jay is nothing near ordinary.  But he wasn’t over the top either.  I’ve known people in real life who were a bit like Jay.  What Jay has is flair.  He has such a big heart too.  And lets not forget his infinite patience.

I think this may be the first time I truly was able to see and more importantly, understand how hard it can be for someone to come out.  I will never really completely understand what it is like because I am not gay but, due to the exemplary writing in this book I am able to comprehend quite a bit more about what goes on in the mind of a gay man on the verge of a life altering decision such as this.  My heart was breaking for Liam yet at the same time I was cheering him on whenever he reached a new milestone.  I have to say, I fell quite a bit in love with him and I pretty much see him as a hero.  True bravery is recognizing your fears, accepting them and reaching beyond them.  True heroism is being able to be true to yourself, seeing your flaws for what they are and pushing yourself to be the best you can possibly be despite, or sometimes even because of those flaws.  This is Liam.  This is why I love him.

    “You really are a hero, aren’t you?”

Yes, he really, truly is.

Even though I got caught up in all the feels in this book, it still came across as a light, fun read.  The silliness and the snark were a delight to read and both Jay and Liam just charmed the pants right off me.  I had a big, silly grin on my face through most of the book and I kept letting out smoopy sighs as I watched these two on their journey from friends to lovers to partners.  They were perfectly imperfect and I fell in love with both of them, almost from page one.

Renae Kaye, you are on my radar now.  I eagerly await your next work.  You are going to go far, I can see it.  Brava!