Lovers Leap by JL Merrow, narrated by Mark Steadman.

Lovers Leap audioWhy I read it:  I received a review copy via the publisher.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  This book was an audio delight. The narration was, with only small exceptions, excellent and the story entirely suited the audio medium. One of my favourite things about JL Merrow books is her sense of humour and here I was actually laughing out loud in places.

A word of warning however: Michael says things, most especially at the start of the story which are biphobic, homophobic and transphobic. While he does gain something of an education in the book, the time frame is very short and it is not clear that at the end of it, he has resolved all of his issues. He, at least, acknowledges that he has them and he’s working on them but he’s incredibly lacking in self-awareness (awareness in general, really)  at the start of the story and his journey doesn’t go into the kind of detail which fixes all of his… rough edges.

Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb

Brotherhood in DeathWhy I read it:  I love Eve and Roarke so I bought it as soon as it was available.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Sometimes brotherhood can be another word for conspiracy…

Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather’s magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.

Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD’s top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there’s nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze.

As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed—and locked—doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can’t go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.

Trigger Warning: Graphic sexual violence against men and women

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I was so excited about this book because it promised to have lots of Dennis Mira and he’s been a favourite character in the series for some time, even though he’s not in it very much. I’ve always kind of wondered how the absent-mindedness works when he’s clearly so capable so much of the time. (The first time I encountered Mr. Mira in the series, I thought maybe he had a brain injury or maybe early onset Alzheimer’s or something but it became clear that neither of those things apply.) And, while Brotherhood in Death did have more of Mr. Mira in it than any of the earlier books (including a particularly touching scene between he and Eve later in the book), he still wasn’t in it all that much. Sadness!

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