An Alisa Release Day Review: Skin and Bone (Digging Up Bones #2) by TA Moore

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Cloister Witte and his K-9 partner, Bourneville, find the lost and bring them home.

But the job doesn’t always end there.

Janet Morrow, a young trans woman, lies in a coma after wandering away from her car during a storm. But just because Cloister found the young tourist doesn’t mean she’s home. What brought her to Plenty, California… and who didn’t want her to leave?

With the help of Special Agent Javi Merlo, who continues to deny his growing feelings for the rough-edged deputy, Cloister unearths a ten-year-old conspiracy of silence that taps into Plenty’s history of corruption.

Janet Morrow’s old secrets aren’t the only ones coming to light. Javi has tried to put his past behind him, but some people seem determined to pull his skeletons out of the closet. His dark history with a senior agent in Phoenix complicates not just the investigation but his relationship with Cloister.

And since when has he cared about that?

I enjoyed the banter of these MCs just as much as I did in Bone to Pick.  Cloister just wants to bring people home and find those who are lost, he finds much more trouble this time.  Javi is struggling with his feelings towards Cloister and continued issued with his job.

Cloister continues to struggle with nightmares and everything from his past, while it makes him a good deputy it hurts to see him struggling.  I love his connection to Bourneville and how dedicated they both are to each other.  I still have trouble with Javi and I can’t quite figure out why everyone he is working with has it out to get him.

I still like Cloister and could easily connect with him, he doesn’t want to make anyone feel responsible for him and though he like Javi isn’t going to push him.  Seeing some of the story trough Javi’s eyes we are able to see that he cares for Cloister no matter how much he doesn’t want that complication.  Most of this story was focused on the mystery and finding out who Janet Morrow is and why she was attacked though we get glimpses of Cloister and Javi together.  It looks as if there will be more books featuring these two and I look forward to them.

The cover art by Bree Archer is great and I love it.  It’s similar in style to the first book but not a copy which is always nice.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages

Published: February 26, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-940-6

Edition Language: English

Series: Digging Up Bones #2

A Lucy Release Day Review: Wanted Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Nathan Moffatt is a 37-year-old wedding planner who loves his mother, Ally, and his best friend, Max.  What he doesn’t love is how they are constantly at him about finding someone of his own. Despite his protests, they (and seems like everyone else on the island) are always trying to set him up.  In desperation he decides to enlist the help of Flynn Delaney, the local bad boy who everyone gossips about and no one seems to like.  If he can show off Flynn as a boyfriend, everyone will be relieved when they break up.  What could go wrong?

Nate is the wedding planner at the Granshire, “… one of the top ten destination-wedding locations in the UK.  Wedding parties arrived from around the world.”  It’s not the easiest place to get to but people believe it’s worth it.  It is Nate’s job to make sure the couples get what they want and their weddings go off smoothly.  We get some wedding planning details, particularly of Katie and Bradley, a TV star who is going to be married at the Granshire if things stop happening to complicate matters. 

Flynn is the owner of the local garage, bequeathed from his dad, and is also a rescue worker.  When Nate asks for the favor of being his fake boyfriend, he immediately says no.  But Nate works on him a little.  “He could resist anything but pettiness and pretty men.  Now there they both were in one well-dressed package.”  Even if Nate presents it badly, “So I thought I’d get one- a really bad one, or at least the worst one I can find at short notice on the island.”  “And you immediately thought of me,” Flynn said.”

So they begin this whole fool the locals drama and the problem is that Flynn is not a bad boyfriend.  There is one time he acts “badly” and I thought he had good reason to.  It’s more of Nate being a bad boyfriend than anything. 

Secondary characters are interesting. I absolutely loved Ally. She is recovering from cancer and doesn’t want people treating her like she is about to die.  Flynn doesn’t do that, although he is embarrassed when she observes, “So you’re the one that gave my son a hickey”.  She also doesn’t treat Flynn like he is the island pariah, even when Max is incredibly rude about him.  That brings us to Max, the best friend who needs to get a life and grow up, facing his father.  Max acts badly way more than Flynn ever does. There is also Teddy, Max’s father and Nate’s boss, who is an a**hole of the highest order.

I am a big fan of the fake boyfriend trope so I was excited for this.  There are things that didn’t add up for me, or maybe I should say things that I wanted explained.  Flynn is the island a**hole, most people treat him badly and they have all sorts of nasty stories about why he left the island in the first place and why he came back, but it is never really explained why they all feel that way.  There is no defining event in the past that caused this thinking, other than him not returning for his father’s funeral, by which time he was already the island’s lead jerk. . Another point was, Nate just shows up at Flynn’s lighthouse (which he has been hounding Flynn to let as AirBnB for the weddings) and clumsily and insultingly puts forth his proposal for fake boyfriend.  Did they know each other before? I know Flynn knew of Max but it is never mentioned that Nate and Flynn were friends.  Nate had a crush on the older man (by five years) but that didn’t explain they seem to know each other now.

I liked that each chapter begins with either gossip or an attempt by someone to hook Nate up.  It made me both sad at the nasty things said and smile at the obvious attempts (I think you’ll have so much in common.   You’re both gay, after all). 

The rumors that fly about Flynn are seriously horrible at times.  “Is it true that Delany was a whore you and Max used when you are in London?”  I kept thinking, why does he stay here? And when his reason came out, it made me want to hug him. Go into this knowing that the whole worst boyfriend isn’t really Flynn and it’s a fluffy, easy read.

Cover art by Reece Notley is interesting but not really relevant to the story.  There is a man I assume to be Nate reading a newspaper with the wanted add circled and that isn’t what this was at all.  So cute cover but misleading.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 218 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802605
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Bone to Pick by T.A. Moore and Michael Fell (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is a highly enjoyable, very-difficult-to-solve mystery adventure. Both MCs have issues with relationships so though they don’t want romance, they do have sexual chemistry and they act on it.  Plus, there’s a dog—a police dog named Bo—who stole the show, as far as I’m concerned. 

Children have gone missing over the past ten years, not often enough or apparently connected enough for anyone to link them until the recent disappearance of a ten-year-old boy.  FBI agent Javi Merlo is assigned to the case and he’s not particularly happy about working with a dog and his cop handler.  But that’s too bad because not only does Cloister Witte have plenty of experience with his dog, he also has personal experience with the disappearance of his own brother many years ago—a brother who was never found.  But he’s dedicated and committed to his task and won’t stop until he finds the boy—dead or alive.

Javi doesn’t trust Cloister, though, and continually pushes him away from the case, but Cloister plods along following his own leads and his two-plus-two investigation style eventually leads to four. This isn’t a typical romance, and in fact, it ends with the case solved and with the men in bed, but not in love, so it’s a HFN at best.  But it honestly doesn’t matter because the mystery itself is so good. It’s exciting and fast-paced with just the right amount of snarky ’tude from both MCs.  And, of course, the dog is the hero at the end of the story so the dog lover in me was quite happy. 

The narrator was new to me and he did a very good job with the voices, which were definitely different and easy to pick out.  On the other hand, I hated the voice he gave to the mother of the missing boy—I wanted to smack her so bad. She was entitled and bitchy and nasty and the voice he gave her fit her personality like a glove.  So yes, he did a good job—enough to evoke a lot of emotion from me, so that’s a win in my book. 

I highly recommend this audiobook version to those who enjoy an interesting whodunit topped off with two sexy law enforcement MCs and a dog named Bo.   

Cover art:  Anne Cain.  Love the cover. Interesting and it pulls your eye into the character and details.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Length: 9 hrs 

Audible Audio
Published February 22nd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published August 14th 2017)
Original TitleBone to PicksettingSan Diego, California (United States)
California (United States)