A MelanieM Review: Fair Play (All’s Fair #2) by Josh Lanyon


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Fair Play coverRoland Mills, father of ex-FBI agent Elliot Mills, has always been an activist, extremely liberal in his views and actions. Fifty years ago, Roland belonged to a violent protest group and now, when Roland is about to publish his memoirs, someone is willing to kill to prevent him from doing so.

It took the death of his mother, and Elliot Mills’s own injury to bring father and son back together.   Now the threats against his father’s life has Elliot reaching out to those in his father’s past, an action that  brings him up against the FBI and his lover, FBI Agent Tucker Lance.

Now living together, Tucker and Elliot are still trying to find their way to a solid relationship and these threats against Roland threaten that solidity once again. Tucker has never agreed with radical Roland on much, but when it comes to wanting Elliot to stay out of the mess Roland has gotten into, he and Roland agree for once that Elliot needs to let it alone.  As the danger closes in, it threatens not just Roland’s life, but that of Elliot’s and their relationship as well.

The first book in this series, Fair Game, remains a favorite read of mine.  I loved the complicated characters, the angst filled  past, and the tumultuous circumstances that brought such strong, intelligent men together.  Adding to that, Josh Lanyon completed his cast of characters by giving Elliot a compelling family history with a 60’s activist father, and beloved deceased mother and a host of wild and chaotic personalities that swirled around his father and the university they both teach at.  And then Lanyon piled on some horrific murders to boot!

At the conclusion of Fair Game, Tucker and Elliot agreed to give their relationship another try and this story, Fair Play, picks up with Tucker already living in Elliot’s house on the island.  Their relationship is passionate and committed, yet both men are still obviously adjusting to all new aspects of their cohabitation.  I have always loved this author’s ability to create such layered, fascinating characters and then bring them to life through sharp, thoughtful dialog and emotional interplay.  We feel Elliot’s and Tucker’s hesitations, those halting advances towards openness and vulnerability that is so hard for them both, in scene after scene.  It makes their journey back to each other feel real and sometimes painfully slow.  That makes it extremely gratifiying when they can move past these realistic moments in their relationship to something deeper.   And all the while,  they are trying to deal with Roland’s intractability, fear, and an unknown killer on the loose.

The father/son dynamics between Roland and Elliot that Lanyon has brought into this series is as compelling as the one between Tucker and Elliot, and its not always a given that the relationship will survive the actions of each other, as diametrically opposed as they often are.  I loved the mystery that goes along with the attempts on Roland’s life, it leads into the past and the idea that all actions have reverberations that will continue into the present and beyond.    We also see the potential for the villain in the first story to make a reappearance soon.  That alone gave me the shivers.

In Fair Play, we are there as Tucker and Elliot solve complicated mysteries and move deeper into their relationship. The suspense is gripping, and the emotional involvement never lets up.  We are engrossed in the hunt for the would-be assassin while also heavily invested in Tucker and Elliot’s sometimes shaky partnership and well being. Fair Play is immensely satisfying,  totally entertaining, and a wonderful read.   I highly recommend not only this book but the first in the series as well.   Start with Fair Game to see what brings Elliot and Tucker back together and then continue on to Fair Play.  What a ride awaits you in the All’s Fair series from Josh Lanyon.


Cover Artist is a great job in overall tone and concept.

Sales Links:  Carina Press      All Romance (ARe)        Amazon   Buy it Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Carina Press
series All’s Fair #2

All’s Fair Series:

Fair Game
Fair Play (All’s Fair #2)

It’s Here! Riptide Publishing’s Web Hunt for Touch & Geaux!



Happy Monday everyone!  Today Scattered Thoughts is participating in Riptide Publishing’s Web Hunt for Abigail Roux’s book Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run #7), one of Scattered Thoughts Best Series of…well you name the year and this series will still be at the top of my list.  Scattered Thoughts will be joining the party along with many of your favorite book blogs by posting about the book and including one of my favorite quotes (so hard) from any book in the Cut & Run series. Readers who collect each quote and submit their findings to marketing@riptidepublishing.com will be eligible to win one of two runner-up prizes and one grand prize.  And oh, what a prize it is!!!  But I’m not telling, at least not yet!


Also on the agenda for today, is Riptide Publishing’s first ever  live chat, with Abi Roux, happening at 12pm EST on April 10, with the RSVP link https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/107747069078430869043/events/crbhmnugf1hbokmj86anv4vaesc?authkey=CLPsidKGwKnvBQ.  I love Abigail Roux (although I will admit I am currently hunting her down with a nerf bat with Ty and Zane’s names on it).  Abigail Roux is a meticulous researcher for her novels, master of memorable dialog, and currently holder of the Evil Queen title, mostly due to Touch & Geaux. Grab the book, read the reviews (yeah, yeah, I know, reverse order but it works for Touch & Geaux), pick up your pitch forks and torches and join me in Scattered Thoughts own hunt.  Those of you who have read the book will understand totally, a toss up between lobbing jewels at Roux’s head or cow plops.  Don’t be left out of the know, you need this book and here is  your chance for prizes too!

For those of you on the hunt, here is the quote I chose:

“Cameron found himself smiling as he thought about the two tough, acerbic FBI agents. “It’s so cute. They’re in love.”
“It’s like watching two kittens fight with machetes,” Julian muttered.
“What? Its weird!”
“No its not. They’re perfect for each other. Poor Zane though,” Cameron murmured. “In love with Ty Grady.” He couldn’t imagine how frustrating that would be. Then Julian inhaled, and Cameron chuckled slightly. Yeah, he could actually.”
― Abigail RouxArmed & Dangerous

The thing about the Cut & Run series is that there are literally hundreds of quotes that I could have chosen.  Choosing one is like asking which is your favorite child, almost impossible to do.  I did go with funny because to choose the ones where Ty and Zane are emotionally vulnerable is just too close at the moment, more about that later.  I will say that Touch & Geaux is the best of a quality series that keeps improving with each new release.  How that is possible is due to Abigail Roux.  Has she sold her soul?  I know many are wondering…..hmmmmm…how tiny can those horns be?

Later today I wlll blogging about some of my favorite moments from Cut & Run.  Moments that made me laugh like in Fish & Chips (Cut & Run #3) when Ty Grady had to impersonate arm candy Del Porter.  When Ty stepped out after being waxed and bleached, well, my sides hurt just thinking about it. And then there are the moments that had me in tears…so many moments…..starting from the beginning in Cut & Run (book 1) when  we first meet the two men that I have come to care for and follow through tumultuous event in their lives in every book that has been released since.  Touch & Geaux is a milestone among milestones in this series.

Tomorrow I will be posting my review of Touch & Geaux.  You can also find  reviews for the all books in the series included in the links providedCut & Run Book 8 in the review or just look them up. All the books can be found here.

And now for even better news.  You can preorder Cut & Run #8 now at Riptide Publishing.  Here is what Riptide Publishing has to say:

The as-yet-untitled Book 8 of the Cut & Run series, availabe to pre-order for 25% off in ebook and paperback or 30% off in print and ebook combo for one week only as our thank-you to the fans for taking Stars & Stripes into the DABWAHA finals!

Please note that the release date is approximate and subject to change.

On Sunday, April 14, 2013, this page will be taken down. When it returns again in late 2013 or early 2014 for new pre-orders, the ebook will be full price again, so take advantage now of our special DABWAHA celebratory sale!

So those are the details, now let’s get hunting!!!   Touch & Geaux is a “must read, must have” for Scattered Thoughts and you don’t want to be left out in the cold.  Read my review tomorrow and stay tuned for Scattered Thoughts Most Fav Cut & Run moments…..who knew Monday could be so fun?

Here is the buy link for Touch & Geaux http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/touch-geaux ???????????????????????????????????????