Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Roland 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.
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Carina Press
series All’s Fair #2
All’s Fair Series:
Fair Play (All’s Fair #2)