Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: All in the Details by A.K.M. Miles

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

All In The Details coverAs this sweet romance opens we meet Beau Garner , a 31 year old man who has put his OCD into making a profit by running an event organizing company called Details. “It’s all in the details” claims Beau over and over again throughout the book. (Though meant to be humorous, it falls short after a while.) A last minute detail takes him to a rural convenience store to buy balloons, and besides being nearly sideswiped by a speeding vehicle roaring out of the parking lot as he enters, he’s also blindsided by finding a gun under a display case and then finding himself at the mercy of the police who’ve been called to “disarm” him. He only grabbed the gun when he heard two young children debating whether or not to pick it up, and as he tells the officers, “Do I look like the type of man who would have a gun?”, he catches the eye of the young good-looking cop.

Nash Tyler is a 31 year old cop in this rural town. He’s gay, and though his captain is aware, it’s not the type of thing he advertises to the rest of his co-workers. He’s a good cop, however, and he gives the cute guy with the gun a break and listens to his full story at the store, rather than haul him to the station as his homophobic partner wants to do. Since the situation is easily resolved, Beau is released but not before he notices Nash’s blushes as he hands Beau his card in case Beau needs to get in touch with him.

This is a sweet, slow-building romance that’s very family focused. Beau lives with Alberta, his grandmother’s friend and companion, a black woman who would prefer not to live with her own family and who cares for Beau as if he were her own child. The main excitement and undercurrent to the story is an apparent stalker who is randomly harassing Beau. That starts with phone calls then goes to being shot at with rock salt as he and Nash are soaking in his hot tub, to having faggot painted on his car then escalating to acts which could result in injury or death. Readers know who the likely stalker is from the beginning, but the action doesn’t culminate until the end of the book.

Another odd thing that happens, which is totally non-reality based, is that Beau helps a young woman at the airport as she’s trying to decide what to do about her fatherless infant, and she ends up leaving the infant in the restroom with a note turning him over to Beau. He then gets through the foster process and is given the baby that night—a baby that he will ultimately adopt as his and Nash’s at some point in the future. Most of the second half of the story was about the baby and integrating the baby into their lives as he and Nash became closer romantically, and their stalker became increasingly more dangerous.

There was little in this story to make it outstanding for me in any way, yet it was well-written and was a sweet romance so I’d recommend it to those who are looking for something simple and family-oriented with not a lot of sex but a lot of love.

Cover Art by Winterheart Design features two men representing the characters. The cop is superimposed over the cute guy who depicts Beau in such a way that it’s evident the cover was cropped together and looks amateurish. It’s not as appealing as one that would have blended the two characters without the overlap like the cover used in the previous edition.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published January 29th 2015 by ManLove Romance
(first published April 27th 2013 by Silver Press)
ASINB00SXN3PNA
edition languageEnglish

The Fireman and The Cop (Ellery Mountain #1) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4 stars

The Fireman and The CopWhen fireman Max Harrison moves to Ellery  to work as the assistant to the Mayor, he still volunteers as a fireman for the town.  So when the local police department’s building catches on fire, all his instincts kick in and he races into the building to  rescue the last man inside.  Max finds Finn Ryan, one of the three police officers to serve the small town of Ellery.  Even injured, Finn finds the fireman attractive.  An attraction that is returned by Max who is eager to pursue a relationship with the young cop.

But the fire turns out to be arson, and its target is Finn.  With Finn at the center of the arson investigation, Max races to find the person responsible before Finn  falls victim again and all hope for love perish in the flames.

Double the fun, double the hotness as R.J. Scott begins a new series with a fireman and a cop at the center of the story.  Max Harrison is the older and more experienced of the two men in every aspect.  He has sought out the quiet town of Ellery to escape the worst city life can offer.  And almost immediately he finds Finn Ryan, local cop who grew up in Ellery and has deep roots on the mountain.

This book establishes many of the characters that I suspect will meet over the series of books to come and the author does a wonderful job of sorting out all the people and their relationship to each other.  Scott never lets me down in her character development as Max and Finn are believable as well as endearing, especially Max.  I look forward to more of this couple in the stories to come.

At 78 pages, however, I found this story to be a little to short to throughly explore all the elements of this story.  I would love more background on Max, and the identity of the arsonist just kind of popped up out of nowhere.  But the vivid descriptions of the crackling fire and the out of control blazes just intensify the drama and the anxiety the reader feels every time our main characters are in danger.  The romance is sweet, and the potential for more to come makes us eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.

The Fireman and The Cop is being published by Total-E-Bound Publishing .

Cover Art by Posh Gosh.  I love the landscape at the bottom, the fonts are terrific and easy to read.  I only wished the models had stuck a tad closer to the characters within.  One is far too young to be Max, although those suspenders are very hot.