A MelanieM Review: Not Another Statistic (Yuri Sorenson Mysteries #1) by J.M. Dabney

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Raring: 4.5 stars out of 5

Former Federal Agent Yuri Sorenson had left the bureau behind to become a private investigator. A friend from his old life came to him with a favor, not knowing who else to trust. Yuri had always had a way of keeping his emotional distance from the people he protected, yet that changed the day Clarkson hesitantly limped into his life.

What happens when love is confused with pain? That’s the exact question Josh Clarkson had asked himself for years. He’d grown up in an overburdened foster care system, and from what he knew of love, he couldn’t expect anything but to be something tolerated. Was he meant to be more than a plaything or a piece of scenery; he could hope.

Two men who know nothing but being broken find that patience and acceptance are harder than losing hope. Is the leap of faith worth the reward of letting someone else in? Maybe they’ll find the strength to find out before the danger of Josh’s past tries to tear them apart.

J.M.Dabney writes broken people and does it well.  That’s never more apparent then here in their latest novel Not Another Statistic, the start of a new series, the Yuri Sorenson Mysteries.

I always look forward to a Dabney novel.  I anticipate the broken men, the horrific pasts, the abuse, the violence, and yes, the kink.  But I want to see how the author will spin it in a new story and situation and romance.  As this is the beginning of the series, Dabney is laying the groundwork, pulling in characters that I feel will form the sort of “found family” that surrounds the main characters the writer is so good at.    I can certainly see the beginnings of that here.

But with all things, it starts with the main couple.  It’s age gap and Daddy kink romance but of course that’s a superficial tag for the deeper story here.  One that covers domestic violence, child abuse, adult abuse, assault, body image, and a person so beaten down that they have come to equate pain and extreme punishment with admissions of love.  That is has occured to both men in different ways …well…the imprint of violence and the shattering of self has left its impact.  The author is able to show that devastation on both sides, despite the age differences and how it was delivered home.  It’s a brutal and realistic element here and if it’s one of your triggers, then you need to be aware of it.

The relationship between Yuri and Josh is formed rather quickly and that is usually a sticking point with me.  However, given their backgrounds, the circumstances under which they meet, and the events that follow, it feels that each fills a need for the other.  In other words, the author makes their case for the relationship and it works.    You can see the need, the healing response, so the timing seems less essential. Plus it’s really a HFN, given it’s the first in a series and the relationship is just starting out.

Once again, the suspense is great, the feel of the “city” gritty and true, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment holds for us and the characters.

If you like your romance with some mystery or murder, hot kinky sex, and damaged men in love, look no further than the latest new series from JM Dabney.  I definitely recommend Not Another Statistic (Yuri Sorenson Mysteries #1) by J.M. Dabney.

Cover art by JM Dabney.  That definitely looks like Yuri. Eye catching !

Sales Links: 

Universal Link – https://books2read.com/u/bw2vV0

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published September 24th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
ASINB07WJWJQL2
SeriesYuri Sorenson #1

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.

Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.

Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.

Aubrey never expected to be happy.

Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.

Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker was simply one of the most moving, heart felt romances I’ve read in a long time.  The combination of island, lighthouse, small town atmosphere, and memorable characters make this story one to carry in your heart for some time to come.

There’s also this almost intangible overlay of something magical, call it fate…call it the stars but N.R. Walker has cast a spell over her narrative so that this contemporary romance has a mystical feeling when the men need it the most.  Or perhaps when you least expect it, a touch of magic brushes over the story.

How these men need it and each other.  Walker has created two wounded souls in Patrick and Ethan.  Patrick lost his partner years ago to the sea and he has never recovered from the loss. Now he just goes about his life as the keeper of the local lighthouse at Hadley Cove, his romantic life nil. Ethan Hosking’s life has  gotten so dark, so full of despair and pain that he can’t see his way out until a fire and desperation points a way.  Using his grandfather’s telescope, it’s Aubrey Hobbs who walks out of the fire and eventually makes his way all the way to Hadley Cove and into Patrick’s life.

Walker’s ability to make us see the frailty of Ethan/Aubrey as he tries to ease his way into being a part of life at Hadley Cove is amazing.  You are there as Patrick slowly befriends the skittish new person in town, finds him a job, and in the  slow burn way, builds a trust that will allow the men to form a relationship and love.  And in turn, Ethan who now is truly becoming Aubrey teaches Patrick how to start to let go, grieve, and truly celebrate what he had with his first love.

Plus there’s all the secondary yet so important cast that is needed to shore up Aubrey’s recovery from his years of abuse into the person he’s becoming in Hadley Cove.  And the food that Patrick cooks  and serves up that’s simple but mouthwatering. The descriptions of the warmth of the hearth in the lighthouse and the cat that mourned and now accepts Aubrey.  It’s exemplary and all just means this book is beautifully written. Everything about this story will break your heart and put it back together again.

I just love it.  And it’s on my to be reread pile soon.  Yes, I highly recommend it.  I will leave you sighing and so happy for days after the book is done.

Cover art is perfect for the story. I wish I could have found the artist. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 313 pages
Published June 23rd 2018 by BlueHeart Press
Original TitleGalaxies and Oceans
ASINB07DZNX1LT
Edition LanguageEnglish