A MelanieM Review: Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2) by Neil S. Plakcy

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Storming Love- Kimo and MikeFormer competitive surfer and Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka is in his element in his home state of Hawaii. However, his partner, fire investigator Mike Riccardi, wants to head to the mainland for a ski trip and reunion with some old buddies of his. As a bitter storm rages outside the condo where they’re staying, one of Mike’s college buddies is feuding with his wife and the other is making sexy overtures to Kimo. Will these tensions ruin the vacation and perhaps even drive a wedge between Kimo and Mike?

Just those words Kimo and Mike, ok just Kimo, can make my heart flutter!  I have been in love with Kimo Kanapa’aka when I first met him in Neil S. Plakcy’s Natural Predators (Mahu #7) and started working my way back to the beginning of the series.  And with each story I fell deeper and deeper in love with this complicated, nuanced man.  Kimo is Hawaiian not just by blood but in the depth of his feelings and emotions. He has a large, extended family he interacts with daily, sometimes hourly depending upon the situation at hand.   Hawaii is at his center, it’s his heart and in a sense his stability.  Kimo heads into the surf when things get too painful or complicated, needing that to bring him peace and refocus him once more.

But here, Neil S. Plakcy removes Kimo from his safety zone and support system and takes him into the cold mountains in the mainland. In  Kimo and Mike,  the plot isolates Kimo and Mike from all but their vacation companions due to blizzard conditions.  Between the cold, Kimo’s inability to ski (which also removes him from the group), and the stressful couples they are with, things start to get shaky immediately.

I am such a Kimo fan that nothing can detract from any story he is a part of. But for readers new to Kimo and Mike, this short story conveys none of the enormous hurdles and obstacles (many of their own making) they had to overcome to become the couple they are when this story opens.  It happened over a number of books, not scenes and their relationship was borne out of enormous pain and anguish each caused the other.  Each man is gorgeous in his own multiracial way and people are always hitting on them but never with the history (ok almost never) of one of the  couples here.  Plus the stress is pushed to overload when the couples disagreements turn physical and Mike and Kimo must balance their professions with their partner’s needs.

This story ended too quickly for me.  Of course, I feel that way about all Kimo Kanapa’aka and his Mahu stories (Mahu is Hawaiian for homosexual).  This will give you just enough of a taste of this tantalizing couple to want more and send you to the first story Mahu (Mahu #1).  It’s a swift read yet it is sturdy in plot and strong in characterizations.  Add it to your TBR list today along with the other Storming Love: Blizzard stories.  If I was the type to say I ♥heart this book, well, then this is where it would happen. I ♥ this book!  Normally I wouldn’t do that. See what Neil S. Plakcy and Kimo make me do?

 

Cover artist: Kris Jacen does a nice job of branding the series although I could wish for a little more individualization as far as the couples go.

Sales Links:  MLR Books          All Romance (ARe)         Amazon         Buy It here

Book Details:

ebook, 35 pages
Published January 30th 2015 by MLR Press
ISBN13MLR1020140367
seriesStorming Love: Blizzard #2

Books in the Storming Love: Blizzard series are:

  • Jens & Elliot (Storming Love: Blizzard #1)
    Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2)
    Seth and Casey (Storming Love, Blizzard #3)
    Layne, River & Damion (Storming Love: Blizzard #4) by Vicktor Alexander (release date: 2/13/15)
    Gavin & Morgan (Storming Love: Blizzard #5) by Nicole Dennis (release date: 2/20/15)
    Stokes & Ford (Storming Love: Blizzard #6) by Jackie Nacht (release date: 2/27/15)

A MelanieM Review: Seth and Casey (Storming Love: Blizzard #3) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

STorming Love- Blizzard coverSeth Wild is a fire fighter who has lost everything when a building collapsed on him during a rescue, a rescue that went wrong.  Seth’s inability to handle his PTSD, his injuries and his refusal of help from anyone, including his partner Casey, cost him their relationship and their home together.

Casey, a school teacher, is on a field trip that his partner promised to help him conduct and chaperone…until a fire and Seth’s injury caused everything to fall apart.  Casey had hoped to try and reach Seth once more while out in the woods with the kids but Seth is a no show.

Then a freak storm puts Casey and Seth on a collision with each other and their future when Casey and the children are stranded in the blizzard and Seth is their only hope.  Seth is the last fire fighter left in town with his bum leg but when Casey calls for help he doesn’t hesitate. Seth always promised he would be Casey’s hero, but will he ever again be Casey’s love?

Seth and Casey is a wonderful story that easily could be enlarged to encompass Seth and Casey’s back history and romance.  As it is, RJ Scott moves the reader easily into the present day with an embittered Seth living alone in the house he shared with Casey and still refusing to accept any help with his recuperation or PTSD.  Most of the story unfolds from Seth’s point of view as the storm moves into the area and the flakes start to fall.

I loved how Scott shows us how out of touch Seth is with everyone around him.  The station house has been emptied because of accidents caused by the historic storm and the only person left behind is a scared rookie.  But Seth appears oblivious to the storm’s approach or the magnitude of the blizzard, something everyone else knows of because of news reports and being a part of the community.   Slowly Seth is jolted back to awareness as first he notices the number of missed phone calls from Casey he has gotten and then the trouble he is having navigating sidewalks and roads on his way to the fire station.  His bad leg is making his journey slow and awkward but that’s nothing to what he will face once Seth enters the firehouse.

Scott builds the suspense and drama with all the pace of a fast approaching snowstorm.  First just some flakes appear, then more and finally whiteout conditions, both in Seth’s emotions and the situation that Casey and the children find themselves in. And the scarier the storm gets the deeper and more gripping does the precarious situation become.  If Seth is to win out, he must navigate the obstacles around him, from the physical to the barriers he has raised in his own heart.  I loved Seth and Casey, rooting for them and their relationship every hard won step of the way.

This was the first story I read in the Storming Love: Blizzard collection and  if the others are like it, I can wait to grab them all up.  Pick up RJ Scott’s Seth and Casey as they make their way back to HEA!  I am on my way to Kimo and Mike!  Meet you there!  A highly recommended read!

Cover Artist Kris Jacen

Sales Links:  MLR Press          All Romance (ARe)     Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 6th 2015 by MLR
Buy All the Rest at MLR Books
seriesStorming Love: Blizzard #3

Books in the Storming Love: Blizzard series are:

  • Jens & Elliot (Storming Love: Blizzard #1)
  • Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2)
  • Seth and Casey (Storming Love, Blizzard #3)
  • Layne, River & Damion (Storming Love: Blizzard #4)  by Vicktor Alexander (release date: 2/13/15)
  • Gavin & Morgan (Storming Love: Blizzard #5) by Nicole Dennis (release date: 2/20/15)
  • Stokes & Ford (Storming Love: Blizzard #6) by Jackie Nacht (release date: 2/27/15)