A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Hawaiian Ginger (The Hawaiians #4) by Meg Amor

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Zane Andrews, a striking redhead and severely deaf dancer, has a love of pretty aloha dresses and girly feminine things. He comes from a poor, and extremely sheltered, cultish background. When he and Danny connect after the winning tango, things heat up quickly. But what about Zane’s relationship with Kaleho? Guilt eats at him and he wonders what he’s doing.

Danny’s a fourth-generation Hawaiian Big Islander, from the wealthy Lucerno ranching family. He’s a dark-haired, smoldering mix of Portuguese male and Argentine sensuality who was fighting his attraction to Zane. But even he can’t deny where his heart has taken him.

When Zane decides to face Kaleho, Danny disappears to Las Vegas. Zane’s worried he’s gone back to his old, glamorous life he had with Paolo. Has he lost Danny?

Zane’s first time on a plane to Vegas away from Hawai’i overwhelms him. And what if Danny rejects him? Then Zane’s past catches up with him. His abusive birth parents sue Danny and his adopted family, the Masterson-Mahikoas, sending everyone into turmoil.

Can they finally heal from the past abuse of dysfunctional family relationships? Will Danny and Zane be able to accept each other’s backgrounds, insecurities, and express their deep feelings for each other?

As Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) was Danny Lucerno’s story, Hawaiian Ginger (The Hawaiians #4) is Zane Andrews.  Zane, as we’ve come to know him, is one of Rob and Kulani’s lost boys (the Masterson-Mahikoas household now).  Zane is deaf, embraces both his male and feminine sides, especially true when it comes to dresses, makeup and jewelry, outward extensions of that part of himself that feels “girly” most of the time while still enjoying the fact that he’s male as well. Getting to know Zane has been an important and rewarding element of this series.  Amor has researched the speech patterns of those with the same level of hearing impairment as  Zane so his conversations “sound” as natural as one would expect from someone who’s severely deaf.  Another realistic narrative touch? That Zane’s thoughts flow as naturally as would someone with full hearing.  Only the misplaced words or misunderstandings make it into both inner and outer dialogs.  After four stories, Zane’s “voice” is one that lingers in my head and heart, complete with missed words and letters from his lip reading or hearing aids on the flux.

Throughout the series the author has given her readers tidbits and clues about each of the  “lost boys” backgrounds and reason for their initial homelessness before Kulani found them and made them into a family.  Here Zane’s history comes out (thankfully not explicit) to the extent that we start to comprehend the deep hell of abuse he suffered and survived.  I get the feeling that the elements left about his shaking, his sister,  and the compound might come out in future stories, something that makes me cringe and want to know more at the same time.  Either way, I don’t think we are done with the horror that is the Andrews family yet.

With Zane you get Danny as this story picks up after their competition and beginning of their romance.  Told from both  perspectives (important when you have a character as impetuous and insecure as Danny), the main focus is on Zane, his path towards self-acceptance and love, and perhaps, the final steps to making the Masterson-Mahikoas a complete family right down to an enchanting cat Mr. Beaumont.  It’s quite the journey, taking all of the family (Rob, Kulani, Zane, Danny and the Twins as well as Beau and Matty) off to New Zealand to see the grandparents and meet new cousins The Twos.  I have to admit the family trip to NZ is  one of my favorite elements here.  From the magical landscape, the two sets of grandparents (I won’t get into them here, but yes,  as grounded and heartwarming as you would want), an unforgettable Christmas beach vacation and two young men, The Twos, who surely we will see again when the twins get their own story.  It’s here that Zane finally gains acceptance and an insight into cultures  who embrace a third gender in their people.  Amor brings in cultures, family, mysticism and more for one more shining example why this series and this story has such depth and becomes what I consider a “must read” for everyone.

Finally, it’s both Zane and Danny’s story as they work through their issues of acceptance of each other while dealing with their own continuing emotional “ground tremors and earthquakes” left behind by their upbringings and childhoods.  Luckily they have their dads and plenty of support to help them through this rough passage.  Amor also delivers moving, emotional scenes guaranteed to leave you in tears time and again throughout Hawaiian Ginger.  How I adored this book!  The only reason I didn’t give this story a complete 5 star rating was that I thought the surplus of sex scenes at the beginning of the story kept the reader from diving into the plot and new relationship between Danny and Zane.  However, maybe that was the idea.  They were using the newness of their sexual relationship to keep them from talking to each other about the things they knew needed to be discussed.  And the author wanted us to see that as well as deliver some very hot sex!  But I found I wanted to jump right  into the heavier layers and save some of this for later.  But that was just me.

The final pages of this book left me cheering! You will be too.  I highly recommend Hawaiian Ginger and all the stories in The Hawaiian series by Meg Amor but they aren’t standalones and should be read in the order they have been published for the reader to get the full background, relationships and watch the character growth that occurs.  More stories are coming and I can’t wait to grab them up!

For those readers like me who can’t get enough of this family and series, don’t forget to check out Meg Amor’s Hawaiian Ginger page with the referenced flowers, locations, models etc.  It’s not to be missed either.

Cover art by Syneca Featherstone has some of the elements I love although that’s not really Zane I see in my head.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB072Q5J4CC
Series The Hawaiians

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians 3) by Meg Amor

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Danny’s a fourth-generation Big Islander from the wealthy Lucerno ranching family. He’s gorgeous–a mix of Portuguese male and Argentine passion, all dark-haired, smoldering sensuality. His family disowned him for being gay, and now he’s part of the Masterson-Mahikoa “lost boys” family.

When he meets the wealthy, sophisticated, sensuous Brazilian, Paolo Bastini, he’s swept off his feet into a glitzy Las Vegas lifestyle of money and luxury–the world he grew up in. But it takes Danny away from Hawai’i where his soul roams free and his family lives. He struggles as Paolo plays loosely with their partnership and thinks Danny is being “a baby” for wanting a monogamous relationship. And who is this past lover firmly wedged in Paolo’s heart?

Zane is severely deaf–finding new dance partners is hard. When he loses another one, Danny steps in to dance the tango competitions with him. Jealousy flares and things reach dangerous levels between Paolo and Danny. His adopted and birth family must bond together in a daring rescue of Danny from the depths of Brazil.

But he’s not completely out of danger. Now he’s fighting an attraction to the feminine Zane, who’s always annoyed him. Which man has his heart?

Well, here we are on book 3 of The Hawaiians and if you’ve been following my reviews, you know that I’m completely and utterly gone on these stories.  Totally besotted!  Hawaiian Fragrance just adds another layer of love.  Its Danny’s story.  Danny Lucerno is one of the “lost boys” of the Masterson-Mahikoa household, a group of older throwaway teens that one by one were found and gathered under one roof by Kulani Mahikoa (the Orchid).  It’s now a two dad household with Rob Masterson added (Hawaiian Lei).  Of course, in Meg Amor’s universe, no one is an island, literally. So while it is Danny’s story, its also Zane’s (another throwaway) and Zane’s connection to Danny,  Danny’s past tumultuous relationship (non existent at the present) with his birth parents as he calls them and the new man in his life, Paolo, who his family isn’t all that comfortable with.  So we get Danny, Zane, the twins (how I love them), Kulani and Rob, Matty and Beau, everyone who’s entwined in the lives of the Masterson-Mahikoa family.  The family dynamics, as complex as they are loving, have a real family feel to them.  Danny is older but when Rob and Kulani are arguing about Paolo and his relationship with Danny, the love and decisions on how to handle the situation feel both “fatherly” and responsible while still treating Danny as an adult.  I love the way the different situations are worked through here, the communication avenue is left open to the teens, letting them know at all times they are loved and safe, no matter their age.

Another thing I can’t get enough of?  The author’s love of Hawaii and her ability to envelope her readers with her deep affection by way of her vivid descriptions of the flora, fauna and locations around the BI.  It’s lush and tropical and I can almost see and smell the beautiful aromas coming through the pages…

I pull out from Banyans and drive us out to Honaunau on the South Kona coast. In the small town of Kainaliu, I stop and buy us a pink can each of Pass-O-Guava Nectar-POG-at Oshima Drug’s. Zane points at the “buying cherry” signs for the ripe red coffee berry, and we both fill our lungs and exhale loudly, laughing. We always do this when they’re roasting Kona coffee, and the rich scent fills the air. If we continue along Mamalahoa Highway, we’ll get whiffs of fresh hot oil frying local Kona Chips too but today we wind down Napo’opo’o Road.

I love this road; it always relaxes me. Lush jacarandas snow their purple blossoms everywhere, and the flaming orange flowers of the poincianas are popping. There’s thick tropical growth either side of the road, towering avocado trees, coffee farms, and ocean views around every curve, all the way down the hill.

We cut across the flat bottom road to Honaunau. It’s a good time of the day to be here. Not many people getting into the water at Two Step, mostly just locals catching a late afternoon swim or snorkel. The energy will be good for Zane too.

 

Ah, the combination of Danny and Zane.  Its Danny’s story, but it needs Zane too.  Zane’s deaf so his speech here is that of someone who is deaf.  No it doesn’t take any getting use to and in the acknowledgement and dedication, Amor explains the speech pattern she uses for Zane and the friend  she based Zane’s speech pattern on “… Janet from years ago who had never worn hearing aids. Sam heavily consulted on this book and the upcoming Hawaiian Ginger to give accurate portrayals of sounds, speech, and things that go wrong with hearing aids.”  To me, it makes Zane that much more authentic and real.  I love Zane and together with Danny, they have become two of my favorite character in this series.

Danny has a lot of things to work out here, emotionally, intellectually.  Parts of this story are suspenseful, gripping and gut wrenching.  I was not expecting that in this story.  Plus Amor throws in the wonderful element of dance.  Zane is a dancer, but so is someone else, totally unexpected. The beauty of expression and desire of a certain Latin dance is explored here and it’s so well done.  There were so many surprises here.

Really, the characters are so beautifully written, the storylines incredible and the locations from BI to Las Vegas to places I can’t tell you without spoiling it are wild, real and will make you want to take flight and be there (mostly).

Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians 3) by Meg Amor is a deep joy of a book.  Its has romance, family, suspense, and the possibility of a new love on the horizon.  It ends like a Fred and Ginger movie, lightly, lovingly, and getting us ready for the next one in the series, Hawaiian Ginger which is Zane’s story.  I have it now in my hands.  Review coming soon!  But if you haven’t found or started any of these great books yet, get started!  I love this  whole series and the author has promised more to come.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art by Syneca Featherstone is again gorgeous and as lush as Hawaii itself.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | AMAZON

Book Details:

ebook
Published May 2nd 2017 by Loose Id
ISBN13 9781682523568

Hawaiian Lei (The Hawaiians, #1)

Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians, #2)

Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians, #3)

Hawaiian Ginger (The Hawaiians, #4) coming soon

A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Lei (The Hawaiians 1) by Meg Amor

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

Beau Toyama, biplane pilot and flight instructor on the Big Island of Hawai’i has only been out for a year. His last relationship with a man was a disaster. When he meets Matt Quintal, who’s visiting his sister, he’s stunned by the instant attraction to him. But Beau’s afraid to ask for what he needs in a relationship; his anger frightens him. The “mixed plate” Hawaiian/Japanese/Tahitian man works on being Zen calm but Matt brings all his emotions to the surface. It uncovers a devastating secret from his childhood and deep shame that needs healing.

Matt Quintal, New Zealand painter has been living the wild gay life in LA. After one more night of soulless mechanical sex where his body is engaged but his emotions aren’t—he knows he needs a change. His sister wants him to come to Hawai’i for a visit; another big rock in the middle of the Pacific doesn’t seem like a solution but he has to do something. When he flies with Beau in his biplane, he feels a strong pull toward both man and plane that he can neither explain nor deny.

Matt’s a New Zealander, they’re encouraged to be tough, rugged and durable. He is, but he’s emotionally a wreck, afraid to show his emotions, so he’s surprised when Beau encourages him to be all of himself. Has he finally found the freedom to be the man he wants to be? The heat between the two men is like watching Pele let her hair down, releasing her hot, molten lava. Will the gorgeous Hawaiian with his long silky black hair and soulful brown eyes finally convince the gypsy nature in Matt to put down roots in another island culture?

First of all, let me say that if you can embrace or accept the possibility of the element of mysticism, that your ancestors in other  planes of existence are looking after you, that Astrology is real as is the ability to chart patterns in your life, then you will dive into this story with all your heart.  Hawaiian Lei with its characters Matt and Beau and their mixed heritages of Maori, Hawaiian, Tahitian, Japanese and more anchor this novel with their cultures, religions, their ancestral support and faith. Here you step firmly away from the Christian religious beliefs and into one of the Pacific cultures and it’s beautiful. And ugly and in the end full of redemption, hope, love and family.  It’s quite the journey.

Matt’s life is empty in California,  A dream and a call from his sister in Hawaii prompt his flight (literally) to her and something new. Rach, his sister, is adept at reading their charts and she knew he would be coming, his dream was the final push to send him on his way.  Once you land with Matt, give up and immerse yourself in their world where paths can be seen, owls and turtles are totems and their appearances are significant, and a quick meeting between two men does mean true love.  Its both magical and mundane and it totally works.  Its natural for everyone here to live in this way, so in tune with each other and nature that you will believe in it with your heart.

There are also some dark issues that Beau has to work through, he does with Matt’s help and that of a sacred healing ritual, Lomi Lomi, that plays out here.  The novel is full of terms from the various Pacific cultures represented here (it’s fascinating to see how tightly they are aligned).  There is also a small dictionary at the end that’s nice but the reader will pick up all the meanings in the story.

Hawaiian Lei is lush, vivid storytelling, rich in layers, nuanced characters (main and otherwise).  It speaks of family, recovery, and the ability to move forward after healing.   It has a heartwarming ending, full of elements that brings together  so many threads from throughout the story.  I just loved this.  And I highly recommend it.

Cover Artist:Syneca Featherstone. The cover art is beautiful and perfect.  I love it.

Buy Link: Amazon      | Loose ID          | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 231 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
Original TitleHawaiian Lei
ASINB00UUL7V1A
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Hawaiians #1