Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blog Tour and Review: Mockingbird Place by Kris Cook

Series: A Mockingbird Place

Novels Included: The Marine in Unit A, The Cowboy in Unit E, The Fireman in Unit C, The Doctor in Unit H, The Fighter in Unit J

Author: Kris Cook
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Available Now

The Marine in Unit A: “A very nice read that I totally enjoyed. I will read more by this author especially this series.” - Inked Rainbow Reads
The Cowboy in Unit E: “Yes, I recommend the series. Smokin' hot and smart men who are not afraid to expose their feelings or get in touch with their emotional side. Well done, again, Mr. Cook! I look forward to the next book - impatiently!“  - Happily Ever Chapter
The Fireman in Unit C: “Kris Cook gives us another issues driven story that his Mockingbird Place Guys must deal with to get their lives settled.” - Amazon Review
The Doctor in Unit H: “This story is riveting and I read it from start to finish without putting it down! Kris takes you on a journey with his words - enjoy!!!!!!!” - Amazon Review
The Fighter in Unit J: “A story of love triumphing over the sorrows of the past!! From the beginning to the end there are surprises that you don't see coming. Mockingbird Place is my dream home!” - Amazon Review

The man who has been more of a dad to me than my biological father is dead.
He rescued me from the streets six years ago—a runaway teenage boy, escaping a family who thought I was an abomination.
Now what do I do? I have no one.
My life might look great from the outside. I’m in college. I have my own apartment. I have lots of friends.

But I’m dying on the inside.

I feel so alone. Lost. Hopeless.

I’m not the kind of person to wallow in self-pity. I need a distraction.

The guy moving into Unit A may be just what I need to take my mind off of losing my dad.

21-year old Oliver Lancaster is attracted to 22-year old Adam Stockton, the former-Marine moving into Unit A. But attraction for the closeted man morphs quickly into something deeper, something meaningful, something that terrifies Oliver. What will happen if Adam learns about the secret from his past?

Warning: contains skinny dipping, two hot men kissing, and sexual situations taking place in a 10-unit Mediterranean complex filled with college-aged hotties.

The good news is the most gorgeous cowboy I've ever seen is moving in next door to me. The bad news? He's not alone. Hanging on his arm is a very pregnant woman. Are they a couple? It sure looks like they are. So not only is he not gay, but he also has a girlfriend, or a wife, or whatever. Just my luck.
21-year old Trace Cotton is an artist who never shows his paintings to anyone. When cowboy Luke Wagner moves into Mockingbird Place with a very pregnant Ava, Trace believes he must fight his attraction to Luke since he’s taken.
When Ava collapses outside Trace’s apartment, he comes to her rescue. Things aren’t what they seem on the surface, but when Trace finds out the truth will it be too late for a chance at something real with Luke? 

Warning: contains hot showers with singing, two sexy men kissing, and sexual situations taking place in a 10-unit Mediterranean complex filled with college-aged hotties.

A serial arsonist sets fire to the unit next to Jackson’s apartment—the unit the sexy fireman Eli lives in. 
Things really heat up when Jackson offers Eli a place to stay until Unit C is livable again. Jackson, being OCD, requires everything in his life to be neat and orderly, but Eli’s life is chaotic and messy, especially because of the man’s ex, who keeps pushing his way back into the fireman’s life. Living with Eli turns out to be much more than he bargained for. As much as he would love to just throw caution to the wind, Jackson believes it is best to keep things between him an Eli on the friend level. Nothing more. But an unexpected kiss rocks his world and he must figure out the real reason he’s terrified of the feelings Eli is bringing out in him. 
Will Jackson see that a future with Eli can help him let go of the guilt from his troubled past?

Jackson McAllen – Unit D
After spending several hours at the university’s library studying for my forensic psychology test next week, I drive away from the campus, anxious to get into my apartment and warm bed. Though I love the class, the amount of required reading has kept me very busy.
Thankfully, I don’t have any classes on Fridays this semester, so I can sleep in tomorrow. I’ll need the rest for Saturday’s tennis match. The new coach doesn’t believe in canceling no matter the weather. I really hope the forecast for the weekend is correct. We’re supposed to have clear skies and temperatures in the sixties. That will be a relief since this entire week has been so cold, especially today, which is the coldest.
The car is registering the outside temperature at ten degrees below freezing. It gives me a chill just looking at it.
I pull into my parking space at Mockingbird Place, my home sweet home. Bracing myself to face the cold, I open my car door and immediately smell smoke.
I look around and see where it’s coming from. Shit. It’s Eli’s apartment.
God, I hope he’s at the fire station working and not inside.
I call 9-1-1.
The dispatcher answers, “9-1-1. What’s your emergency?”
“I’m reporting a fire at Mockingbird Place.” I give her the address. “Unit C. I’m going to run to the door and make sure no one is inside.”
“Sir, for your safety you need to wait until the fire department gets there,” she says in a stern voice.
As I’m running, I tell her, “No way am I waiting.” At Eli’s door, I try to turn the knob. It’s locked. I pound as hard as I can. “Eli! Eli! Are you in there?”
My neighbors come out of their apartments. More smoke billows out the front window. I see that it’s broken. This could be arson. That realization multiplies my worry. Where the hell are you, Eli?
“I know I’m not supposed to hang up on you, ma’am, but I have to call my friend to make sure he’s okay.” Not waiting for her to respond, I click off of 9-1-1 and call Eli’s phone.
Sirens begin to wail in the distance.
Fuck. No answer.
Out of the corner of my eye I see something move. Hoping that it’s Eli, I turn and see the white stray cat that we’ve all adopted running down the sidewalk.
I knock even louder. “Eli!”
Suddenly, the door opens, releasing a massive amount of smoke. Eli rushes out with a towel around his waist and another covering his mouth. 
“Eli, are you okay?”
Coughing, he puts his arms around me. “Yes, I am.”
I’m overwhelmed with relief that he is safe, but I’m feeling so much more that I can’t explain. There’s no time to sort out these thoughts right now.
Eli coughs a few more times and then his demeanor goes into fireman mode. “Jackson, we need to step away from the building. It’s too dangerous. Please help me get everyone back.” He doesn’t wait for me but begins lifting his hands and motioning everyone to the other side of the pool. Following his lead, I do the same, directing our neighbors away from the fire.
Once he’s satisfied that everyone is safely away from the blaze, I take off my coat and give it to him. Then he and I run around to the back of Mockingbird Place and meet a fire truck, an ambulance, and a police car, which are pulling into the parking lot next to our units.
The firemen jump out and get to work like a well-oiled machine, pulling out the hoses and other equipment.
Still coughing, Eli steps over to the man in charge, who is broad shouldered with salt and pepper hair.
“Grayson? What the hell are you doing here wrapped in a towel?” the man asks.
“It’s my place, Captain,” Eli chokes out. “I was in the shower when I heard glass breaking and smelled gasoline. I ran downstairs and saw my sofa and curtains go up in flames. I grabbed my fire extinguisher from under the kitchen sink and tried to put out the blaze but it was already out of control.”
“Damn arsonists. This is the fifth fire we’ve had to deal with in the past two weeks.”
I curl my hands into fists, angry about the attacks on gays that have occurred in the area. First it started out as bashing. Eleven LGBT people ended up in the hospital. After the police increased their presence down on Cedar Springs, that’s when small apartment complexes around the area, like ours, were set on fire. Although there has been no evidence connecting the bashings to the arsons, the entire community is on edge.
The captain motions to the EMTs to come over. “He’s one of ours. Inhaled some smoke. Take good care of him.” He turns to Eli. “We are getting this under control. You know the drill. Stay put.”
“Yes, sir.”
As the EMTs give Eli oxygen and provide him blankets, the captain and his team put out the blaze.
“I’m fine, fellas.” Eli seems far from fine to me, at least not emotionally, which is no surprise considering all he’s gone through.
Even so, he’s still the perfect example of male beauty. He’s six-foot-one, just like me. Muscles for days. Piercing blue eyes. Thick, dark hair. Just like the old cliché says—tall, dark, and handsome. He looks like a very strong, tough guy, but still, who would be fine after their home caught on fire? I hate that this has happened to him.
A little while later, the captain walks over to us. “Eli, the good news is we were able to keep the fire from spreading to your second floor. The bad news is everything in your living room is toast. And you know the kind of water damage you’re going to have to deal with.”
“Yes, sir.” He sighs. “And the smoke damage too. The adjoining unit has a couple who are expecting a baby. I’m going to need help finding them a place to stay. Lashaya can’t take a chance breathing in the residual smoke.”
“You may be jumping the gun,” I tell him. I know how terrific a guy Eli is—always concerned about everyone else more than himself. “There might not be any smoke in their place. If there is, we’ll all work on getting them settled until it’s safe for her to return to their apartment.”
He nods. “I’m just glad no one got hurt.”
“We did find the remains of what looks to be a Molotov cocktail in the middle of your apartment,” the captain says. “Before you can get inside the investigators will have to go over your place first.”
Eli closes his eyes. “Maybe they’ll find a clue to who did this.”
Of course he’s still struggling with what has happened. Who wouldn’t be?
“I’m sorry but you’re not going to be able to stay here.” The captain puts his arm around him. “You can stay at the station until this gets all sorted out. I know it might be hard to get much rest but at least you’ll have a clean bed and a shower.”
Everything inside me wants to help Eli. “Why don’t you stay with me? I have the extra bedroom now that Trace is living with Luke, Ava, and the baby. And you and I are about the same size. I have plenty of clothes you can wear.” I don’t want him to think I’m only offering as a gesture of charity, so I add, “And quite frankly, I could use the company. I’ve been a little lonely since Trace moved out.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I am. The first thing we need to do is get you out of the cold.”
He shakes his head. “I’d rather stay here until the fire is completely out.”
Knowing I would feel the same way if it were my place on fire, I nod. “Okay. But I’m going to get something for your bare feet. I’ll be right back.”
I run into my place and up the stairs. I pull out a pair of slippers from my closet. 
As I rush back to Eli, I see the fire is already under control. The captain is talking with two police officers, a male and female. I also spot Sarah and Martha, who we lovingly call S & M, giving the firemen coffee and hot chocolate.
I hand the slippers to Eli. “I hope these fit you.”
“My feet feel like icicles. Thanks, Jackson.” Putting them on, he smiles. “Perfect, buddy. Already feel better. But let me give your coat back. You must be freezing too.”
I was so concerned with getting him the slippers I didn’t think about grabbing a coat for myself. “I’m fine. Keep it, Eli.”
The captain leads the police officers to us. “This is Eli Grayson. Eli, they have a few questions they need to ask you.”
“I’m Detective Soliz,” the female officer says, and then motions to her partner. “And this is Detective Morrison.”
I recall what the outside temperature registered on my car earlier. Ten degrees below freezing. “Officers, I know you have to ask him questions but could we please go inside my place so he can warm up?” I point to my back door. “I live next door to him.”
Soliz nods. “Of course. Lead the way.”
Once we’re all settled into my apartment, I turn up the heat and put on a pot of coffee. I wish my friend Detective Derek Stone could take Eli’s statement. But Derek only works homicides.
“Mr. Grayson, I understand Captain Murphy told you about his suspicions that this could be arson,” Soliz says.
“Yes he did.”
“Do you have any idea who might have done this?”
“No. I don’t have any enemies that I know of.”
Morrison asks, “Have you had an argument with anyone recently?”
Eli shrugs. “I did have an argument with my friend Scott a couple of days ago, but that’s not unusual. We’ve been arguing with each other since I kicked him out, but I’m certain Scott’s not capable of this.”
Of course the bastard is capable of this and so much more. Why can’t Eli see the guy for who he truly is?
Soliz looks directly at Eli. “What were you arguing about, Mr. Grayson?”
“Same old thing. He wants me to forgive him and take him back.”
We all know the asshole cheated on him, even if Eli has never said so. I saw Scott making out with a guy at a club when he was still living with Eli. And despite Eli breaking it off with the bastard and kicking him out, the creep somehow is able to make Eli feel sorry for him.
I bring out a tray with coffee, cups,  cream, and sugar. “Officers, would you like some coffee? It’s freezing out there.”
“I sure would,” Morrison says.
Soliz smiles. “Me, too. Thank you.”
“What about you, Eli?” I ask him.
“Please. I’m still cold.”
After taking a sip of coffee, Soliz turns back to Eli. “What’s your friend’s full name, Mr. Grayson?”
“Scott Foster.”
“Do you have his address and phone number?” she asks.
“I do. In my cell.” Eli frowns. “Oh shit. It was on the table next to my sofa. Um…Scott lives in a condo on Cedar Springs not far from Oak Lawn. I think they’re called Whispering Pines.”
“Whispering Pines?” I’m stunned. “Those are really nice.”
“Where does Mr. Foster work?” Soliz asks Eli.
“He just started working part time at the 7-Eleven on Lemmon a couple of weeks ago.”
I wonder how in the hell his ex can afford to live in an upscale condo. Is Eli subsidizing him?
Eli takes a sip of his coffee. “But like I said before, Scott isn’t capable of such a crime.”
“But he certainly is a big jerk,” I blurt out and immediately wish I could take it back. “Sorry, Eli. You know none of us here like Scott after all he did to you.”
“What is your name?” Soliz asks me.
Damn it. I should have kept my mouth shut. “Jackson McAllen.
“What can you tell us about Mr. Foster?”
“I don’t really know him. I only saw him a few times when he and Eli were still together.”
She leans forward. “And?”
“And I don’t care for him.”
“Can you elaborate?” Morrison asks in a I-mean-business-so-don’t-try-to-bullshit-me tone.
“I’ve seen him throw a drink in Eli’s face, scream at Eli at a club, and throw Eli’s clothes in the pool.” Rage rolls up inside me. Why can’t Eli see his ex is a useless piece of shit? “Scott Foster is a total asshole.”
Soliz glances at her partner and then turns back to me. “Are you and Mr. Grayson dating now?”
“No, we are not,” Eli jumps in. “Jackson and I are only friends.”
His words sting me. “Right. Just friends.”
“I don’t understand why you’re wasting time, officers,” Eli says. “Stop trying to pin this on Scott. I told you, he’s not capable of this.”
The male officer’s eyebrows rise. “Have you heard the saying from Hamlet ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’?”
Is Morrison referring to Eli’s ex being the arsonist or that Eli and I should be together? God, I wish Eli and I could be more than friends. I like him. I like him a lot. But he and I wouldn’t work. His life is too complicated and messy for me. Blame it on my OCD. I must have things simple and orderly.

Maddox Butler
Some people say you can’t fall in love at 18. But I did. And the man of my dreams? Jaris Black. He was also 18.
Our first year at medical school we moved in together. It was…perfect.
I haven’t seen or talked to him in six years. But I’ve never stopped thinking about him. Jaris is a very successful doctor, which is no surprise to me. Still living in Unit H at Mockingbird Place.

God, how I’ve missed him.
I won’t drag Jaris into the chaos that is my life. No. I won’t. But my mother who is dying has requested to see him. They were so close. Still are.

I had to honor Mom’s wish. I called him and he’s arriving in an hour. Can I keep my feelings hidden from him? I need to, for his sake.

Will it take a miracle for this Episcopal priest and MMA fighter to fall in love? 
I call him Anthony, though everyone else calls him Tony. Why? Because I know there’s more to this rude, obnoxious, sullen, sexy man. Anthony totally mesmerizes me. He’s like a drug habit I can’t quit. I’m a priest. I should know better. 
We are friends. Or were. I guess he felt safe with me since I’m a priest. But when he learned that my church is welcoming to gays and that it even has gay priests, he backed off. I haven’t been totally honest with him about my feelings, but I’m sure he senses them. 

He’s incredible in the fighting cage and wins all his fights. Before Anthony, I never cared for boxing, let alone mixed-martial arts fights. But now? I’m enthralled every time I see him battle it out with an opponent. What does he whisper to them before he pummels them to the mat? I wonder. 

Why does he keep his guard up with everyone, especially me? He’s pushed me away at every turn. He’s made it crystal clear that he doesn’t believe in anything. Not God. Not anyone. Not even me. 

I should just walk away. But I just can’t. Every time I look into his eyes something overwhelming and undeniable pushes me to keep holding on to hope. Is there a chance for us or is it just a fool’s fantasy? 


I like sex, but making love? That’s not in the cards for me. If a guy wants more from me than wild, sweaty sex… I move on. There’s plenty of others to choose from. 
I don’t let people in. It never works out. Never. 
I made a mistake opening up to Stephen when he moved into Mockingbird Place. Why do I like him so much? He’s a priest. Father Stephen. And he believes in things I see as fairy tales. I have my reasons. I’ve seen the darkest parts of humanity, and I didn’t see any divine light breaking through. 

I’ve iced him out. I know what he wants, and I can’t give it to him. I’m not white-picket anything. Never will be. But I can’t get him out of my mind. It’s driving me crazy. The only thing I know to do is to shut out everything and jump back into the cage. That’s the only place it gets really quiet for me and I can forget for a few precious moments.
This series as a whole consists of 5 hot and steamy short reads by Kris Cook. 

Overall each one for different reasons. Even though the author's intent was to present short reads, I felt like almost every story was rushed. Things moved quickly between the characters and it occasionally lacked natural progression.

The 'love' scenes played out the same way in every book, taking what could be a steamy read, to just mediocre. It left some to be desired. Overall, I still enjoyed reading this series.

This is series that must be read in sequence.

The Marine in Unit A - 3.5 Stars

In the first book to this series we meet Oliver and Adam. Oliver is mourning the loss of the man who saved him and raised him like his own when he was just a snot nosed kid. Malcom's loss is felt by all of the residence at Mockingbird Place. Adam is the newbie who is moving into Maclom's old unit. Out of all the residences, Oliver seems the least fond of Adam initially but they all pull together to help their newest neighbor move in when his 'friend' and help bails.

Once they're in close quarters there seems to be an instant attraction between the two. One that Adam vehemently denies. Oliver befriends him and is convinced that he can swag Adam to see things his way. Adam is hell bent on reminded Oliver at every turn that it's not happening, they're just friends.

Quickly they uncover each other's deepest secrets and pour their hearts out. When Adam's mother comes to visit, it's as if their relationship hits fast forward. Adam wastes no time exposing his sexuality, not just to his mom but to his old fashion, straight and narrow Grandfather. Oliver goes next, telling these 'strangers' his darkest secret, one that he wanted to keep hidden from Adam.

The story line is great. I admire the heck out of Oliver and what he's trying to do with the LBGQT community. And the awareness the author is trying to bring to the table. There was potential for more though. It's a strong story, one that could have been made better by giving the readers a little bit more.

One click this 3.5 star read today.

The Cowboy in Unit E - 4 stars

Out off all five books, I think this one may have been my favorite. I felt like it was the most developed out of all the books.

Oliver has moved on, and moved out of Unit J to move into Unit A with his lover Adam. Mockingbird Place welcomes it's newest residence, Luke and Ava. Trent is instantly hit with a case of lust after the striking cowboy. Except there is one problem, he's straight and has a pregnant lover living with him.

Trent settles for just friends with the hunky cowboy and takes Ava into his circle.

When Luke lays one on him, Trent is instantly pissed and thinks they've both betrayed Ava. Until the truth comes out and Luke confirms, Ava is not his. Luke's nobleness keeps him from getting involved with Trent, even though they both want it. Instead he has this idea that he's going to save Ava and give her what she needs for herself and the baby.

One click this 4 star read today.

The Fireman in Unit C - 4 Stars

In this book we meet Trent's old roommate - Jackson.

He's got a past that haunts him and OCD that sets him on edge sometimes.

Eli in Unit C, the smoking hot firefighter has caught his eye and has been the object of his affection for sometime. Eli just doesn't know it.

When an arsonist target's Eli, torching his apartment and leaving him homeless, Jackson is all to eager to have his friend move in with him. Things develop between the two but just when they might be able to move on together, Eli's ex shows up and has Eli and Jackson questioning everything.

I enjoyed this one a lot as well. There was depth to the plot with the arson and the angst with the ex. In this one, I feel like the author has hit his stride. It has the potential to be a full length novel.

One click this 4 star read next!

The Doctor in Unit H - 3.5 stars

This one was little bit harder for me to get into. The transition between past and present wasn't as smooth as it could have been and made the story feel choppy.

I understand this is a work of fiction but the situation with Dr. Jaris Black and how he swoops in to play hero for his ex and the love of his life, Maddox's mother... it's not convincing and leaves a huge margin of error.

With this book you can certainly tell the that author is all puppies and rainbows and while there may be tragedy, everyone gets a HEA.

No one ever likes to see a character die, but this one could have been a little more real life. The time from which Jarvis steps and and Maddox's mother is 'cured' is rushed as is Maddox's return to medical school and his MD.

The potential is there to make this a great read, it just needs more (accurate) detail. Also Jarvis is so heartbroken over Maddox but the minute they are back together it's insta love and no real resolution of their pasts.

3.5 stars for this read. Grab a copy today to follow along with Mockingbird Place.

The Fighter in Unit J 3.5
What's hotter than a bad boy fighter and a priest?

This one could lean on the verge of taboo, but it doesn't. It was tastefully written and showed that even a man of the clothe is human and desires love too.

As with the previous read, there were some discrepancies that I felt like could have been corrected. It's nice to see people being so accepting but I find it hard to believe an entire church would be ok with their leader being gay. Showing the real life struggles and conflict would have made this story more developed and real.

Stephan and Anthony both want each other but Anthony refuses to let him in. He sees Stephan's religion as one of the biggest reasons why they'd never work.

When his past comes to life, can Stephan help him through the tunnel of darkness. Will they both finally give in to their hearts?

One click this 3.5 star conclusion to the Mockingbird Place
Five short novels make up the Mockingbird Place series by Kris Cook. It starts with the premise that the man who started the apartment complex, Malcolm, wanted a safe haven for anyone that found themselves facing hate. Most of the people at Mockingbird Place are gay, but not everyone is. 

The stories are meant to be quick reads, however, in many cases that equaled a rushed story line. In addition, the loves scenes in each book all follow the same progression, and while they could be considered steamy for the most part, they lacked something and started to become predictable. That said, the series is an enjoyable read, with some stories better than others. I'll review each one, but be aware that while each one can be considered a standalone, the series really does need to be read in order. 

#1 - The Marine in Unit A - 4 stars
Oliver is jaded and is pissed off that someone dare to interrupt the memorial series the tenants at Mockingbird Place are having for their deceased, beloved, Malcolm. When he goes to tell the newcomer off, he stops short and is instantly attracted to him. 

Adam didn't realize that a memorial service was going on when he decided to move in, but there is something about Oliver - not that he would ever admit that. He is so far in the closet, the last thing he wants to do is show what he's hiding in his. Not only is he gay and doesn't want to admit it, he only barely survived the war and has the scars from that -- physical and emotional. 

They can't come together, but they can't fight their attraction either. They both need to overcome their pasts in order to find a way to be together. 

I give this one 4 stars. It is a good start, and while there were elements that were rushed, I loved Oliver and Adam's story. 

#2 - The Cowboy in Unit E - 3.5 stars
Luke moves into Mockingbird Place with a pregnant woman. What else is Trace supposed to think except they are a couple. Too bad, because Trace is attracted to him and can't stop thinking about him. And it pisses him off that Luke tries to flirt with him all of the time. Is he gay and pretending to be straight or what? 

Luke likes Trace and can't understand why he won't take the bait. After finding out the reason, Luke pulls back and now believes he needs to take care of Ava, his very pregnant roommate. Can he forget about Trace though?

While I enjoyed the story, there was a slight disconnect for me. Ava got on my nerves a little and so did Luke. I did like Trace though, and his backstory broke my heart. 3.5 stars. 

#3 - The Fireman in Unit C - 4 stars
I have to say that this one was one of my favorite stories. I liked how it flowed, and the build up between Jackson and Eli. They have liked each other for a while now, and I liked how it wasn't just instalove between them. I think it still rushed some things, but the story was good and the mystery/suspense thrown in, gave this one an added oomph. 

Jackson is a college student and has been attracted to Eli for a while. What he doesn't know is that Eli feels the same. When Eli's unit is targeted and set on fire, Jackson has to save him. But this isn't the last act of hate against the fireman. Someone is out to get him, but who? Will it bring the student and fireman together, or will it tear them apart?

#4 - The Doctor in Unit H - 3.5 stars
Jaris has had only one love of his life and he refuses to give up on him...even if he is in jail for a crime he didn't commit. He is shocked when he gets a call from that very man asking him to come visit his sick mother. 

Maddox wanted to sever all ties from Jaris, but when his sick mother asked him to call, he had no choice. Whatever happens, he cannot let his walls down around Jaris because Jaris deserves better than him. Yes, he was sent to jail. No, he didn't do it, but proving it will be next to impossible, and he no longer believes in faith or hope. Or so he says.

I liked this one, but it did flip between past and present and sometimes the transitions were not as smooth as it could be. I kind of believe it was the word count and trying to keep it novella length. It did have a good story and progression, and it also has the instalove. Some parts of the story were rushed and not as developed as I would have liked, but overall, it was still enjoyable. 3.5 stars, but leaning towards 4.

#5 - The Fighter in Unit J - 3 stars
This story had the perfect set up to be so much more than it became. This is my favorite couple, and I'm sad to say that the story let me down. Not only was it rushed to the point of frenzied, but it jumped and skipped with a lot of back and forth. Holes were left and I was left wanting more because the story feels somewhat lacking and incomplete. 

Stephen is a priest at one of the local Episcopal parishes and is gay. Tony is a MMA fighter who is haunted by his past, and he is also Maddox's little brother. Stephen wants more from Tony than he is willing to give, and Tony doesn't believe he can be in a real relationship. Will they find a way to overcome? Why is Tony fighting so hard? 

I am not one to say that people can't change when something major happens, but it is a 180 degree turnaround in a split second. No arguments, no fighting it. Everything is just BAM, and I think it needs more development. I do love this couple and I wished their story was more instead of a wrap-up session. 3 stars.

I did like this series and give the entire thing 3.5-4 stars. If you like quick reads and M/M, then check it out for yourself. 

Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I’ve been out since I was twenty-five." A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris' influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Last year, Kris married the love of his life Stephen.