Friday, July 1, 2016

Release Day Review: The Mountains Bundle by PD Singer

Release Day Review: The Mountains Bundle by PD Singer

Fire on the Mountain

The Mountains: Book One
Take a break from academics, enjoy the Colorado Rockies, fight a fire now and then. That’s all Jake Landon expected when he signed up to be a ranger. He’ll partner with some crusty old mountain man; they’ll patrol the wilderness in a tanker, speak three words a day, and Old Crusty won’t be alluring at all. A national forest is big enough to be Jake’s closet—he’ll spend his free time fishing.
Except Old Crusty turns out to be Kurt Carlson: confident, competent, and experienced. He's also young, hot, friendly, and considers clothing optional when it’s just two guys in the wilderness. Sharing a small cabin with this walking temptation is stressing Jake’s sanity—is he sending signals, or just being Kurt? And how would Kurt react if he found out his new partner wants to start a fire of a different kind? Jake’s terrified—they have to live together for five months no matter what.
Enough sparks fly between the rangers to set the trees alight, but it takes a raging inferno to make Jake and Kurt admit to the heat between them.

Bonus Short Story: Into the Mountains
Long before he met Jake, Kurt Carlson climbed Yosemite with his best friend, Benji. But after a storm traps them halfway up the face of El Capitan, Kurt has to accept that their friendship isn't what he thought.

Snow on the Mountain
The Mountains: Book Two
Champagne powder snow, gorgeously groomed slopes, and elegant hotels draw the expert and the wealthy to the exclusive Wapiti Creek Ski Resort, but for Jake Landon and Kurt Carlson, the lure is work. A novice skier, Jake's been assigned to run the bunny lift, but Kurt’s afraid he’ll be stuck shoveling snow all winter. Instructing at a private ski school should be his dream job, but it brings giggles and sideways glances among their new friends.
All summer, Jake and Kurt were alone in the wilderness. If Jake wanted to stay in the closet, it didn’t matter. Now they have to navigate a relationship in public, where the five-year-old twins who’ve adopted Jake as their ski buddy are as big a nuisance as the ski patroller who has a crush on him. Would-be friends, vicious coworkers, and the perils of the mountain could mean the end for Kurt and Jake, but their biggest danger comes from each other.

Bonus story: Mistletoe on the Mountain
Jake’s agonizing over what to give Kurt for their first Christmas together—he knows what Kurt wants most can’t be gift wrapped.

Fall Down the Mountain
The Mountains: Book Three
Every night ski patrol Mark McAvoy relives the avalanche that took a life on his watch. Emotionally fragile and single by choice, he’s aghast at his friends’ taking charge of his social life. Hosting a potluck will at least provide him with a good meal.
Invited to the potluck on a whim, Allan Tengerdie catches Mark’s eye—and taste buds. This cuddly chef could be perfect for a lonely, too-thin skier; too bad Allan falls better than he skis. When Allan’s injured and frightened he’ll lose his catering company, he’s afraid to ask too much of a man he barely knows.
Mark wants to help but has his own problems. Was the avalanche a tragic accident or cold-blooded murder? His role in the inquiry leaves Mark in trouble at work, at the mercy of the law, and with too much time on his hands. If he clings tightly to Allan, will they be swept away together?

Bonus Story: Storm on the Mountain
A blizzard shuts down the ski resort, giving Mark a chance to show Allan he’s learned from his mistakes. Does he know Allan well enough now to say what’s in his heart?

Cross the Mountain
The Mountains: Book 3.2
Allan Tengerdie tumbles down easy ski slopes so often that he doesn’t believe Mark McAvoy’s assurances that he’ll enjoy cross-country skiing. Allan didn’t come to a fancy ski resort to trudge on the flats, but if a soft-in-the-middle chef has a chance to keep up with his ski patrol lover, he really ought to try.
Allan and Mark have a great time on the trails, but it’s pleasure for which Allan pays dearly. How will Mark convince him to go again?

Blood on the Mountain
The Mountains: Book Four
Jake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school—and the luxuries of electricity and running water—can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn’t have to come out. He doesn’t plan on Kurt’s vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.
“Your future, your fear, and me,” Kurt tells Jake. “You can have two of the three, so choose wisely.” Jake may have no choices left after they stumble on armed men guarding a beautiful but deadly crop that doesn’t belong among the pines and spruces. Angry men with guns are only one danger in the Colorado wilderness, and Jake’s reluctance to come out is now his smallest problem.
Kurt’s skills and Jake’s silver tongue may not be enough to get them out of this mess—how much of the blood shed on the mountain will be theirs?

Return to the Mountain
The Mountains: Book Five
Caddy Gary Richardson hungers for the lush life of the wealthy golfers he escorts around the course at Wapiti Creek. The contrast between his tiny trailer at the edge of a mountain town and the luxurious ski and golf resort is something he’s learned to live with but not like. Gary wants the fancy condo and late-model car not just for himself but for his childhood friend turned lover, Seth Morgan. He’d settle for security for the two of them, but even that seems out of reach.
Seth is content with Gary and enough spare cash for greens fees at municipal golf courses. Going pro is beyond his means, even if he plays well enough to win on the championship resort courses. Gary would do anything to fulfill Seth’s dreams, even things he’d rather keep to himself. When an unheard of opportunity knocks, Gary can answer or resign himself to living on tips from affluent tourists.
But Seth can’t live with that answer when it means his trust has been betrayed. He has to let go and hope the man he loves will find his way home.

Buy it at: 

Dreamspinner Press:

*** Copy of the bundle provided by the publisher to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***

Fire on the Mountain (Book 1)

Talk about slow burn. The main chunk of this story, which is told in Jake's POV is Jake lusting after Kurt and his belief that Kurt is straight and fearing what would happen if he knew Jake wanted him in that way. While in a way this was good because it allowed them to become friends before they attempted being together, it also made the story seem to drag a bit.  

While I enjoyed Kurt's character very much, I had a hard time connecting with him, which I think is due to the fact that we don't get his POV. Jake was overall a likable character, if not a little angsty. They definitely make a good couple and have good chemistry. Kurt is more easygoing and probably my favorite, while Jake is definitely more grounded which is a good match for Kurt. 

3.5 Stars!

Snow on the Mountain (Book 2)

Snow On The Mountain is the 2nd book in the Mountains series and picks up a few months after book 1 ends. Kurt and Jake are working at a ski resort where Jake, a novice skier, is assigned the bunny slopes lift and Kurt first struggles to find his place at the lodge. Soon Kurt gets what he thinks is a perfect job, however, it turns out to be more than he bargained for. 

While Kurt and Jake are happy in their relationship they are still trying to figure out exactly how it all will work. There are still struggles with coming/being out. Things aren't as easy as they may have imagined they would be.

I'm sorry to say that while I didn't hate Snow on the Mountain, I didn't love it either. I was happy to get not only Jake's point of view but Kurt’s as well this time around, but unfortunately, I just could not get into the story. I found it to be a little far-fetched and over the top. On the plus side, this is a fast, easy read, jam packed full of action. 

3 stars!

Fall Down The Mountain (Book 3)

Mark is the main focus of the third book in the Mountain series. This book picks up a little while after the events from book 2 and Mark is having a hard time getting past the avalanche and Ulf's death. Every night he's experiencing nightmares and is quickly losing sleep and not taking care of himself. 

Mark's friends can see that he's having problems and decide to step in and help. They plan a potluck at his house and invite a bunch of friends. Mark is not very excited at the prospect of everyone at his place but when he sees Allen, a local chef, things change. 

I'm going to be honest, this was not my favorite book in this series. I really didn't feel connected to the two MC's. I found Mark to be much too angsty for my taste. I really didn't care for Allen's character either and it didn't help that we didn't get his POV to get to know him better. 

On a positive note, the writing was good and the story seemed to fit with the others in the series. While it wasn't to my taste, I know that many will enjoy the opportunity to see Mark move past his crush on Jake and find someone for himself. 

3 Stars!

Cross the Mountain (Short 3.2)

Mark takes Allen Cross Country skiing for the first time. This is a short sweet story where Mark gets Allen on a set of Cross Country skis and Allen learns another one of Mark's favorite activities. 

4 Stars!

Blood on the Mountain (Book 4)

Blood on the Mountain is the 4th book in the series and is the return of our favorite rangers to where it all began. However, Jake's second season as a ranger doesn't go as easy and smooth as he'd hoped. Between decisions about Pharmacology school and coming out, Jake has a lot to think about and to make things even more complicated it seems as if he and Kurt stumble into trouble once again.   

This was definitely a great addition to the Mountains series and just as good if not better than the first. Again told from Jake's perspective, we are taken on a tense ride where the boys are in serious danger and there is a real possibility that they may not make it out intact this time. I found the situation far more realistic and thrilling than previous books in the series. 

Like on the first book, I really liked Kurt's character. Jake, however, frustrated me. I wanted so much for him to just wake up and get over his fears. There were many moments I just wanted to shake him silly.  

I loved the end and admit I couldn't stop smiling. When it all comes down to it, I adore Kurt and Jake together. This was a wonderful conclusion to this story. I definitely recommend Blood on the Mountain.  

4 Stars!

Return to the Mountain (Book 5)

While the 5th book in the Mountains books is quite different from the others in the series, I actually enjoyed it very much. Gary comes from an abusive home where his alcoholic father steals from him to fund his drinking habit. Seth has been Gary's best friend since they were kids and Gary feels very protective of him. When Seth gets in over his head with a guest at their job, Gary steps in and takes his place. 

Seth and Gary grow even closer, finally admitting how they feel about each other. Gary wants to give Seth a good life, the life he deserves, where money isn't such a huge hindrance. When he finds a way to do just that, he takes it. While he believes he's doing it for a better life for both him and Seth, he doesn't realize that Seth finding out the truth could destroy what they have.   

I have to say, I actually liked this book more than the others. I know that we only get a glimpse of one of the other Mountains' couples and for some that might be disappointing, but I honestly didn't mind. This was a much different kind of story, the themes were more serious, a little grittier. The characters were not as funny and sweet, but they were real. 

I adored Gary. He wanted so badly to get that better life, to provide for Seth. However, he didn't have the "I'm better than" attitude towards the people in his town or the town itself. He just didn't want his father's actions to negatively affect how people saw him. He was flawed, he was naive, he was downright stupid about certain things, but he truly did have the best intentions. 

Seth was sweet and likable, but again I had a problem connecting to him. I didn't really feel like we got to know him, not until the end when he showed more moxie and had more dialogue. He was a little too naive and oblivious to me, but I think he was good for Gary. 

Would I recommend it? Yes! You don't have to read the others in the series to enjoy Return to the Mountain. 

4.5 Stars!

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