Monday, January 16, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Fire and Hail (Carlisle Cops Book 5) by Andrew Grey

Release Day Review ~ Fire and Hail (Carlisle Cops Book 5) by Andrew Grey (+Series Review)

Title: Fire and Hail

Series: Carlisle Cops: Book Five
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

Brock Ferguson knew he might run into his ex-boyfriend, Vincent Geraldini, when he took his first job as a police officer in Carlisle. Vincent’s attitude during a routine traffic stop reminds Brock why their relationship didn’t last.
What Brock doesn’t expect is finding two scared children in the trunk of a Corvette. He’s also surprised to learn the kids’ mother is Vincent’s sister. But his immediate concern is the safety of the two children, Abey and Penny, and he offers to comfort and care for them when their mother is taken into custody.
Vincent is also shocked to learn what his sister has done. For the sake of the kids, he and Brock bury the hatchet—and soon find they have much more in common than they realized. With Abey and Penny’s help, they grow closer, until the four of them start to feel like a family. But Vincent’s sister and her boyfriend—an equal-opportunity jerk—could tear down everything they’re trying to build.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Book 5, Fire and Hail, brought the heartbreak early. New police officer, Brock started his first day on the job by pulling over his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, for speeding and then being the person that rescued two young children from the trunk of a car in the next traffic stop. What he doesn't expect is that the driver of the car, and mother of the children, is Vincent's sister. Donald and Carter take the children into their home as an emergency placement, and work with Vincent so he can become temporary guardian of his niece and nephew. Brock hasn't forgiven Vincent for ending their relationship when they were younger, but for the sake of the kids, he's willing to overlook his feelings and do what's best for them. But spending the time together and with the children forces Vincent and Brock to acknowledge what went wrong previously and what they both want now.

Brock and Vincent were both great characters. Their relationship ended previously because Vincent couldn't come out to his parents and both men regretted the end of the relationship. They've both matured and are ready for a commitment but they both have baggage they need to deal with. And, in Brock's case, that baggage is going to tie into the many issues Vincent's sister faces. Honestly, I loved that the two men were able to work through their issues, accept where they went wrong, and move on. There was no throwing it in the other's face, no continuous sniping and snarking, no using it as a weapon. It happened, they worked through it, the end.

The author did a fantastic job, again, of showing the foster care system. He accurately portrayed the work of child service workers, caregivers and the process of working towards reunification. He gave insight into a system that can be confusing to those who have never experienced it and may question why it works the way it does.

And I admit, I'm a sucker for kids in a story. Sure, sometimes they don't really work into a story, but in this series, they are just the perfect additions. I love watching all these men creating their families and seeing that the kids have such a strong part in drawing these men together. I can't recommend this whole series enough! If you like books about hope, overcoming adversity, strength, friendship, love, and family, then this series is one you must read!

Rating: 5 stars!

Carlisle Cops Series Review:

Fire and Water

Carlisle Cops: Book One

Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.

Overhearing one of the officer’s comments about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.

Red and Terry’s worlds collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

The Carlisle Cops Series by Andrew Grey is set in a small town in Pennsylvania. There are currently five books in this series, and I was very fortunate to be given a chance to read all five books in it. If you've read my previous reviews, you'll know I'm a fan of Andrew Grey's. There is just something about his stories and his men that just makes my heart sigh in happiness every time I read one of his books.

In the first book, Fire and Water, police officer Red takes a call to a drowning accident at the local Y. Red survived a car accident that killed his parents as a teenager, and he has the visible scars to prove it. Between the scars and his size, Red is very uncomfortable in his skin and hates the attention he gets. When he arrives at the pool, he instantly notices the blond, perfect, hot lifeguard who he interviews about the drowning. On his way out, he overhears both lifeguards making derogatory remarks about his scars. A fellow officer also overhears the negative comments, and makes sure that lifeguard Terry overhears his assurance to Red that he's just shallow. The comment about being shallow gets Terry's attention and he starts questioning himself. He decides he needs to make changes to himself. With encouragement from a fellow lifeguard, Terry begins delivering meals to seniors in the town. At the end of the route, he's surprised to see the door opened by Red. Red's aunt refuses to let Terry leave and insists he has dinner with her and Red. Even though Terry is starting to see Red instead of his scars, he's not free from his past and he's going to need Red's help.

Terry and Red were perfect for each other. Terry helped bring Red out of his shell, and helped him accept his scars. Red was able to make Terry see that he wasn't superficial and shallow. Together the men brought the best out of each other. They had instant chemistry but a relationship took longer to develop. This story was about more than their relationship though, we saw a lot about Red's job and the issues the police force were fighting with the drug issues. We also got to meet a lot of Red's co-workers which is great since they're future stories.

This was a highly enjoyable read with lots of steaminess between Red and Terry, but also action, a little mystery, and friendship. You definitely need to check out this series!

Rating: 5 stars!

Fire and Ice 

Carlisle Cops: Book Two

Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.

Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.

Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

In Fire and Ice, Book 2 of the Carlisle Cops series, police officer Carter is happy to finally be able to start working as a police officer. Even though he has been one, he's spent all his time working on the computer instead. He responds to a domestic incident and gets more than he expected when he finds a young boy in need of help. When Donald, the child case worker, arrives on the scene, neither Carter or Donald are happy to see each other. When no foster home is available for Alex, Carter guilts Donald into taking him into his home and he offers to help care for Alex. Donald would prefer not to have Carter around, but Alex is attached to him and doesn't want to let go. Against his better judgement, Donald takes them both to his home. But, with the intrusion, Donald isn't able to keep his icy walls in place.

There were a lot of characters in this story, as it was building off of book 1 so you definitely don't want to read it out of order. The police force is a close-knit group, and the gay men on the force are creating their own family of support. Carter becomes a part of that family, so we see a lot of interaction within the department. Carter has a good life and a terrific family. He's been interested in Donald since their one night stand but he just doesn't understand why he can't get further. But Donald doesn't stand a chance with little Alex around. Alex's story is heartbreaking for such a young guy. I loved watching the men around him take care of him and create such a wonderful family for him. There's a reason that Donald is so good at his job and why he works so hard. It takes a while before he shares his story, but once he does, it's easy to understand why he's avoided relationships so hard.

I enjoy that these books are more than the relationship between the two MC's. The police work, solving the case, friends and family are throughout this whole series. And as each book builds on the previous one, you get to watch this family grow and support each other. I definitely recommend reading this series and falling in love with all of these characters!

Rating: 5 stars!

Fire and Rain 

Carlisle Cops: Book Three

Since the death of their mother, Josten Applewhite has done what he’s had to do to take care of his little brother and keep their small family together. But in an instant, a stroke of bad luck tears down what little home he’s managed to build, and Jos and Isaac end up on the streets.

That’s were Officer Kip Rogers finds them, and even though he knows he should let the proper authorities handle things, he cannot find it in his heart to turn them away, going so far as to invite them to stay in his home until they get back on their feet. With the help of Kip and his friends, Jos starts to rebuild his life. But experience has taught him nothing comes for free, and the generosity seems too good to be true—just like everything about Kip.

Kip’s falling hard for Jos, and he likes the way Jos and Isaac make his big house feel like a home. But their arrangement can’t be permanent, not with Jos set on making his own way. Then a distant relative emerges, determined to destroy Jos’s family, and Kip knows Jos needs him—even if he’s not ready to admit it.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

In book 3, Fire and Rain, police officer Kip is faced with an unexpected situation when he stops to tell a homeless person that they can not stay in the doorway. What he finds is a young man and his toddler brother trying to stay warm. Josten quickly agrees to move along but later that night, Kip again comes across the two when Josten is being attacked. He knows that he should turn them over to others, but he doesn't want Josten to lose his brother. Josten has had a lot of bad luck. His mother died and left him and his young brother alone. He found an apartment and a job that supported them, until one day he lost his job and came home to be evicted from his apartment from his slumlord. It's impossible to get back on his feet with being homeless and having his brother to care for. Josten isn't sure what to make of Kip and his friends, and he doesn't trust them but he's willing to listen and will accept help on his brother's behalf. With Kip, Donald and a lot of other Carlisle police officers help, Josten will be able to stand on his own two feet and he may find more than he expected.

Each of these books have characters facing and overcoming different issues, though the core of the series is love, family, and friends. Kip is a wonderful, supportive character who works hard to provide what Jos needs without taking over his life. He's never taken a personal interest in anyone he's come across when in uniform, but he's pulled in Jos direction. He's able to understand what Jos needs and helps him to achieve his goals, even when it's not what Kip wants. He knows it's what Jos needs.

I loved Kip but I think the author did a spectacular job with Josten's character. The mindset, thoughts and actions of Josten showed exactly what someone who's struggling to overcome homelessness would feel. Josten couldn't really focus on moving his life forward and considering a relationship with Kip until he was settled into his own home and able to provide a stable life for his brother. Once you think Josten has faced all the adversity possible, a face from the past comes to make his life difficult again. Josten's character handled the new development better than I would have and instead of thinking of himself, he put what was best for his brother, like he did every moment of the young boy's life.

The development of these characters and their chosen family is so heartwarming the further this series goes on. I love all the involvement of previous characters.

Rating: 5 stars!

Fire and Snow 

Carlisle Cops: Book Four

Fisher Moreland has been cast out of his family because they can no longer deal with his issues. Fisher is bipolar and living day to day, trying to manage his condition, but he hasn’t always had much control over his life and has self-medicated with whatever he could find.

JD Burnside has been cut off from his family because of a scandal back home. He moved to Carlisle but brought his Southern charm and warmth along with him. When he sees Fisher on a park bench on a winter’s night, he invites Fisher to join him and his friends for a late-night meal.

At first Fisher doesn’t know what to make of JD, but he slowly comes out of his shell. And when Fisher’s job is threatened because of a fire, JD’s support and care is more than Fisher ever thought he could expect. But when people from Fisher’s past turn up in town at the center of a resurgent drug epidemic, Fisher knows they could very well sabotage his budding relationship with JD.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Fire and Snow, Book 4 in the Carlisle series has a new addition on the Carlisle police force, JD. JD is from the south and has been cut off from his family due to a scandal. One night on patrol he sees Fisher on a park bench. There's something about Fisher that gets JD's attention and he invites Fisher to join him and his friends for dinner. Fisher isn't sure what to think of JD and his friends, but he slowly comes out of his shell. Due to a wreck, Fisher has a traumatic brain injury that has caused mental health issues. Fisher lives a solitary life as his family and friends cut him out of their life completely. He goes to work, does his job, and comes home. When he needs a break, he sits on a bench and is ignored by everyone around him. Unexpectedly, when JD tells the police what he noticed one night while sitting on the bench, he gets unexpected consequences, both positive and negative. Positively, he gains a friend in JD and eventually, if he learns to trust and let someone in his life, he will find love.

Each book in this series has focused on a different issue that is seen as a negative in society and helped it be viewed differently and this book is no different. With Fisher, we're able to see the backstory that led to his drug use and why his life is solitary. In many cases, people would probably sympathize with Fisher's family, not Fisher but in this story it's not the case. It's a reminder about unconditional love and how not everyone has that in their life. Fisher's story really was heartbreaking and it showed just how quickly, through no fault of your own, that your good life could unravel. And JD was so perfect and accepting, without coming across as naive. He needed Fisher just as much as Fisher needed him.

And again, this story was about more than JD and Fisher. These Carlisle police officers do more than fall in love. They're working to keep their town safe and along with that, we get a mystery as we try to figure out who's the bad guy in this book. All of our previous characters are back, and we get some great time on the page with them. I just love these characters more the further I read into this series and love the stories of hope, family, love, understanding, openmindedness and friends that's so prevalent.

Rating: 5 stars!

No comments:

Post a Comment