As much as I loved "Setting the Hook" (five stars), the first installment of this series, this one runs circles around it because Skippy and Billy Ray are such deeply strung and conflicted characters with a very strong bond: Their fathers are just as awful as you can expect a big-time lawyer and fire-and-brimstone preacher can be.
Skippy the lawyer and Billy Ray the first mate meet on the annual excursion of four upper-level gay professionals from Boston that we met in the first book. Skippy's pals Steven, Jerry and Kyle as well as Skippy's younger PA Alec are along for the ride on one of the boats owned by Mike and William, the protagonists and now firmly established lovers from "Setting the Hook."
The cover is perfect--Billy Ray on the left is a 24-year-old total virgin raised by a horrifying Bible-thumping father, and Skippy, who is maybe 10 years older, is the product of social climbing parents who have never shown him one shred of love. The way Grey brings their life stories into play is heart rendering, and the way they meet, fall in like, then lust, then love, is handled in a typically understated Grey way--except, of course, for the bedroom scenes.
This one has two strong characters who are deeply challenged by their histories and the plot line that Grey has laid before them concerning corporate greed and community anger. That Andrew Grey has continued this series is most appreciated, and that he throws in a side romance with no action between two of the others opens the door for a possible sequel. But if it doesn't happen, it will be plenty good to end it here.
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press, LLC (18 August 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1635339170
- ISBN-13: 978-1635339178
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 277 g
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