Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recommended Read - Upside Down by Andrew Grey

Title: Upside Down

Series title: Broncos Boys 2

Author: Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre:  Contemporary, GLBT

 (M/M, Oral Sex, Anal Sex/Play, Violence)

Page Count: 200

Reviewer: Cassiopeia

Buy link:

Publisher Blurb:

Lowell Cartwrights life as a mercenary problem solver has taken its toll, and after one more difficult job, he wants out. For help, he turns to Bull, a soldier of fortune turned club ownernot exactly a friend, but the best chance Lowell has. He visits Bulls club to scope it out and meets Jeremy Hodgson. The twink captures his attention in a big way. Bull tells Lowell to stay away from the club until he decides whether he can help, so Lowell stays in town. When he spots Jeremy passed out on the floor of a convenience store, he goes to Jeremys aid.

Lowell piques Jeremy
s interest immediately, pushing all the right buttons. Then, when Jeremy needs help, Lowells kindness turns interest into something more.

But trouble comes knocking when Jeremy
s place is bugged. Maybe Lowells past is catching up to him, or maybe the danger centers on Jeremys roommate Tristans mysterious boyfriend. Whatever the source of the problem, the future Lowell and Jeremy hope for doesn't stand a chance unless they can find a way to protect themselves.

Review of book:

Oh good lord.  I know better than to read an Andrew Grey book right before bed, and yet I couldnt resist delving in to Upside Down, the sequel to Inside Out.  It wound me up and stimulated my mind in the most delicious ways, with a heart-stopping plot and characters that made me want to alternately protect them from themselves, and give them a smack in the back of the head for good measure. 

This particular story revolves around Jeremy (one of Zachs friends from the Inside Out) and Spook/Lowell Cartwright, the mercenary whod threatened Bull and Zach in Inside Out.  Both characters had what the other desperately needed, and neither man really had an issue with admitting it, which was very refreshing.  They did, however have to come to terms with Lowells profession, and his innate need to protect Jeremy.  I loved that when hed get heavy handed with the decision making, Jeremy would calmly outline why the thinking was flawed.  There was no drama llama taking up residence with these two, just a healthy amount of love, compromise, and compassion. 

Lets face it, Lowells chosen career as a Mercenary (and worse) made him paranoid about revealing anything personal about himself, and rightfully so.  I found it a bit sad though, that when asked if his appearance at a particular point was really him, Lowell had to actually touch his face to confirm that he wasnt wearing a disguise of any sort.  I also felt that the physical transformations hed undergo during a contract were symbolic to the emotional and mental measures hed taken over the years to ensure he could be whatever the job of the moment required.  I thought that Mr. Grey perfectly captured the unique essence of someone who preserves their sanity by compartmentalizing their life to an extreme degree.

Jeremy was no shrinking violet either, and that only deepened my enjoyment of the piece.  So many authors tend to stick to an archetype when constructing characters in this type of pairing.  If youve written one half of the couple to be the strong, emotionally closed off type, then their other halfmust be bubble headed, giggly, and so overtly extroverted youd need to take a step back to get a sense of their personality.  I can tell you that this was not at all how Jeremy came across.  Yes, hed had a much different life than Lowell, but I found him to be a well rounded, firmly rooted in reality guy, that cared deeply about his friends, almost to his own physical detriment at times.  Was he serious all of the time? Heck no he loved to laugh, dance, and have fun too.  Seeing the different sides of his personality just made him more real to me.

The one character that annoyed me to no end was, unfortunately, Zach.  I understand that he was reluctant to believe Lowell was telling the truth, based on his actions in the earlier book. However, I truly think that Zach was a bit of a bully with how he continuously hounded Jeremy about what he considered to be his friends gullible outlook about the situation.  Its the mark of a good author that they can make you not only love a character, but want to strangle the ever loving life out of them too. I shouldnt be surprised that this book had both types Mr. Grey is the master at constructing characters that run the gamut of emotion.

Either way you cut it, Upside Down by Andrew Grey was a win-win for me.  If youre a fan of plots fraught with action and danger, with a happily ever after thrown in, this definitely is a book youll want to read. 

                                                     Five Shooting Stars!!

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