Title: Fish Out of Water
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 29th 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 270 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.
Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.
It became obvious by the end of the story that this is the start of a new series, mainly because the cliffhanger ending leaves the reader in suspense of several dangling threads in the storyline.
I’ll admit Fish Out of Water started off very rocky for me, first because Jackson is unabashedly bisexual (not the part that threw me, I really liked this aspect of the story), a bit of a manwhore, and there is on page, descriptive sex with a woman very early on in the story (this was the part that bothered me…and left me in an “ewwww” state for a loooong time). I’m not opposed to girly bits, etc. in my M/M books…I just like to have prior warning, you know?
The second reason why this was a bit rocky at first for me was because it seemed like Lane was trying to channel Rhys Ford…and not doing too well with it. But full props to Lane, she finally got into her groove after about a third of the way in, the easy banter and sarcastic humor got a lot better, and the flow of the story moved along a lot easier.
Neither Jackson or Ellery were really hugely likable characters, but they fit together really well, and there’s a really nice thread of hurt/comfort here that I loved. By the time they finally came together sexually (well over halfway through the story) they’d built a rapport and had a kind of snarky sarcastic but totally respectful however grudging it may have been relationship by that point that made the sex even hotter. And the sex is hot. And dirty. And hot.
This isn’t a romance, but I knew that going in. It’s a mystery. Dirty cops abound, there’s only a few people who can be trusted…and once the story stopped trying so hard it settled into a good rhythm and flowed nicely making it a real page turner by the end. Which is why I didn’t even see the whole cliffhanger ending coming.