Authors: Anthology, Various
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: 308 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5 (if you want to be statisically correct: 3.67)
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: As with any anthology, there are some good stories, some average ones and a few below average ones. But with hot men in uniform, sometimes I barely noticed that.
Everyone loves a man in uniform. From the armed forces to civil service, it’s often a matter of logistics to balance work and a love life, and these men are specialists, up to the task of finding romance wherever duty takes them. Whether it’s police blue, fire department yellow, military khaki, or the disguise of an undercover detective or spy, these guys are hot in or out of uniform.
As with any anthology there are some stories I loved, some stories I liked, some that were meh, and one or two that weren’t very interesting (to me). Overall, I have a huge kink for men in uniform, so I did enjoy the book, but just wished the publisher would have cut down the amount of stories in the anthology to 3-5 so they could have had a higher word count and maybe given the reader more characterization and plot and a little less sex. Recommended for people like me who love a good cop, fireman, or guy in military uniform novel.
Chasing Jamie by Eric Arvin – 2.75 stars
Unfortunately for me this was the weakest story in the anthology. I just couldn’t connect with the main character, Jamie who seemed like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum when he didn’t get his way — he wanted a baby with his partner, Wade, and the other man was having reservations. Perhaps it will appeal to some readers; it just didn’t work for me.
Famished by Lou Harper – 4 stars
A sensual and cute PWP with one hot bartender and the hunky cop he’s kind of been stalking. The two protagonists, Sean and Hunter really had chemistry and I just wished this had been longer to get a better flavor of their impending relationship.
Delayed in San Diego by Pepper Espinoza – 4.25 stars
I am a big Pepper Espinoza fan and this short story did not disappoint. Chandler is stuck in the airport in San Diego, on his way home to Utah when he meets a big, strapping Marine named Cody who he instantly has the hots for. They spend the night together, but when they arrive in Utah the next day, will theirs just be a one night stand or something more? Quite frankly, I really liked the vibe between these two men and the plot of how being gay in Utah is not easy, so if any of the stories in this book needs a longer sequel, this one would be my pick.
Hot Stuff by Maria Albert – 3.25 stars
Unfortunately, I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of a series and had missed something with this story. While I enjoyed Perrin (the cop) and Drake’s dramatic meeting and instant attraction, some of the secondary characters overtook this short story with their back stories that I just didn’t understand. I would have loved if the author had focused more of Perrin and Drake and less on Perrin’s family, as they definitely had potential.
Duty by Emily Moreton – 4.25 stars
Hot, hot, hot. Major Alex Sheppard is set to escort General Oscar Hendrickson from a military function back to his hotel, then go home himself. However, the General has other ideas and Alex is more than happy to fulfill his duty to Oscar in ways he never expected. This one was a scorcher and if a silver-haired military fox isn’t your thing…please send him my way. (And, I’ll take Alex too!)
Discovering Columbus by Shae Connor – 3.5 stars
Two cops driving to Columbus, on their way to testify in court discover they are attracted to each other. After a glorious night making love, they have to decide if they want to continue this relationship back in their hometown and risk letting everyone else on the force find out. Once again, I liked the two main characters chemistry, but there just wasn’t enough plot outside the bedroom to keep me emotionally involved.
Fire House Flame by Paul Taylor – 3.75 stars
A historical story set in 1910 with two firemen, one white, and the other black. Distinctly original in its concept and I thought very accurate about the setting and time, Fire House Flame I think would have been so much more if we’d had more interaction between Captain Jones and Fireman McKinney. But other than that, I enjoyed this piece.
Sold! By K.R. Foster – 3.75 stars
A police detective is up on the auction block for charity and a handsome, best-selling novelist buys his company for the evening. The men fall into bed and discover they have a lot in common. Cute PWP which I would have loved to see developed into a novella.
Heat of the Moment by Dawn Douglas – 4 stars
Hunky fireman Sam Roberts is in the hospital to visit his brother when he runs into Dr. Jake Matthews. Sparks fly and one minute later they are having sex in Jake’s office, which given the way DoctorSexy is described, I would have been all over that like white on rice too. If you love instant attraction and smoldering PWPs, this story will be right up your alley.
Double Cross by Lesley Hastings – 4 stars
Sexy spy story about a British secret agent sent to get information out of a Russian embassy worker, and how the seducer becomes the seducee. Nice twist to the typical James Bond-like stories you usually get in this genre. I don’t know if William and Yulian would get their HEA given what they do for a living, but the ride would be eventful!
The Night Shift by Louise Blaydon – 3.75 stars
Police property clerk Jonas has a crush on vice cop Dan. One night after Dan is injured on the job, they give into their mutual lust. This story had nice pacing, interesting characters and some spicy love scenes.
Jean-Paul by Ryan Loveless – 3.25 stars
Another historical story, this time set in Paris during the First World War. A virginal solider meets a intriguing French baker and despite not being able to communicate in each other’s languages, they hook up and spend a wonderful day together before the man leaves for the front. While this story could have been heartbreaking, because you never know if the solider makes it home alive, the tone was very upbeat and hopeful. I liked the setting (Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world) and the plot. While I did find it hard to believe was that the two men wanted to connect for more than one night because of the language barriers, but I guess in war-time, things might be more intense and different.
Walk a Mile by G.R. Richards – 3 stars
Two cops participating in a charity run, take time out to help a citizen, and each other. The best part about this story was one of the characters was Chinese. I like seeing diversity in m/m books, unfortunately because of the length, his ethnicity wasn’t really explored, which I felt was a missed opportunity.
Secrets and Lies by Jay Starre – 2.75 stars
Told in first person, Dean describes how he met his secret agent boyfriend Brian/Brent when the man seduced him to gain access to his apartment so he could plant recording equipment in order to listen in to the terrorists who lived below him. Why this story didn’t not work for me was that Mr. Spy, who should have been worried about the terrorists he was supposed to be watching, was instead screwing Dean every chance he got and basically ignoring his job. The concept of an incompetent spy — Brian was no Jack Bauer — meant I was lost from the beginning of the story.
The US Male by Lisa Worrall – 4.5 stars
Hands down, my favorite story in the book. While I had seen this in another incarnation, Lisa Worrall’s The US Male was one of the sexiest and creepiest stories I’ve read in the awhile. Plus the two main guys? Lit the page on fire. Then add in the surprise twist to the plot and I was hooked. I think this might be getting a sequel, but if not, it stands on it’s on as having one of the most compelling (and possibly dark) characters I’ve seen in an m/m book that isn’t a paranormal.
Good Things Come… by Rowan McAllister – 4 stars
Fireman Greg gets royally drunk to forget about a really bad fire that killed a young child. Hung-over he wakes up in the bed of Good Samaritan, college student Andy who dragged the drunken man home and put him to bed to sleep it off. The two men hit it off, and Greg despite some concerns of their age difference, asks Andy out. This was a sweet little May-December romance that made you want to cuddle Andy close and wrap him up in a bow and give him to Greg for his birthday. A fun romp.