Title: Ride Along (States of Love)
Author: Meghan Maslow
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 14th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 122 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.
Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.
It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Told from closeted cop Joao “Josh” de Oliveira and writer Drew Nolan’s points of view this was a really enjoyable weekend read.
Enough realistic moments that it didn’t require a whole lot of suspension of disbelief to get through, this had some humor as well as some heat.
“If you’re not interested, you can just say—”
“Who says I’m not interested?”
“Arrrg! Do you ever just answer a damn question? I’m asking whether you’d like to come back to my room after the shift and scrump like wild weasels in heat. Clear enough for you?”
Josh’s eyebrows almost disappeared into his hairline. He couldn’t look more shell-shocked if he tried. Drew would have laughed, but after his big pronouncement, he wanted to crawl under the seat and hide. Though truth be told, hiding wouldn’t be the first thing that came to mind if he crawled under the seat with Josh.
“You did not just say ‘scrump like wild weasels in heat.’ How do you ever get laid?”
“Yes. I’d like that.” The look Josh sent him made the hair on his nape stand up. Wow. “I expect to test out the claim on your shirt too. Just so you know.”
All righty, then.
For a novella, at only around 122 pages (40,935 words) this is really well constructed. I felt like I got a complete story, including well-fleshed out main and side characters and a full plot. I got a kick out of Drew’s well-meaning, but meddling, family, and felt a kinship with his new friend Laura.
I really liked that while there’s instant attraction between Josh and Drew, it wasn’t a case of insta-love, but that the romance progresses pretty naturally, if quite a bit through time jumps and off page moments.
And yes, there were some off page moments I would have liked to have read more of, but I understand why Maslow condensed the way she did because of constraints due to the length.
I really enjoyed the story. It’s a good read with low angst, nice communication, humor, and a lovely HEA.
I’ll be keeping my eye out for future Meghan Maslow titles.