Rhino Ash (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

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Title: Rhino Ash (Saturday Barbies #2)
Author: Lindsey Black
Publisher: Netherwood Press
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 278 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Ashley Jameson always tries to do the right thing, but that’s hard when your nephew keeps eating crayons, your niece is dressed as a pudding and your obnoxious older brothers crash the church’s Sunday brunch with the guy you’ve been crushing on for five years. Going to work to fight fires is a welcome relief from family obligations, until the Riot Squad arrives to investigate and Ashley once again finds himself dealing with his siblings. Oh … and Finn Hale.

But Finn’s dark past continues to haunt him. As work gets increasingly busy with a string of arson attacks on illegal immigrants, Finn steps in to be the shoulder Ashley needs to lean on, but Ashley struggles to do the same for the man he loves. Juggling family and work can be difficult, but Ashley soon discovers that the real challenge is when it’s not a struggle at all … because you’ll do anything for the ones you love.

I Loved This!

It was funny as hell, low angst, a little crazy, and a lot heartwarming. You get to read a firefighter actually fighting fires * ~score~ *, hot cops, just … hot characters period. There’s a nutty family and an element of ‘broken’ in one of the MCs.

I was completely sideswiped by the fact that I enjoyed this one as much as I did. The title is odd without much draw to it, but it makes sense now that I’ve read the book. And the blurb caught my interest but doesn’t do the book justice. I was perhaps not-so-oddly reminded of NR Walker’s works while reading this. It may have been the setting, but I think this author just has something going for her on par with Walker. That’s saying something. Only time will tell if that holds true, but this would have received 5 stars from me but for the abrupt ending.

There’s an HFN and no cliffhanger but I wanted more of Ash and Finn without the work crises. They made the plot fun and interesting, but with the length I felt like I didn’t get enough of these guys once they realized they were in love. I would have liked more of the explicit, too, though I was satisfied with the bits that were there and the intimacy made up for a lot.

The dreaded and ill-fitting insta-love aspect of some contemporary romances was neatly and cleverly sidestepped with a clever plot device that made sense, making this story very successful in the relationship- and character-development aspects and extremely believable on the love and romance fronts at the same time.

I took a couple of days and let my initial review—of which this is a slight continuation—sit, looking back over it, I don’t think I need to add anything further. I read it as a standalone and don’t feel I missed out on anything. I may or may not backtrack for the first book, but only because I’m afraid it might not live up to my love affair with the Finn and Ash. Had I read it first, I might be saying something different. For now, book one is backburnered for me. I encourage you to read Rhino Ash. It really will speak for itself.

This review cross-posted at Goodreads.
Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

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Saturday Barbies series

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Galley copy of Rhino Ash (Saturday Barbies #2) provided by Netherwood Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.


My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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