Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ARC Review: Red Fish, Dead (Fish Out of Water #2) Fish by Amy Lane

Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water, #2)
They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

Jewel's rating:

I recall reading some months ago, maybe it was on Twitter or maybe it was on Facebook, but Amy Lane, rather gleefully, mentioned that she was torturing Jackson and Ellery again. And boy does she! I swear, Jackson must have nine lives like his beat-up cat, Billy Bob, because I'm amazed he lived through all that!

Red Fish, Dead Fish is a continuation of the story that began with Fish Out of Water. In my opinion, Red Fish, Dead Fish doesn't really stand alone. The story is romantic-suspense (heavy on the suspense) and Jackson is my kind of alley cat. He's sarcastic and barely domesticated and Ellery is completely besotted and rather uptight, in a proper kind of way. And though they don't often do "sweet", I've got to say, there is a sweetness to them that really shone through all the sarcasm. I rather loved it.

"I love you. I’ve never loved another man like I love you. This thing that just happened to you, it feels like the end of the world. But the man in my arms?” Ellery squeezed him tighter, knowing that even if it hurt, Jackson could take it. “He’s still strong. Still good inside. It hasn’t stopped how I feel about him. It doesn’t change how I feel about you.”

Throughout the story, Jackson and Ellery are trying to track down the rogue cop from Fish Out of Water, that, as it turns out, is a sociopath and a serial killer. Fun times, yeah? And this dude is sick...and not the good kind of sick that all the kids mean when they say "that's sick.". No, this guy is the thing that nightmares are made of. And Jackson is in his sights.

That particular story arc does get resolved, so we're not left hanging. Well, the serial killer part, anyway. Turns out that there is much more for them to look into, so they're not done. Amy Lane has assured us that Jackson and Ellery will have many adventures, so if you're like me, that is good news, indeed! Especially as Red Fish, Dead Fish did not end on a cliffie, or at least much of one. The next book is set up, so we have much to look forward to. And I hope that Jackson's insurance is paid up!

Regarding the relationship aspect of the story, Jackson is settling into his relationship with Ellery, quite nicely. They are both strongly committed to their relationship by the end of the book, so we're not left hanging there, either, thankfully.

Also, I feel the need to mention that I absolutely love the secondary characters that I've met, so far, in this series. Jade, Kaden, Mike, Ellery's mom -- Taylor -- whom Jackson lovingly calls "Lucy Satan", and the nurses, Dave and Alex, at the hospital where I hope that Jackson gets a frequent flyer discount. They are, all of them, good people who -- amazingly enough -- not only put up with Jackson, but really like him (I admit, I adore Jackson, too, so it isn't such a stretch).

I've really enjoyed what I've seen of this series, so far. I'm happy that Amy Lane has entered the romantic-suspense genre and I'm looking forward to more!



ARC of Red Fish, Dead Fish was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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