Angela Baldwin, #CBR5, Review # 10, Laying Ghosts by James Buchanan


Laying of Ghosts

Another adventure into the world of Deputy Joe and Kabe, and this one had all the makings of a gut wrenching tale from the very beginning. This story picks up a few months after the end of Spin Out where we left Deputy Joe with serious injuries from a car accident that occurred while chasing a suspect. We find Joe on desk duty logging in old cases and cold cases trying to close out as many as possible for his new commander. One of the cases that he comes across hits close to home, very close to home, and with the introduction of Joe’s parents who have just returned from their mission trip to Russia the drama and angst level of this novel are high.

This novel really digs into Joe’s family and the intricacies of losing a child and the effects it has on the family as a whole. I think of the 3 Deputy Joe stories I have read, this one was by far my favorite. There were times I wanted to reach into the pages and just give both Joe and Kabe a big hug. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that Joe’s family, with the exception of one brother and his wife, accept him and Kabe for who they are. The fact that they are gay doesn’t define them as people, it’s just a part of the person as a whole, which is something Joe has had to learn over the course of this series. I like that the family was not one dimensional and that his coming out to his parents was not glossed over and made to be an easy thing, because sadly that is just not the case in most people’s reality.

This was another very well written book that I truly enjoyed. I hope that this is not the end of this series and that we will see more Deputy Joe stories soon.

Angela Baldwin, #CBR5, Review # 9, Spin Out by James Buchanan

Spin Out


My second foray into the world of Deputy Joe and Kabe was a much faster pick up than the first. Having become more familiar with the writing style made this a much easier read.

Spin Out is set a few months after the ending of the original book in the series, Hard Fall, and we see Deputy Joe continuing to struggle with himself over the decision he made to not only come out of the closet but to engage in a relationship with Kabe who is an ex-con on parole in Joe’s jurisdiction. A new murder that needs to be solved lays the ground work for this tale, along with the repercussions of Joe’s revelation that he is involved with Kabe.

I felt as though the secondary characters in this book were more fleshed out than in Hard Fall and I truly enjoyed their interaction with the main characters. Learning to trust in others isn’t an easy thing, especially when your entire world was just turned upside down and the growing pains of any new relationship are well done in this book. Joe and Kabe have quickly become two of my favorite characters and its like sitting around listening to old friends talk about their day. I look forward to the next book in this series and seeing how Joe continues to deal with his coming out of the closet.

Angela Baldwin, #CBRV, Review #7, Rise to Trust by Lynn Hagen


Rise to Trust

I have been reading this author for a while now and she mostly rights M/M exclusively so I was interested to see how the main M/F pairing in the 2nd installment of this series was going to work. This was definitely a bit of a different book than Ms. Hagen’s typical fare and for the most part I enjoyed it. There were some scenes that left me going errrr huh but overall I thought it was a good continuation of the overall story arc.

Edward, King of the Wererats and a half breed to boot, is looking for revenge on the leader of the Werewolf pack who he expected to rescue him after he was kidnapped. Little does Edward know that war has broken out all around him while he has been in captivity and Werewolf Alpha Rick is not the most wanted man in America. Edward takes his revenge for the slight by kidnapping the person most likely to hurt Rick, his sister Isabelle. Isabelle is a spitfire who doesn’t go easily and having dealt with an alpha male for a brother knows how to deal with Edward.

The winding road their story takes was interesting to follow and to see how they fit in with Rick and his band of rebellious followers was definitely a nice touch. I look forward to seeing how this continuing series plays out.

Angela Baldwin, #CBR5, Review #6, Hard Fall by James Buchanan

Hard Fall


This book got off to a very slow start for me but after the initial few chapters it picked up fairly well. I think my biggest issue was the colloquial language that it is written in. Deputy Joe is a likable fellow whose relationship with Kabe, an ex-con, causes him to have a falling out with not only the LDS Church, but also members of the law enforcement community. Kabe is an ex-con with a thrill seeking side. He comes to the small community while on probation and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation.

Joe and Kabe find themselves trying to solve a murder, fighting the church and in the end figuring out just how much they mean to each other and what it means to sacrifice for love. As with the other James Buchanan books I have read the descriptions of the locale and scenery are excellent and you feel as though you are standing on the top of the rock face as Joe and Kabe are climbing. For me the wonderful descriptions of the places are part of the charm of this book. I look forward to picking up my next Deputy Joe novel very soon.

Angela Baldwin #CBR5, Review # 5: Rise to Love by Lynn Hagen

Rise to Love

I always look forward to a new series from this author, but I will say that for me this book got off to a little bit of a slow start. After the initial slowness though it picked up quickly and I spent half the night reading just to see what happened next. I love a good paranormal story and this one is definitely that and more. Shifters, murder, intrigue and a great many characters that you follow on their adventures as the Changlings fight for their very existence.

Rick and Dorian are the main focus of this first book in the series. Rick is Alpha of the werewolf pack and District Manager of the local grocery store chain. Dorian is one of his employees and a very unwilling candidate to become the alpha’s mate. The change in attitude of both these characters over the course of the story was fun to watch and the secondary characters like Nate, Benito and Miguel are intriguing side stories. Hopefully these guys will get stories of their own during the course of this series.

Running for their very lives, Rick and Dorian are forced to learn to work together and rely on the assistance of strangers to keep pushing on for answers as to why they are being hunted and accused of crimes they didn’t commit. I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series.

Angela Baldwin #CBR5, Review #3, The Good Thief by James Buchanan

The Good Thief

This was my second James Buchanan book in a very short time and I have to say I loved it as much as the first. Nate and Caesar are both likable characters that are well fleshed out. I loved that Nate was drawn to Caesar even though he was the polar opposite of what he expected to to be drawn too. From beginning to end these characters kept me engrossed in their tale of the cop and the criminal on the run to protect the criminal after he finds something he shouldn’t while robbing a house. One of the things I have found that I most love about this author is the attention to detail with scenery. It feels as though you are standing in the character’s shoes as they are describing the world around them. Definitely a fun and great read.

AngelaBaldwin #CBR5 Review #2: Personal Demons by James Buchanan

Personal Demons


This was my first exposure to this author and I read it on the recommendation of a friend who really enjoyed it. I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down. The characters were intriguing and the plot was intense. I was not familiar with a lot of the premises in this book but now I feel I have a much better understanding. Enrique and Chase are both likable guys who while in the closet at work have no issues with their sexuality outside the office. Chase has to fight his “Personal Demons” in order to find a missing FBI informant and bring down a killer. Enrique is a unique LAPD detective who is Chase’s local partner and his introduction into the world of Santeria and Voodoo.

The descriptions of the area, the buildings, all the way to the smoggy air are so pitch perfect I had no trouble feeling as if I was right there with the characters. I truly enjoyed this book and all the knowledge that I learned while reading it. This will definitely not be the last James Buchanan book I pick up.