Release Blitz ~ On Board by Jay Hogan (Reviews + Review)

Title: On Board

Series: Painted Bay #2

Author: Jay Hogan

Genre: MM Romance

Tropes: Bisexual Awakening | Forced Proximity | Enemies to lovers | Hurt/comfort |Humour

Release date: September 23, 2021

Amazon Universal: https://readerlinks.com/l/1945036

Love on the deep blue…

Synopsis:

Leroy Madden is in trouble. Big, handsome, Fox Carmody trouble.

Leroy has buried his attraction to the enigmatic fisherman in irritation and pointless bickering, keeping Fox at a safe distance. But with the troublesome man now living in Leroy’s house, it’s becoming impossible for Leroy to keep his true feelings hidden, or the fact that Leroy isn’t so straight, after all.

Leroy hungers for something different between them. He wants more. But Leroy’s business is struggling, his newly mended relationship with his brother is at risk, Fox doesn’t plan to stay, and their mothers are lovers.

Regardless of what Leroy’s heart so desperately wants, his entire world is at stake, and nothing about a relationship with Fox Carmody was ever going to be easy.

Excerpt:

I stole a sideways glance to where Fox lounged in the passenger seat of my Hilux, his interested gaze soaking up the countryside. The worst of the Monday morning traffic was behind us and the driving was easy, not that you’d know it by my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel.

Sister Sledge streamed through the speakers, Fox’s fingers tapping away on one thickly muscled thigh wrapped in tight stonewashed denim. A fashionable rip mocked me from just above the knee, revealing the faintest glimpse of tanned skin and short dark hair, not that I was looking.

Yeah, right. I was soaking that shit up like sugar in hot coffee.

The universe was definitely fucking with me. Well, that and my mother who’d arrived for Sunday lunch with a surprisingly edible peach cobbler and what she called the ‘best idea ever’ for me to give Fox a lift into Whangarei the next day since I was already going. He wanted to check out some boats, but his car was still waiting on parts.

Fucking wonderful. Why he couldn’t wait for his own vehicle to be fixed wasn’t a question I was prepared to ask based on my mother’s I-dare-you look. I’d caved and agreed.

I could’ve killed her. And by the constipated look on Fox’s face at her suggestion, I was pretty sure he felt the same. It had been a long, long weekend and entirely my own damn fault. Other than forced interaction at work, rugby training, and Sunday lunch, I’d avoided Fox at all costs, and he’d been good enough to play along and pretend he hadn’t noticed, other than a notable drop in temperature whenever he looked my way. I could hardly blame him for that. If only he knew that my epic arseholery stemmed from lust and not disgust.

And the Academy Award for epically fucking yourself goes to . . . yeah. Enough said.

Note to self: don’t get tipsy around the guy. Without the benefit of way too many beers, we wouldn’t have talked and got all chummy on the deck, and I wouldn’t have realised that I maybe, actually liked the bastard, not just wanted to kiss him, or touch him, or have him touch me, or . . . goddammit, wait for the drum roll—fuck me.

I swallowed hard. Me fucking him would, of course, be marginally more acceptable to my brain, but who was I kidding? I’d spent the entire weekend thinking, fantasising, googling, watching, and yep, definitely him fucking me. Good God, the sooner he was out of my house the better. Still, it sounded like it wouldn’t take much to get him to shift back down south, so I could only hope.

“You okay, Leroy?”

My gaze jerked his way. “Fine. I’m absolutely fine,” I lied, because no, I didn’t want to go there, or talk about it, or think about it, or do anything other than bury it as unsuccessfully as I’d done for the last five days, make that a year—my, doesn’t time fly—because I’m chickenshit as all hell and my life is a fucking shitshow of irony.

Why now?

Why him?

Why . . . this?

Bisexual. I’d even practised saying it in front of the mirror, barely able to spit the word out as it sat huge and sour on my tongue. It wasn’t that I hated the man-on-man part, because I was clearly on board with that in so very many, many Fox-shaped, lickable ways. It was more that the admission held an extremely unflattering mirror up to the jerk hypocrite that I’d been, and very likely still was, my entire life.

Whoever said sexuality was a choice, I needed that fucker’s address and a suitably sized cactus to shove where the sun don’t shine.

My head had been buried so far in the sand for so long that I had grit coming out my arse, and that shit had to stop. After my appalling behaviour in the kitchen, I’d sulked and pondered long and hard over the weekend and gotten more than my money’s worth from my broadband provider. It all came with an uncomfortable realisation. The infatuation I had with Fox wasn’t going anywhere, and that meant either making myself and everyone around me miserable or pulling it into the light and stop running. How had I completely missed this rather critical aspect of my nature?

And then it occurred to me, maybe I hadn’t. I had the pieces, but nothing or no one had caused them to fall into place, until Fox.

~ * ~ Kathys Review ~ * ~

5+ Stars

How does Ms. Hogan do it? She creates such relatable and likable characters that you immediately feel at ease with her stories. I am always amazed when an author can take a truly unsavory character and make the reader totally change their opinion.

Book two from the Painted Bay Series is best read in order. Family conflicts in the first story led us to the current situation that Leroy Madden is smack dab in the middle of. Leroy was so annoying in book one, but now I found myself genuinely caring for him. He may be a work in progress, but he really is trying to be a better person. Fox is the son of Martha, who is currently dating Leroy’s mom. The two really get off on the wrong foot. No matter how hard Fox tried, in the beginning, to be friendly, Leroy fought him.

I enjoyed watching the two MCs learn about each other and gain insight into what has made them the men they are today. The past presents itself in the form of a childhood bully down on his luck and a soon-to-be-ex that has very little scruples. While trying to navigate around these intrusions, the men can’t fight their attraction. Leroy and Fox find common ground, and their growing friendship feels genuine. The pages smoked with the couple’s chemistry, and I wanted nothing more for them but happiness.

On Board held my interest up to the last page, and I was sad to see it end. I guess I will suffer a book hangover until the next story in this fantastic series. I truly hope you try this book and enjoy it as much as I did. Happy reading!

* * * Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement * * *

~ * ~ Kys Review ~ * ~

* 4.5 Stars *
For some reason, this was the first time I read one of Jay Hogan’s books.
“On Board” is the second book of the series, but I didn’t have a problem following the story along. The couple from the first book, as well as some other side characters, make quite a few appearances and some events from the previous book are discussed, but everything is explained so I was always clued in about what was happening or had happened in the past.
Leroy is a grumpy character at first, he keeps everyone at arm’s length and he’s using that as a front to protect himself. Fox is quite the opposite, he’s easy-going, approachable, and laid back.
After the initial shock of finding out that he has to share his home with Fox for an undetermined amount of time, Leroy finds himself enjoying the company, no matter how much he wishes for the opposite.
I liked Lee for his loyalty to his family and I liked Fox for his strong personality and how self-sufficient he was. Their personalities complimented each other and they were good together. I liked how vulnerable Leroy got in front of Fox once he decided to let go and I liked how fiercely protective Fox was of him. Fox standing up for Lee and supporting him in front of his family were some of my favorite scenes.
In my opinion, the best secondary character was Mack. Hands down! She was such a force, such a funny and energetic furry friend, such a loyal companion. Fox had done a great job with her training, and it was clear how much he loved her.
A couple of other side characters didn’t get a very positive reaction from me, though. I can’t understand the logic behind Leroy’s mother’s behavior, and I have to say that I even disliked her at times. Her attitude towards her son was pretty awful, both in the present, with the house and the business, and in the past, with his studies.
And then there was his brother… I know he was the main character of the first book, but I disliked him so much! His behavior toward Leroy was terrible. He acted so entitled and as if everyone owed him something. He had gone through something horrible as a teen, but that doesn’t excuse how he talked to Leroy, who was doing everything he could to rebuild their relationship so that they could have a solid one in the future. Judah kept acting like he didn’t care, so it was Leroy who had to singlehandedly make all the effort. Plus, his knee-jerk reaction when they had a fight was to throw everything from the past in Leroy’s face, which made Leroy feel guilty. Ugh, I didn’t like him at all, and I don’t think I’ll be reading his book.
On the plus side though, there’s a third story in the series coming at some point next year and I look forward to learning who it’ll be about. There are so many possibilities! Oh, and the cover is just gorgeous!
~ Copy provided by Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ~

 

About Jay:

Heart, humour and keeping it real.

Jay is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Romance and her book Off Balance was the 2021 New Zealand Romance Book of the Year.

She is a New Zealand author writing mm romance and romantic suspense, primarily set in New Zealand. She writes character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst. She’s travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor. Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel

Find Jay in all the places:https://jayhoganauthor.contactin.bio/