Wanted Dead or Alive (Slippery When Wet 1) by Jenna Byrnes
Wanted Dead or Alive is the first in the Slippery When Wet series. I actually read first the second book, didn't realize it was a series and when I read the third I made the connection. The series follows the lives of four former con mate, Dan, Logan, Damien and Snake; when they were in prison, they helped another man, Joe, and this put them on the wrong side of another prisoner, Felix, who has the right connection to make their life very difficult when they will finally go out. Another thing that links them is that they are all petty criminal (at least I believe, I haven't yet read Snake's story) and that they are all gay... and they were gay even before going into jail.
Of all the three life stories, that of Dan is probably the more easy and also sad. He was in the wrong place at the wrong moment with the wrong friend. His friend almost killed a man, and Dan was young and stupid enough to try to run away instead of facing the law. And he did 8 years of jail for that. During the time he even befriended the man who almost was killed, and when he went out, he still had a sister who was willing to help him. And after only two days he even finds a boyfriend, Trey... life seems good, isn't it? But his old enemy doesn't forget, and Dan is framed for a crime he hasn't committed. And again he runs away, but this time realizes soon enough that running away is not the solution to his problem.
I have the feeling that Dan is real young, I don't know exactly how many years he has, he did 8 years in prison, so he has to be at least 26 years old if not more, but probably he still thinks like a scared teenager. And even if Trey is really a wonderful man, caring and gentle, I think he is not an imposing figure. In a way it's better like that, Dan has always proved to not be keen of the male role figure, and in fact, with Trey, it's Dan who takes the lead, even if the first move was made by Trey. All in all I think that this time Dan was lucky, he met a man who is average enough, and faulty enough, to be at his same level, and so Dan is willing to listen and take in account his advice. It's interesting, Trey is the perfect man for Dan since he is not a perfect man.
Oh, I almost forgot: I found another point in common with all the stories... all the men have a quite steamy shower alone but fantasizing of the man they have just met... a coincidence or that Slippery When Wet in the title of the series means something more than the title of the LP collecting all the songs from with the books borrow the titles?http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Wanted+Dead+or+Alive/exact_match=exact
Amazon Kindle: Wanted Dead Or Alive
Livin' on a Prayer (Slippery When Wet 2) by Jude Mason
When Logan entered prison he was an 18 years old boy, maybe even a bit too naive for his age. He was the classical example of a boy born in the wrong side of the town, his father long gone, his mother with not enough money to sustain the family, a younger brother ill and again, not enough money to pay the bills... Logan did probably what it seemed the only obvious solution, a robbery, and it went wrong.
8 years later he is out on parole and he wants to start a new life, but for an ex-con is not simple: he is living in a cheap and dirty motel that soon he will have no money to pay, he can't find a job since people don't want to hire an ex-con, he has no hope in tomorrow... and then he sees an angel. All right, it's maybe a cracked angel, but for Logan is beautiful. Shane is a methodist reverend sent in an hell of a place since he is gay. He runs a homeless shelter, and probably it wouldn't be a bad life if not that, for a gay reverend is not easy to find a lover. I don't know if Logan is more eager to find a place to stay than Shane to find a lover... anyway they seem to fill the mutual void in their life, and Shane helps Logan to find a job, nothing fancy but enough to pay the bill. But Logan's past is not reaty to let him go.
I find quite strange that is not Shane and Logan's relationship to arise the trouble in the story, but I'm true, I don't know enough of the Methodist church; all right, Shane was "punished" and assigned to a job that is not exactly a dream, but all in all Shane seems to be not repentant, and people around them seem to have not problem with them having a relationship. Shane never once seems to be worried to give shelter to a gay man whom is obviously having a relationship with.
This is a novella, and it's most sex, from Logan in assolo when he is just out of prison, to when he is having monkey sex with Shane practically from moment one, and Shane is also quite naughty under the sheet (actually the worries of his bosses that he could pervert someone is not so without basis...). But even if the lion share is taken by sex, there is also a plot, a bit fast in the development, but, well, there is not so much space left once Shane and Logan has spent most of the time in bed! And if Shane and Logan weren't so nice as a characters, that could have been a problem, but instead, sincerely, I didn't mind to spend more time with them between the sheets than outside. So, yes, if you are searching for an hot romp with a naughty core (Shane being a reverend gives that spicy more I believe), this one is a nice choice.http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Livin%27+on+a+Prayer/exact_match=exact
Amazon Kindle: Livin' on a Prayer
Never Say Goodbye (Slippery When Wet 3) by Jenna Byrnes
Reading this book I realize that this is a co-authored series by Jenna Byrnes and Jude Mason about 4 young men just out of Corcoran State Prison and probably the man they helped inside there. This is the time of Damien, an ex-hustler and thief who went inside for small theft. He is out on parole and the only job he found was as pool-boy for a former customer. It's quite obvious that his job is not to clean the pool, and if we had some doubts, they are soon cleared from the first scene, where Damien is having sex with Charles. That scene made me wonder if I hadn't misunderstand the story, since actually Charles doesn't come out like a bad character and Damien seems to not have an hard life with his new job.
But then Charles goes out of the scene, on a business trip, and Damien is left alone with the new stable man, Travis. Travis is handsome and sincere, and after the first not so good encounter with Damien, he actually comes out like a nice and very next door good boy type of man. At first Damien is reticent to have an affair with Travis, even if more or less a business agreement, he has a relationship with Charles and he doesn't want to betray their contract. But then something happens and Damien changes his mind. Here probably is the most interesting aspect of the novella, the proof that Damien is really young and with a very unsteady upbringing; it's true that Charles didn't tell everything to Damien, but Damien needs very little to surrender to temptation with Travis. On the other hand, it's quite clear that Charles is not a good man and instead Travis is exactly the good boy that Damien needs to redeem himself. So, is Damien a positive character? I believe not. Is he a character with possibility? Probably yes.
For sure the author manages to write a novella that is basically a nice erotic piece but that has also a basic plot, not so expected. The fact that Damien is not the usual mistreated and misunderstood teenager that, even if he went through hell, managed to remain a "fallen" angel; basically Damien is more a demon with possibility to arise to an upper level. http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Never+Say+Goodbye/exact_match=exact
Amazon Kindle: Never Say Goodbye
I'd Die For You (Slippery When Wet 4) by Jude Mason
I don't know if I'd Die For You is the last in the Slippery When Wet series, there is still to tell Joe Magee's story, but this one is the last about the man who helped him. This is the story of Snake, apparently the only one among them who was really innocent and framed for a crime he didn't commit. And for coherence Snake's story is also the one quite different from all the others.
All of them, just out of Corcoran, have no problem to find a new lover, and all in all, their life outside the prison is not so bad. But all the previous men had no real reason to do something better from their life, I don't, they were like "empty", almost if spending time in prison deprived them not only of time but also of will. Snake instead is angry and he wants to have his vengeance against the man who framed him. Snake, on the contrary of all his previous prison mate, is fed by his angry, and when the story starts he is heading toward a place and a mission, he has a purpose. But he is distracted by it from a nice smile and wide shoulders; he stops at a grill among the nothing that is the highway and stumbles upon Abel, a gay man alone in the middle of a bigot town who is more than eager to join Snake in his mission... obviously not before having spent some leisurely time together, and starred in the required shower sex scene.
Maybe Snake sudden willingness to be involved with someone so soon, and Abel eagerness to drop everything and hop on the bike with Snake, maybe it's all a bit rushed, but, well, this is a novella, and then the author makes it quite believable: Snake all in all is not a bad boy and he deserves a bit of lucky, and Abel... well, maybe he is in dear need of something.
Probably this is the best of all the series, it's less angst and more sexy. I wouldn't mind to read also Joe Magee's story, even if I have the idea that it wouldn't be so light. http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=I%27d+Die+for+You/exact_match=exact
Amazon Kindle: I'd Die for You
Amazon: Slippery When Wet
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle