ElaineY's Reviews > Fair Game

Fair Game by Josh Lanyon
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May 19, 13

bookshelves: mm, romantic-suspense, read-more-than-once
Read from October 24 to 25, 2011 — I own a copy

This did not turn out even half as good in the audiobook. My attention wandered several times and anyone who's familiar with audiobooks knows what a pain it is to go back and find where your mind last left off in the story!

I tried re-listening over three nights then finally gave up. This is another audiobook purchase I regret.

This was just as good the second time around. Perhaps the murder mystery was even simpler than the impression I had the first time around but that was made up by other things added to my understanding of Elliot and Tucker's relationship - nuances that I missed and am glad to have now. I'm still blown away by the aching tenderness these two alpha males display towards one another once they start removing the layers of insecurity and fear.

As in all break-up & make-up stories there are always aspects to the relationship I tend to miss the first time around and when the story's a good one, I prefer to read it again so that I can retrieve all these little pebbles of information or understanding along the way. Long after I've turned off my reader, Elliot and Tucker remain firmly in my heart and you know - every time Elliot made the right response to Tucker, I felt so grateful to JL! I was truly, utterly thankful, could-kiss-his-feet-grateful that he did not allow his characters to descend into TSTL ('love', not 'live) territory and allowed them to make decisions that left me feeling good about this couple and their romance.

Elliot and Tucker have become my favorite govt-agent-couple (even if one of them is ex) now that my previous fav, Ty and Zane suffered irreparable damage through a series that should never have happened, not the way it was done, anyway.:(

Lanyon's probably the only author I dare entrust a beloved couple to for a sequel or a series...

Are there more books like this by Josh Lanyon? Because I LOVED Fair Game. I started reading this expecting more of a murder mystery with just a hint of a romance and no sex because that was what someone told me. She especially said there was NO SEX in it. I asked her three times and almost decided not to read the book except that I had already bought it.

So you can imagine what was running through my head when all this sexual tension was running amok from the minute Elliot laid eyes on Tucker. No way would Lanyon do this to me - get me all hot and heavy and panting then...nothing?

Well, I don't know what my friend was reading (she loved Fair Game, btw) because the sex scene between Elliot and Tucker is exactly the way I like them in my romantic suspense. I need just one. One scorching sex scene and then I like to focus on the murder. The romance should still be there hovering around such that I can't wait for the MC to get some downtime together (or should that be "up" time?) but it should never get in the way of the suspense plot. And Lanyon satisfied me on every level where this was concerned. This one and only detailed sex scene started off erotic, built up to explosive then, coming down, it was wrapped in tenderness and love. Not only was that unexpected, that it's between two hot, masculine alphas in a suspense story is simply to die for.

Okay, back to the murder mystery. POSSIBLE SPOILER SO DON'T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE SUSPENSE!!!! No, I don't tell you whodunit.
It's easy to guess who the murderer is once you think about the fact that these murders aren't personal, one-to-one crimes of passion. Then when an annoying character is bumped off and another would be too trite, there isn't anyone else. Don't let this easy-to-guess-whodunit lessen your enjoyment, however. Fair Game is very, very well-written (to me, anyway) without ANY annoying bits of writing, the protags are sexy and appealing, it's got a wonderful mix of romance and suspense.

I read it in one sitting.

As a lover of mainstream romantic suspense (Karen Rose, Catherine Coulter, etc) I had no problems with the terms like 'unsub' which are regular-speak in FBI murder investigations so much of the time, I felt as if I were reading one of my beloved Karen Rose books, at least the earlier ones that had a better mix of romance and murder suspense.

And as I turned off my reader, I was wondering why anyone would think there was no romance in this book. Or sex. I had to ask my friend again (yes, I was that puzzled) and she still couldn't recall anything much about sex in the book. She thought it only happened in a dream sequence. I'm still shaking my head over it...

I was glad that the rift between Tucker and Elliot was explained, if not in one single instance, certainly in the bits revealed every time the two men clashed. No difficulty understanding why those two needed a break from each other - just imagine the hell an alpha man must be going through, living with the fact that a career he loves passionately, is now over; and the hell it must be to live with and love a man going through that! Yet this is exactly what Tucker, another alpha who loves his job - the same job as Elliot's - has to deal with and nothing he says, nothing he does, is right. Every darn move he makes is taken the wrong way by the, literally, injured party. There was no way a relationship between them, at that point still very new and tenuous, could survive.

How the murders bring the two men back together and how they find their way to their HFN (a very 'strong' one, an HEA even, in my estimation) is the reason why I read Romantic Suspense. I didn't like the previous Lanyon one I read (something about a ghost and yellow socks), bought all but the new Adrien English but did not read a single one so I can't say whether I'll read the next JL. I can only say I'm so glad I did read Fair Game and might even start reading the Adrien English if they're anywhere as good.

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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Norma Funny, I've been hesitant to read JL books because I've heard there is no sex in them. I don't need 40 sex scenes, but I do like some sex in my books.

I've had this on my TBR for a while now.

ElaineY I'm not sure about his other books but my review says it all re. the sex scene. Bump this one up, Norma. :)

Norma I think I might. I've been enjoying reading your reviews.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Lanyon always has some sex in his books. Not lots, but it's there. And it is always very yummy sex. Not the clinical "tab a in slot b" stuff. So I'd say go for it.

ElaineY Kate Mc. wrote: "Lanyon always has some sex in his books. Not lots, but it's there. And it is always very yummy sex. Not the clinical "tab a in slot b" stuff. So I'd say go for it."

Kate, do you have any other Lanyon you could recommend to me? Not the Moriarty one, though. I don't want a series.

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 29, 2010 09:39AM) (new)

He doesn't have a lot of stand alones. You might try Don't Look Back. I know I gave it a 2, but that's because I didn't really connect with the POV character very well. Lots of other people really like him. The suspense part was well done. Our tastes are different enough that you might enjoy this one.

DON'T read A Vintage Affair. There is an obnoxious m/m/f scene in it that will make you throw up.

ElaineY Kate Mc. wrote: "He doesn't have a lot of stand alones. You might try Don't Look Back. I know I gave it a 2, but that's because I didn't really connect with the POV character very well. Lots of ot..."

I read Don't Look Back and gave it 4 or 5 stars. How about the Dickens one?

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Nice sweet romance. No mystery/suspense. If you want something light that makes you feel good, The Dickens with Love would be a good choice.

ElaineY Hmm...will keep that in mind. I need something filled with action, suspense AND romance right now and have no idea where I can get that in my suddenly-insipid-looking TBR:(

Norma Elaine, I know exactly how you feel. I've been looking at my Kindle TBR and my book shelf TBR and there is nothing grabbing me. I keep looking and waiting for something to jump out but it doesn't. Although, while I'm normally a RS reader, right now I'm in need of light contemporary fluff. I need something uplifting that won't require too much thinking! LOL

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Who said no sex? Wasn't me!

ElaineY Kate Mc. wrote: "Who said no sex? Wasn't me!"

LOL! It's another dormant GR member I communicate with regularly. But she couldn't remember when I asked her so obviously what was hot for me was forgettable for her.

I'm halfway through my reread. Still good.

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