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Straight Up

(Dan Stagg Mystery #2)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Who is trying to kill the members of an elite special ops team that worked off the radar in Iraq in the '90s? It's up to Dan Stagg to track down the survivors -- the men with whom he stormed an undefended surveillance station, killing everyone inside. And now, many years later, the team is being targeted in what seems like a series of unrelated attacks. Dan teams up with h ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Cleis Press
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  204 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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4.25 stars

Dan Stagg is one hell of a character.

This was an improvement from book 1.

Solid mystery, solid writing and of course Dan being Dan.

I liked it Alot!!

Thank you Moony and Teal for the amazing buddy read. Can't wait for us to dive into book 3. 😘😘💝
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
O.M.G., this book is killing me!
I want to say I loved it, but the last 2% just crumbled my world to pieces...

Dan Stagg is a one-man show. This is erotica, not romance. This is so far from romance that it makes even Special Forces look like a couple of guys plucking off daisy petals à la 'He loves me, he loves me not' ;-)

Dan is the lead character and the one who went under my skin. Everyone else is just a fuck, so there's no love interest that you could take seriously here. Dan's a very emotional
Moony Eliver
It's not that I don't *want* to write reviews for these books. It's just that I'm really not sure what to say.

But. Almost everything about this volume worked better for me than the first. I've finally gotten to the point where I think the author has a point. A reason for writing this character in the way that he has, even if it seems to make no sense sometimes, or feels OTT, or appears contrived for the purposes of erotica. (Which, ok fair, but I believe it's not just for that.)

So, yeah. I'm in.
This is not a romance. This is not a romance. This is not a romance.

I had to say it 3 times just to make sure you get the point. This is not a romance. You don't like reading about cheating? Don't read this book.

I don't think I've ever read so much sex in a book with a plot! Holy crap, Dan. It's ok to leave a hole untapped. Zippers were invented for a reason.

I have no idea how to rate it. I enjoyed the story. I think. Although I almost stopped being surprised at each new sex scene. In fact, I w
Ulysses Dietz
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
James Lear’s “Straight Up” seems to be the finale of a two-part series about Dan Stagg, a major in the marines who gave his all for his country and then got pushed out of the service on the wrong side of DADT. He’s a little bitter about that, for several reasons, and has every right to be.

Lear doesn’t give you romance. He’s a great writer. Terse, correct, smart and salted with just enough wry humor to keep it from getting grim. His characters are intense and vivid, particularly his star, Dan Sta
4,5 stars

Please make sure:

1)You read the first book before you pick up this one.
1)You do not confuse this book with a MM Romance genre, because it is not. It is James Lear.

"Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually. A common feature of the genre is sexual fantasies on such themes as prostitution, orgies, homosexuality, sadomasochism, and many other ta
Dan, Dan, Dan.

Really, that could just be my review. Lord knows I thought it often enough while reading this. Talk about someone who’s his own worst enemy. Which is so relatable. By the end I was marveling at how much I could identify with this driven, complicated character who is, at least superficially, completely unlike me. And yet.

In my review of the first book I called it — for lack of a better word — a comedy. But this time around the tone is more sane and sober. Yes, there are still laugh
So. Freakin'. GOOD! - a third Dan Stagg novel is promised by the author for May this year In the Ring: A Dan Stagg Novel and I can't wait!

"Lust makes cowards of us all..."

The Dan Stagg guide to sexing up the straight guy.

Damn I wish this wasn't the end of the audio series! Such great mysteries, but - wow - Dan Stagg is incredible. I just want to know what happens to him... I'm not going to spoil it for anyone by commenting here, but I can't wait to find out what the next 6-18 months of his life
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hmmm... It was the usual James Lear with his variety of sexual acts etc. but I'm not sure I liked this version of 'submissive' Dan. I prefer 'alpha' Dan! 3.5 stars ...more
Ok, when I read the first Dan Stagg book The Hardest Thing I may have been distracted by the campiness of the Jack Reacher gay-sex laced parody. I certainly enjoyed it, but I may have missed a really good plot. This sequel makes me want to go back and pay attention to the story. Wow, surprisingly good. And unsurprisingly it was very sexy. And for James Lear fans keeping score, yes this featured (view spoiler). ...more
The "James Lear" pen name has become a brand synonymous with clever, satirical, erotic takes on such established genres as the Edwardian mystery, historical adventure, and suspense thriller. Heavy on the sex and light on psychological, or hell, even anatomical reality, they are fun, playful, escapist romps.

"Straight Up" defies those expectations. Sure, it's as heavy on fantastic sex as any other Lear creation. But it's not very much fun. In fact, it's downright bleak. Dan Stagg, the deeply flawe
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completely Unique Man Gets More Complex

Dan Stagg is one of the most complex, unique, and totally messed-up characters I have come across in ages. He's a solid ex-military openly gay hard ass with a sweet and much younger lover from the first book in this series. But in this book he quickly falls into every single sexual and plot-driven circumstance thrown in his way, mostly with great remorse but little will-power.

I found this to be a mid-life crisis journey for a man whom I had much better feel
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If Jack Reacher were gay, he might have adventures like these - this is a pacy thriller with a brilliant protagonist and lots of vividly described gay sex. I can only hope that this series will continue...
Oct 10, 2014 marked it as dnf
Is that a typo? August 2015???
Almost a year :(

Update Oct. 25:
Back to the TBR with you - had a look at the final few pages (shame on me, I know) and it looked like a rather unsatisfactory ending. So, I can't get myself to return to you right now. But I will. Later. For sure.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Adam by: Martin
[Special thanks to Martin for recommending the book to me.]

The second book of the series seems to be more mystery plot-oriented as compared to the first novel. I enjoyed the story much more in this book as compared to the first one. There's slightly less sex scenes/erotica in this book, since Mr Lear has decided to focus a little more on the narrative. I personally preferred the erotica in the first book, and I find them hotter than the ones in the second installment. If you've liked the first b
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
How this is book classified as a romance? The only thing in it that relates to romance is sex, there is a lot of sex. Here is the problem, there are 4 different people and none are the romantic focus. I would call this an erotic mystery, not romance at all.

So saying that, it is actually really good. But again, not as a romance, don't expect any romance here. There is a very confused gay man who wants to fuck anything that moves that looks good and wants the same, even if they might not know it.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Following on from the first book we have Dan Stag now in a long distance relationship with Jody who he rescued in "The Hardest Thing". Jody has gone to fashion college in New York and Dan is back in his home town working at a gym. The main gist of this book though is Dan being contacted by a former marine team mate to investigate the death of his close friend in a suspicious fire in New York which in turn leads the main story - a mystery as to why his former marine colleagues are being targeted ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a unique series, and Dan is a unique character. He's paranoid, somewhat lost, falls in love too easily, and sleeps around too much. But he's compelling in a way that's unlike any other character I can think of. I look forward to the next book in the series. ...more
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
As with all James Lear's books--great story with a lot of heat!! ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I enjoyed this one slightly more than Book 1.
Migs Fiel
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Even hotter than the first book, compromising the mystery side of the book, which was okay by me. I just did not like the ending. I like sad endings and cliffhangers, but not bad endings which do not make sense to me. It could have ended in a lot of ways better than what actually happened, which seems unexplained and irrational to me. But I would still read the next book, if ever there will be.
Brian Williams
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good action thriller - plenty of sex because Dan Stagg is always on the lookout for it. A bittersweet ending but maybe a fresh start for Major Stagg.
Lee Rey
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Another great read, but comparing it to the Mitch series it doesn't reach its level. I do hope this series is a trilogy because I am still interested in another novel in this series! ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Now, that was depressing. :(

I had hopes for Dan to find a more positive outlook on life. But he avoided it wherever he could.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, dnf-not-for-me
63% DNF

Watersports. Just NO! It sort of had a plot, completely overwhelmed by sex. With, like, everybody he knew. First and last James Lear.
Colin Hardy
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author has the sort of writing that draws the reader in without effort. The characterization is very well handled, particularly of the eponymous anti-hero. His character flaws as a rich source of story and plot development. He tries to be a good man and the best that he can to those he cares about, but there is just something missing in his make-up and relationships suffer. He is not blind to this and the self-reflection is described effectively and without maudlin. The book is a balance bet ...more
I have thoroughly enjoyed many of James Lear’s books, but this is trash. Dan Stagg is a cheating irresponsible POS. This book doesn’t in any sense resemble romance. It’s simply a Dan Stagg whore around fuck-fest & I’m not interested. I felt nothing but emptiness & emotional betrayal by the time it was finished & quite honestly the ending didn’t come quickly enough. The mystery part of this filth was so amateurish & lazy that I figured out the entire case less than halfway through.
Story: 8
First MC: 9
Second MC:
Secondary characters: 7
Mystery: 7
Sexual tension: 5
Humor: 5
Hotness: 6
Product placement: 3
Ridiculousness: 4
Annoying: 2
Audio: 10 (8h 31min)
To re-read: 8

Another day another mystery. Dan sleeps around, turn into a submissive pub for some reason.

Happy with ending, its so fitting. I see there is a new book coming. Gosh but Dan got what he wanted at the end.
Nicolas Chinardet
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
If I'm honest, the plot is perhaps a little thin (ie not much actually happens) for what is after all a 300 page "action" novel but Lear is a damn good story teller and his books are always highly enjoyable. This one is no exception. ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Best things about this book - the internal monologue, the cynical commentary about the military, the realistic fight sequences & the intrigue. The ending, totally in character.
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James Lear is the nom de plume of prolific and acclaimed novelist, Rupert Smith. He lives in London and is the 2008 Winner of Erotic Awards "Best Writer".


Other books in the series

Dan Stagg Mystery (3 books)
  • The Hardest Thing (Dan Stagg Mystery, #1)
  • In the Ring (Dan Stagg Mystery, #3)

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