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REVIEW: First Impressions, by Jay Hogan

Title: First Impressions

Series: Auckland Med Book One

Author: Jay Hogan

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Dreamspinner

Pages: 257

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon | Publisher

About The Book

Michael:

Two years ago I made a mistake—a big one. Then I added a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life, but I survived. Now I have the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in NZ. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to rebuild my life. But I’m taking my new set of rules with me. 

I don’t do relationships. 

I don’t do commitment. 

I don’t do white picket fences.

And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking-hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world. 

Josh: 

One thing’s for certain: Dr. Michael Oliver is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I barely survived the last one of those. He might be gorgeous, but my daughter takes number-one priority. I won’t risk her being hurt again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop, and a son to pain-in-the-arse parents. 

I don’t have time for games. 

I don’t have time for taking chances. I don’t have time for more complications in my life. 

And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is.

The Review

Michael Oliver’s life as an ER doctor, spiraled out of control after a tragic loss. Besides leaving what was left of his life, he also left America.  He’s taken a temporary ER position at Aucland Med in New Zealand.  He’s now living a life of no attachments, free as a bird and he seems to be a little whore-ish.  He can be arrogant, snarky and has a devil-may-care attitude.   But there seems to be something Michael is hiding about himself.

K-9 cop, Josh Rawlins is hard nosed and very serious when it comes to his job.  After all, he’s had his ups and downs in life but his number one concern is his daughter Sasha.  He has a supportive sister, Katie, who’s always ready to help with Sasha.  If being a single dad and a cop isn’t hard enough, he also has to deal with homophobic parents.  Josh has to stay focused because he can’t afford to make anymore mistakes.

A night out at Downtown G, Michael is about to get busy, with his back to the wall, he finds himself confronted by Josh and his K-9, Paris.  When the drug sweep becomes chaotic, Michael finds himself not only assisting a wounded officer but he becomes a vital witness.  Being a witness doesn’t turn out so well and leaves Michael and Josh in a very difficult predicament.  For two men who really rub each other the wrong way they come to an arrangement that just might change their first impressions.

For me, this is the second time reading a Jay Hogan novel and true to form, she really gives an in-depth look into her MC’s.  The title of “First Impression” reflects the basis on how Michael and Josh see each other and it doesn’t look good for either.   There’s many moments of self-thought and examining by both MC’s, as they deal with with major issues and demons in their lives.  Even with the complex MC’s personality clashes, the author does not lose sight of a suspenseful and dangerous plot against Michael that effects all involved.

As Michael and Josh butt heads, the author brings a lot of interesting, secondary characters into the mix, that add warmth and humor to the storyline:   Sasha, Katie, Cameron, Mark and especially Paris. 

I’m sure there will be more to come for the “Auckland Med” series, as there’s some interesting characters to build on.

The Reviewer

Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense, and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in the US, Canada, France, Australia, and South Korea. She has degrees in nursing and in theology, and in another life, she was an intensive care nurse, counselor, and a lecturer. 

She has always had pen to paper from poetry to fiction, benefitting from the unwavering support of a long-suffering husband and the services of an in-house beta reader—oops, sorry, she means daughter. 

She is a cat aficionado, especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook (pretty damn good), loves to sing (pretty damn average), and as for loving full-time writing—absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand, and how much coffee she’s had. 

She has complex boys telling sexy stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward, thank goodness. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters always seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure. 

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