While on my recent trek around the United States via Amtrak, I was able to delve into the nearly 300 books I had on my new Kindle (there's 411 now) and feed my reading addiction at the level I know will drive away nearly everyone if I indulge like that all the time. Certainly, even on the trip, my hubby would get a bit huffy with me and then pull out the laptop and play his Spider Solitaire while leaving me to read until the Kindle was dead. A couple of those books that I had downloaded just prior to our departure were the first two books that are co-authored by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon. Now I have read and reviewed a number of Mari Carr books for The Book Binge and loved them. But Jayne Rylon was new to me and set me off on an internet search to find books that she had authored previously. In the process I found the Men in Blue series. As I began reading the first book I realized this was a wonderful novel and couldn't wait to get my hands on the next two. I know we all read lots of book reviews, but I love to bring books to everyone's attention that aren't necessarily the most recently released. I am still determined not to miss some of the literary offerings th
at authors have made for their readers that are several years old. Such is this series.
This first book in the series begins the stories of a group of cops in a small conservative community, all of whom have known each other for years a
nd all of whom are brought even closer by the murder of one of their own. Lacey, their dead comrade's sister, has been like a "little sister" to them all as they have all surrounded her in a circle of support for years after her parents were killed and her well-being relied on her brother alone. Now he is dead--murdered in an alley--and two of these cops are particularly close to her, but not as close as she would like. She has been in love with them for years and they with her, but it has all been hush-hush. Lots of secrets between these three, and while there is lots of hot sex, there is also the sense that within this close circle of the Men in Blue there is understanding and acceptance. Perhaps that is why they can take a chance on being themselves. Just a really great read and one that is compelling from word one.
"Razor" is the nickname of one of the cops in the group who has found himself seriously wounded because he trusted the wrong person and that person was a female. Now he is sent und
ercover to gather "intel" on an heiress who is running from her abusive husband and who is "hiding in plain sight" as a performer on one of the celebrity dance TV shows. Once again the circle of friends is deeply involved in the story and there are lots of ins and outs, twists and turns, as Razor and Isabella move from rather acerbic dance partners to friends to . . . well, you know. Yet there is more to this novel than a love story between an heiress and a cop. Trust is at stake, a crime ring of sex slavery, some family issues and connections that not only surprised the characters but will shock the reader as well, and Razor's continuing sense that he can no longer trust his own cop instincts. After all, he trusted one woman and it almost killed him. Ms Rylon really does tell a mean story here, one that could conceivably stand alone but which connects so intrinsically with the characters in the first book. All of them waft in and out of each other's stories and the reader really develops a sense that they are all a known entity. It's one of the aspects of a series that I like best. Single novels often have me wanting so much more and there just ain't no more! Not so with this book. And Ms Rylon's writing is consistent, the story is tense and edgy, and the characters never fail to captivate. There's good stuff
This third book is J-Rad's story, the computer geek who is really a Dom in hiding, and whose reputation precedes him in the BDSM circles. He has been out of the lifestyle for a while, but his connections and his reputation are needed in an undercover capacity. This is the most difficult book of the three to read because the emotions are very raw, the BDSM components very hardcore, and the reality of uncovering the sex slavery ring and those who are involved could be very offensive to some readers. But the basic underlying reality is that J-Rad must confront his own darkest self and decide what part they will play in his future. A past happening has taken him out of the lifestyle but now as he is faced with the worst that he has ever imagined, he must make some decisions about himself and about the part that will be played by those in his close police circle. It is the kind of novel that just puts it all "out there" and lets the reader decide how much they can take.
We have all heard about the strong loyalties that law enforcement officers have to one another, much of which is needed as they stand alone in situations surrounded by people who would love to "do them in." This series, however, puts greater depth and understanding into the kinds of friendships these individuals have developed among each other and are valuable even as fictional works for that reason.
Also, novels that are honest about the sex slave trade in today's world are doing us all a favor to remind us that nearly 800,000 individuals are kidnapped--literally disappear and are sold as sex slaves around the world. The highest percentage of those are American females. In my younger years there was lots of talk about this and then the discussion just sort of went silent. I am very grateful to authors who are gutsy enough to do some research and even in fictional works are willing to be blunt about the presence of such crime on our planet. With the internet and world travel now so accessible, it is probably much worse than we even realize.
So, I hope that you will investigate Jayne Rylon's work and perhaps pick up one or all of the books in this series. It's worth the cost and the time to read. I know I am delighted to have discovered another author of this caliber.