Friday, November 1, 2019

First Impressions by Jay Hogan


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.


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.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Blackout Books, 2018.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The slow build sexual tension in this book is electric. The family-focused dog handler and the playboy ER doctor hate each other at first sight – but they can’t escape the chemistry that draws them together.

It’s easy to love Josh. He’s a devoted single parent and a genuinely good person. His adorable canine partner is also pretty attractive. But honestly, he’s a little safe and a little bland at times – and it was bad boy Michael who really captured my heart. We first meet him when his backroom hook-up is interrupted by a police raid. He’s gorgeous, talented and arrogant – and he’s fighting some difficult demons. Michael made me laugh and he kept the book from falling into saccharine, white picket fence territory.

I enjoyed the action in this book. From Josh’s first drug raid to Michael’s terrifying run-ins with bad guys, the story is fast paced and exciting. The overall plot wanders a bit (I’m not sure the book needed the storyline about Josh’s parents or the one about the softball team...) and there might be a few too many characters but I liked the characters and I enjoyed their relationships. Some of the action near the end of the story isn’t terribly plausible but I felt thoroughly invested in the very real and relatable characters.

This is part of a very loosely linked series. I read this several months after reading the second novel and there really isn’t much that connects the two books. Michael and Cameron work together at Auckland Med but neither man plays a big role in the other’s story. Plot wise, the two are very different. This story gives readers police action and an organised crime storyline while the second book focuses on a closeted rugby player. I've enjoyed both books but readers don’t need to read them in sequence.

This is the first book in the series but was rereleased after book two. I really enjoyed Crossing the Touchline, so was keen to read this one too. Cam is the lead in book two, which as you get to know him here, makes a lot of sense.

An engaging mystery, which involves the doctor Michael and K9 officer Josh. They first meet with Michael in a somewhat compromising position – so definitely not a good first impression. However, with time they fall into a friendship/romance. As Michael is on a short contract in NZ, and due to return to LA, he is more than a little reluctant to settle down, even if he has broken all his rules already.

I found the two men were well written, and their hopes and fears well expressed. I did, however, hate how Michael was so selfish in his complete disappearance from Josh's life. Whilst it made sense that he needed the time and space to resolve his demons, he caused a lot of pain and angst that was just cruel. I chose to forgive him because Josh did, but I was not impressed at all!

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Michael is a successful trauma doctor. He is enjoying being around people who don't know his past. While he's taking this break from LA, being around a different bunch is both comforting and terrifying.

Josh is trying to live his best life. With his daughter and dog walking alongside him in this life, he knows that he can ill afford to screw up. He loves his job and, despite the dangers, can't see himself doing anything else.

Michael and Josh's relationship starts on very rocky territory. Neither man is looking for something real and the fact that Josh can't stand Michael only adds to the stress in both men's lives. But when danger lurks around Michael, Josh can't help but want to protect him.

This is a relationship of more enemies-to-lovers. The chemistry is lacking for me and it seems they really only get together out of spite and a need for release. At times, I found myself skimming the pages because there is a lot of dialogue that just isn't necessary. I enjoyed the mystery behind the danger and liked Josh's daughter a lot. Overall, this was just an okay story for me. It had so much more potential, but just didn't hit the spot for me.

Also Available in the Auckland Med. Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Crossing the Touchline post.

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 a BA degree in nursing and in theology, and in another life, she was an intensive care nurse, counselor, and a lecturer.

Though a late bloomer publishing-wise, 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.

Connect with Jay

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of First Impressions (Auckland Med. #1) by Jay Hogan to read and review.

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