Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Oceans Apart"

Review - "Oceans Apart" by Laura Harner

Cool, calm and wow

Very Highly Recommended

***Disclaimer. Laura Harner is my writing partner with our series Altered States. However, I am a reader and reviewer first, and I put aside all my personal feelings and friendships when I review. This is the second in the Separate Ways series, and I recommend you read Continental Divide prior to reading this book. If not, there are potential spoilers for that book below. Now, let's take a look...***

Two years after walking away from Lord Jamie Mainwaring, Colt "Remy" Remington has a whole new life. He returned to Arizona with Miggy, his undercover cop friend who lost himself in drugs. Now, he and Remy own a private security business, are foster parents to Toby, the young man Remy teamed with Jamie to rescue from the underground sex trade. They have a home, a business, and a family.

After reluctantly accepting a job guarding the owner of $15 million in diamonds on a gay barefoot cruise, Remy and Miggy-the very straight Miggy-pose as lovers. And run directly into Jamie and his new partner Ryan, who are also on an undercover assignment.

Add in an uncooperative client, murder, pirates, and the sudden and unexpected attraction between two friends, and Remy and Jamie are forced to confront their new relationships. Will either man admit what he lost, and what he has? Can the four men safeguard the diamonds and solve the case? Or will they become victims on the high seas?

This is the second of four books in the Separate Ways series, and Ms. Harner has taken the two heroes and shown then in a very new, and profound light. In Continental Divide, we are left hanging. Remy walks away from the stunned Jamie, and everything is left up in the air. Jamie is ready for a relationship, and Remy isn't. Miggy is an addict, and Toby is somewhere in limbo.

Now, Remy has built himself a home and an ersatz family without even realizing it. He and Miggy have slowly put themselves together comfortably with Toby as their son, and Remy and Miggy have to deal with the dawning realization that their relationship may be more complex than they first thought.

And Jamie. He has once again partnered himself with his work partner. He's built a comfortable life with Ryan, but finds himself reluctant to fully commit and say those three words every person wants to hear. Ryan is fully aware of it, and his pain is plain. Jamie comes to realize what is in his way and how he's repeating a pattern he started and duplicated with Remy.

This is a very mature, thoughtful work, and I loved how we got to see each of our men, broken and healing, examining themselves. There are no easy answers or fixes, and these guys, unlike so many we see, are willing to do the hard cold examination it takes to truly make changes.

Jamie and Miggy, especially, take very hard looks at themselves, and Ms. Harner gives us glimpses into the men they could and want to be. I already loved Remy, but by the end of this wonderful, literate book, I fell a little more in love with Jamie. And I just can't not want to take Miggy home with me. I am waiting impatiently for book three to see where his story takes him.

This is a solid, well-conceived and beautifully plotted work in what is shaping up to be one of my favorite must-read series.

Great job!


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