Review: The Fireman & the Cop, The Teacher & the Soldier, and The Carpenter & the Actor by RJ Scott (Ellery Mountain #1=#3)

 

Note: These ARCs were provided by the author via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for honest reviews.

This consolidated review covers the first three books in author RJ Scott's Ellery Mountain series--The Fireman & the Cop, The Teacher & the Soldier, and The Carpenter & the Actor--which were originally released in 2013 and have been re-released this month. The series is set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and books one to three are about three best friends who make it a point to get together every Friday. Between the ages of twenty-four and twenty-five, Finn Ryan, Daniel Skylar, and Kieran Dexter--the small town cop, the former Marine, and the chatty carpenter--were born and raised in Ellery and consider it home. Each one is also gay, though currently unattached to anyone. Their Fridays together are sacred, and it's always been just the three of them. Each book has them falling in love one by one, but like all starting relationships, they'll need to pass trials to reach their happy endings.

The Fireman & the Cop is about Max Harrison and Finn Ryan. Max has just moved to Ellery and works at the mayor's office and is a volunteer firefighter. When he learns a police officer is caught in a burning building, Max doesn't hesitate to rush in and rescue Finn. From there, the two confess to a penchant for men in uniform, but the attraction is anything but shallow. However, someone seems to have their sights set on Finn, and this is where the suspense aspect of the story comes in, and alongside the romance, this series starter turned out to be a good read while introducing readers to Finn's best friends and other interesting peripheral characters in town. It did take awhile for me to feel the connection between these two and see for more than just some lustful, temporary thing that had no shot at being anything more, but in the end, I was rather satisfied. Four stars for Finn and Max's story.

The Teacher & the Soldier is the second book and is about Luke Fitzgerald, who left Ellery a decade again, needing to get as far away from his abusive father and the seemingly uncaring town he would never consider home again, and Daniel Skylar, the injured Marine who returned to the only place he called home to be with his only family and closest friends. Luke's return is brought about by the murder of his abusive father and he and Daniel have some tense moments, especially since Daniel's mom is part-owner of the Ellery Cabins that was bequeathed to Luke's father. There were times that I wasn't too much of a fan of teacher Luke's, but I did understand why he was as closed-off as he was. Daniel was such a good guy--a protective friend, a loving son, and an ex-Marine who wanted to do more--which is why I empathized with him when Luke let his fear get overwhelm him. This garners four stars.

The Carpenter & the Actor completes the story of the original set of three best friends who reserved Friday nights just for their get-togethers. Carpenter and handyman Kieran Dexter may not be as tall as his best friends, but what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in personality. Matched with his pretty boy good looks, it isn't a wonder he quickly got the attention of Hollywood actor Jason McInnery, who has escaped to his parents hometown of Ellery, not wanting to deal with the paparazzi hounding him about his younger brother's death. I liked that Jason was out and that his character didn't follow the stereotypical mold set for someone like him. I appreciated that there wasn't as much angst and drama in Kieran and Jason's story. By the time I finished this third book, I had grown attached to this trio turned sextet and their town of Ellery Mountain. 4.5 stars go to book three! ♥

Date Read: 12 May 2017

Learn more about RJ Scott.

Purchase The Fireman & the Cop on Amazon.
Purchase The Teacher & the Soldier on Amazon.
Purchase The Carpenter & the Actor on Amazon.

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