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Episode Info: Jeff discusses this week’s release of Netminder (Codename: Winger #4). The guys also announce that they’ll be returning to Coastal Magic Convention for 2020 and that the con’s featured author list and registration will open on June 1. Jeff reviews Gregory Ashe’s Orientation (Borealis Investigation #1). Will reviews Louisa Master’s The Athlete and the Aristocrat and Human Omega: Discovered on the Slave Planet (Pykh Book 1) by Eileen Glass. Jay from Joyfully Jay stops by and recommends books by Nora Phoenix, Harper Fox, Lily Morton and Jordan L. Hawk. Jay also talks about the recent Book Lovers Con, which took place earlier this month in New Orleans. Complete shownotes for episode 190 are at BigGayFictionPodcast.com. Here’s the text of this week’s book reviews: Orientation (Borealis Investigation #1) by Gregory Ashe. Reviewed by Jeff Listeners of the podcast know I’ve become a huge fan of Gregory Ashe’s Hazard and Somerset series. Because of those books, I was eager to get Orientation, which is the first in Gregory’s Borealis Investigation series (just released this past Friday on May 24), and the new book simply extends my love of Gregory’s storytelling. Borealis Investigations is run by Shaw Aldrich and North McKinney two friends and private detectives who are on the verge of losing their business. Because of events that happen before the book begins, North’s license is suspended meaning he can’t actively work on any case. But, one arrives on their doorstep is Matty Fennmore comes looking for Shaw. The young, blonde pretty guy is being blackmailed and he wants Shaw’s help. It’s not just Matty being blackmailed though. As Shaw and North begin to dig into what’s happening they find an undercurrent of blackmail and deception running through the local LGBTQ community–including politicians and police…and it goes back for years. It’s also incredibly elaborate, as Shaw and North keep chasing leads they find that even the blackmailed are also blackmailing. They persist with their investigations though even as their lives become in danger, Matty is attacked and demands are made. It’s particularly rough on Shaw because he’s developing feelings for the young man even as he already carries a torch for the married North. In the vein of Hazard and Somerset, things are never what they seem and that’s one of the many things I like about Gregory’s books. This is a twisted tale and yet there’s never a red herring (at least as I read them) because everything matters and it’s all connected. Once you get to the end you see it as clearly as the detectives do. I love how Shaw and North are opposite of Hazard and Somers too. Shaw and North have years of true friendship in their history and that makes their working relationship far different than the other two. They rely on and trust each other and that gets them through things that would break most other relationships. There are some particularly difficult situations ...
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