Reviewed by Donna
SERIES REVIEW: Moore Romance #1 – #2.5
AUTHOR: Alex Miska
PUBLISHER: Longtail Books
BOOK #1 TITLE: A Chance for Moore
LENGTH: 260 Pages
RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2016
Logan Moore is finally ready to come out of the closet. His days of playing football are far behind him, he has graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and his bakery Moore Delicious is finally in the black. Although he spends more time talking to his cats than he does people, he technically has time for a social life now that he has hired two new employees. In short, Logan is completely out of excuses to stay in the closet, where it is warm and cozy and he never has to worry about how to dress, what to say, or who is watching. So he turns to his older brother’s friend for guidance. And if that friend just happens to be his long-time crush and if one thing might lead to another… well, that would just be icing on the cake.
Chance Blevins is a math geek through-and-through, who is more than happy to spend his nights curled up with his dog Luna. With a few toxic relationships in his past, Chance contents himself with friends-with-benefits and fantasies involving his best friend’s very straight soon-to-be brother-in-law, Logan. Because of a verbal slip the day they met and a teasingly-demanded vow of secrecy, he believes that Logan actually works for the C.I.A., making him even farther out of his league. When Logan comes to him for help with what he can only assume is a cover identity, he is more than happy to oblige.
The spy-confusion is soon cleared up (with much embarrassment by all involved) and the two men are ecstatic to discover their feelings are mutual, but several hurdles stand between them and Happily-Ever-After. Logan is still terrified of being out, Chance is convinced that theirs could only ever be a “starter relationship” for Logan, and a stalker is lashing out at Chance.
I’m not usually one to judge a book by its cover, but I have to admit, this cover didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. There seems to have been a trend lately towards these cutesy bright covers featuring a pretty man or two and a dog. Because everyone loves a dog, right? Unfortunately, my experience with these stories has regularly leaned towards disappointing. They tend to be overly sugary and eye-rollingly dramatic, often relying on the fact that “yay, there’s a puppy” to sell the story. Add to that a loooong blurb, and you have two of my biggest – this is going to be a mediocre book – indicators.
Well, I’m not too big to admit that sometimes, just sometimes, I can be wrong.
Maybe it was my preconceived notions of how this book was going to go, but it took me until about half way through the story to really get into it. But once I did begin enjoying it, I abruptly loved it!
It could also have been the vast number of secondary characters I needed to get my head around, because wow, there are a lot of characters forcing their way into this story. But, that isn’t a complaint. I love authors who have the skill to cram a shit ton of friends and family into a story and make it work. Yes, I did have to concentrate a bit at first to remember who everybody was, but the author took the time to ensure she introduced each new character in a thorough fashion. The secondary characters were actually a big part of what made me enjoy this book so much. Chase and Logan, our two MCs both got a little tiresome at times, though I will admit that the author provided good reasons for both men to have “issues”.
The biggest plus for me here was the humor. You can tell that the author is one funny lady, and that comes through in her writing. Even the silly parts of the story (such as Chance’s misunderstanding of what CIA stands for) were pulled off because the book, for the most part, was underscored by a sense of absurdity. Ok, absurdity might be going a little too far, but you can’t be too serious when the Moore family and their pets are involved. I’m really looking forward to getting straight into the second book,
BOOK #2 TITLE: Love You, Moore
LENGTH: 336 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2016
Xander Griffith was mesmerized by Julian the moment he laid eyes on him in a club; he’s gorgeous, brilliant, and unabashedly himself. But when he discovers Julian is his good friend’s, off-limits, baby brother, he promptly drops Julian off at his parents’ house with a promise to call. Unfortunately, his life took a left-hand turn that night, and Xander was unable to keep that promise. When they meet again months later, they can’t be in the same room without bickering like small children, and both men wonder whether the person they’d fallen for that night was an illusion.
Julian Moore is at loose ends after getting his Master’s: he can’t start his government cybersecurity job until he gets high-level clearance, his boyfriend and best friend are far away, and even his dojo closed down. All the sparkly, snarky white-hat hacker does these days is read M/M romance novels and hang out with his brothers’ friends. Of course, that means bumping into that over-privileged, condescending jerk, Xander, at every freaking turn; the man would be completely insufferable if it wasn’t for his sweet, hat-loving dog, Cassius.
When Xander discovers Julian is deeply depressed, his protective instincts kick in and he puts together a plan to help his friend’s brother fight his way through the murky gloom. The first step? Move the brat into his condo! It seems like the perfect solution: he certainly has plenty of room, it gets Julian out of his parents’ house, his boxer is head-over-paws in love with Julian, and someone has to keep their friend’s pug from destroying all of Xander’s left shoes.
From the moment Julian moves in, his and Xander’s lives fit seamlessly together and both men soon realize their initial attraction may have been stronger, and deeper, than they thought.
I enjoyed this story even Moore (haha, see what I did there) than the first book. Julian was so freakin’ fabulous that I wanted to hug the heck out of him. And while I wanted to slap Xander around a bit to begin with, as soon as he extracted his head from his ass and realized that he was being a douchebag, well then he was all sorts of okay too.
This was a long book, and while the reviewer in me feels like I should suggest that it was unnecessarily lengthy given the simple plot line, the reader in me was happy to continue on and on. It almost felt like the story was told in two parts, though those parts did merge rather seamlessly. The first part focused on Julian and Xander actually stumbling their way into a relationship and the second half turned more towards Julian’s new job. Throughout the whole book the story of Safe Haven, the LGBT children’s shelter, slowly develops.
There are so many parts of this story that I could highlight as my favourite. Once Xander and Julian actually managed to get together, they were just too cute for words. Which other couple has a patented maneuver named the “Baby Koala”? Who else seats dogs around the table and feeds them cake? Not to mention carrying a pug around in a baby sling. And what other human couple discusses which of them is the alpha and which is the omega so they know who has to carry the werewolf pups? Honestly, the cuteness factor is ridiculous – and by ridiculous I mean perfectly wonderful. Yes, it’s all very sweet, but the author does a brilliant job of balancing that with scads of humor and just the barest hint of angsty emotion.
I do recommend that you read the first two books in order. I accidently started this book first and was promptly confused by the avalanche of secondary characters. However, if you read the books in order, the characters are more carefully introduced throughout the first story.
BOOK #2.5 TITLE: The Moore the Merrier
LENGTH: 57,000 Words
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017
“Our family will always have room for a few more Moores.”
The Moore family is growing exponentially this year! All three brothers are enjoying their Happily-Ever-Afters. Julian and Xander only have four weeks to plan their dream wedding and are waiting impatiently to welcome two homeless teens into their family. Amidst all the merriment, Chance discovers that he has siblings, and they need his help. He’s forced to confront his past, but he won’t have to face it alone.
Wow. Okay. So as I mentioned in my review of the first book, I went into this series with some definite reservations. Well, the author has surely put me in my place because it would be impossible for me to love this story any more.
Firstly, you absolutely need to read The Moore the Merrier as a sequel to Love You, Moore. Don’t bother trying to learn these characters beginning with this book because you’ll probably give yourself a migraine. Although, the author does kindly provide a very cute family tree as well as a list of all the friend groups to help any forgetful readers remember who is who.
This book is told in a third person point of view from over half a dozen different characters. These include our MCs from previous books, their friends, family and most brilliantly, their pets. Yes, their pets. I’ve come across this in a few other books I’ve read and I never liked the perspective before. But this author is either marvelously talented – or just plain nuts! Or maybe marvelously nuts, who knows?! Because this is the first book ever, where I’ve eagerly awaited the next chapter to come from a pet’s point of view. I actually laughed out loud several times as the cats with their superior attitudes mingled with a variety of doggy personalities. Thankfully the scenes seen through the eyes of the humans cleared up any confusion that the animal perspective may have caused.
This book also covered an important timeline gap from book #2 and pushed forward a few other men’s stories.
I cannot wait to see where Alex Miska takes this series next. What I’ve read so far may not be perfect but it’s certainly perfectly entertaining. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover The Moore the Merrier finding its way into my best books of 2017 list when we come to the end of the year.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Miska/e/B01MREQE5O
Author Site: http://authormiska.wordpress.com
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16048365.Alex_Miska
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