Saturday, 18 July 2009

Review – Poker Night Series – Carol Lynne





 Back  Of The Book

Book one in the Poker Night Series

A pizza delivery never felt so good.

Zac Grainger's life is pretty quiet. Other than coaching high school football, the only excitement he gets is playing poker with his close friends every other Saturday. That is until he opens the door to the hottest pizza delivery man he's ever seen, and man, does Zac want a piece of that pie.

Eric Stanton spends long hours as an intern at one of the largest hospital in San Francisco. To help keep a roof over his head, he also has a part-time job as a pizza delivery driver. When a gorgeous customer tries to flirt with him, Eric's too tired to reciprocate.

Just when Eric wonders if he'll get a second chance with the guy, an order is placed requesting him personally. Tired or not, perhaps things are looking up.


"Hey, can you do me a big one and stop and get a couple bags of chips, maybe a bag of pretzels?" Zac asked.

"Sure. I was gonna stop and pick up some more beer anyway. Trey never brings enough, and Angelo only brings that flavoured pussy beer." Zac chuckled. "I'd have never put Angelo and the word pussy in the same sentence. Besides, it's just Mexican beer. He puts the lime in it, it doesn't come that way."

"Whatever," Kent drawled. "I'll be there in twenty, as long as the traffic gods are smiling on me."

Zac hung up the phone and turned back to Bobby. "I guess I'm not a very good host this week. I'll call and order some pizza later."

Bobby finished off the cookies in his hand and opened a bottle of water. "Serves them right. They should be bringing stuff. It's not fair for you to always fork over the cash to feed us."

Zac leaned his hip against the table and crossed his arms. "Yeah? And what did you bring?" He softened the question with a wry grin.

"My sparkling personality, and this smokin' hot bod," Bobby answered. "What more could a night with a bunch of queers need?"

"A nine-inch dick?"

Bobby grabbed his basket and snorted. "Got one of those right here."

Zac started laughing. "Yeah, sure."

Bobby started to unbutton his jeans. "Want me to prove it?"

Zac held up his hand. "No. I may not have had a date in a while, but I don't need you waving your willy around."

Bobby shrugged. "Your loss." He wandered out of the kitchen into the living room and flopped down on Zac's worn red couch.

"Turn on the news," Zac instructed, walking into the room. "They should have highlights from the game."

Bobby did so. "Sorry, forgot to ask. You guys win?"

"Of course," Zac said, puffing just a tad. His team was undefeated, and Zac had high hopes of making it all the way to the state championship.

The door opened and Trey walked in, carrying a case of beer. "Could I get a little help?"

Zac stood and easily lifted the beer out of his friend's hands. Trey was a fantastic guy but strong he wasn't. With a law degree in his hip pocket, Trey had decided to go against his family and become a teacher, much to his father's disapproval.

Zac took the beer into the kitchen and set it on the counter. Getting into the freezer, he pulled out the bag of ice he'd remembered to buy a couple of days earlier and carried it to the sink. After filling the sink with ice and bottles, he returned to the living room carrying four beers. He passed them out, eyeing Marco as he handed one over. "You clean the tub?"

"Yes, Mom," Marco answered. "I even hung up the towel."

Texas Hold ‘em © Carol Lynne


Zac Grainger lives a pretty decent life – he teaches, he a nice guy and he has the best set of friends anyone could have asked for. Not that he couldn’t do with some action in the romance department but who was complaining – these things takes time and his friends more than make up for companionship with there fortnightly poker games.

Having gotten the handle on his friends over the time that he’s lived in the city, he knew what to expect on their bi-weekly poker sessions, he knew who would be late and who would be using his shower and leaving a ring around the rim.

The one thing he did not expect however his an instant attraction to the local pizza delivery boy. He finds out quickly enough however that the delivery was actually a young intern at the local hospital working his tail off to make ends meet.

Eric was unlike anyone Zac has ever meet, mouthy, determined and as stubborn as Zac himself was. The good thing about Eric though was, Eric liked Zac and that was a start for him, because Zac so wanted Eric to be a permanent part of his life.

TAXAS HOLD ‘EM is the first book in Carol Lynne's new series, Poker Night; and as much as this was Zac’s and Eric's story, it was also an introduction to a great bunch of guys. These guys will eventually make up the main protags in other books to come.

As an opening book, this was a great read – if you have never read Carol Lynne books – think Diana Palmer romances, there are certain predictors and stereotypical characters, however despite all that I am unable to resist the books when they are release, her writing style is very soap opera-like and very addictive.

I liked Eric and Zac, Zac was clearly the alpha male of this partnership and as much as he tries to bulldozed Eric in doing what he wanted, Eric was having none of it and that’s when the fun and games begin. A sweet read with minor angsty moment that lives up to Ms. Lynne’s style of writing…

I am already looking forward to the other parties story.











Back Of The Book

Book two in the Poker Night Series

Charter Captain Bobby Quinn loves life on the water. What he hates is working for his brother.

Charter Captain Bobby Quinn loves life on the water. What he hates is working for his brother. After years spent restoring an aging wooden yacht, his brother bought it out from under him. In Bobby's mind, if family will screw you at the drop of a hat so will everyone else so, except for his bi-weekly poker game, he sticks to the solitude of the boat he loves.

Dr. Jules Peters knows all about solitude. When not working endless hours as Head of Emergency Medicine, he's tinkering in his garage. A collector of vintage cars in need of TLC, Jules has an impressive collection of cars but few friends.

Jules meets Bobby when he's given a cruise around the San Francisco Bay as a gift. Although their mutual attraction is explosive, neither man is ready to move out of his comfort zone. It might take a meddling med student and an off-season football coach to get these two loners to see there's more to life than caring for inanimate objects.


“Is this what I pay you to do?”

From his position on the lounge chair, Bobby Quinn opened his eyes and stared up at the silhouette of his brother Brad. God he hated the sonofabitch. “I’m not out on a charter, so you aren’t paying me at all.”

“So why aren’t you out busting your balls to get a charter?”

Bobby sat up and gestured towards the virtually empty marina. “It’s Wednesday. Do you see a lot of tourists around?”

Brad made that little sound in his throat Bobby hated. “Could be something to do with the location, or maybe I need to find a captain who’s willing to get out and drum up business.”

Standing, Bobby’s hands clenched into fists. “You threatening me? Your own brother?”

Brad stuck his hands in his designer suit pockets and shrugged. “Half-brother. Besides, it’s business.”

Bobby knew Brad was lying. It wasn’t business at all. Since the day he’d been born, Brad had hated his guts. Was it his fault their mutual father had fucked his secretary and then divorced his wife when his mistress, aka Bobby’s mother, turned up pregnant?

From the way Brad treated him, Bobby guessed his half-brother’s answer to the question would be a resounding yes. “And just where am I supposed to find people who can afford the prices you’re charging for a day out on the ocean?”

Brad shrugged again in that ‘I can’t be bothered with details’ way he had. “That’s your problem.”

“Is there anything else you need?” Bobby asked, ready for the conversation to be over.

Brad walked around the 1970 Grand Banks trawler. “Nope. Just checking up on my investment, making sure you’re doing the required upkeep on her.”

“Fuck you,” he seethed.

Slow Play © Carol Lynne



Charter Captain Bobby Quinn is doing what he loves, on the water in the trawler that he has invested all he had into – the only fly in the ointment is that he no longer owns it. Having to work for his brother has left him bitter and not is usual self.

He barely makes the effort to drum up business and just go with the flow of what ever comes his way. The next charter up for him is his friends boss Dr. Jules Peters and he was having more on his plate at the moment than having to think about making nice to please the customer.

Dr. Jules Peters is a class act, single, work oriented, and has a massive chip on his shoulder that is about to fall off. Finished with his latest project, he starts looking for something new to spark is interest. The last thing he expects is finding that spark with the captain of the trawler books to give him an evening cruise.

After more than a decade off the market he is leery enough to almost give Bobby whiplash with is yes no attitude. Once he makes up his mind however – he is all  that Bobby could have wished for in a partner. They however have issues from their respective past and present to sort out before they stand any chance of togetherness.

The second book in the Poker Nights series and this one has a bit of a clout to it. There is of course the he said, he said moments but more than that – it deals with angsty moments in a family structure, the act of moving on from a loss as well as accepting friends for what and who they are.

I actually did like this book better than the first one, and I am constantly impressed with Ms. Lynne’s panache for linking together a dynamic set of personalities that not only rub each other the wrong way but who are also willing to go the distance for each other as well.

Another sweet production from a most consistent author…


3 Speak To Me:

Lily on 19 July 2009 at 04:29 said...

Great reviews EH

I haven't read these yet but looking forward to them. Thanks!


Eleni on 19 July 2009 at 16:56 said...

po po po poker face po po po poker face...sorry that songs came to mind as i read your review ;P

Cecile Smutty Hussy on 20 July 2009 at 04:48 said...

Funny thing is... we play Texas Hold'em around here for fun! And normally I am the only girl at the table (unless hubby's sister joins us). So, these stories are humorous to me!! But they do sounds delightful!
You know I am dipping into the m/m books.
Question off the side, Samantha Kane.. the brother books, they are offered as paperbacks or ebook only?? I am having a hard time finding them at Borders. Unless I am looking in the wrong section?? just wondering
I hope you had a great weekend and I hope you have a wonderful Monday!
Love your friend!