The Ohio Books by KA Mitchell ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

Ohio Title: The Ohio Books – Regularly Scheduled Life and Not Knowing Jack

Author: KA Mitchell

Publisher: Samhain

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars


Regularly Scheduled Life

It’s a long way back to happily ever after.

Sean and Kyle have enjoyed six perfect years of what their friends called a “disgustingly happy” relationship. But what happens one sunny Tuesday morning in October might be more than even the most loving couple can survive.

When the bell rings that morning in chemistry teacher Sean Farnham’s first-period class, a terrifying sound fills the halls–gunshots. Without considering the consequences, Sean runs to tackle the shooter, sustaining a bullet wound to his leg. Despite his actions, he is unable to save the lives of the principal and two students.

Architect Kyle DeRusso hears about the shooting on the radio, and in the flash of an instant finds his life irrevocably altered. Everything–especially his heart–hangs suspended in a nightmare until he finds out Sean is alive. It doesn’t matter that Sean will be left with a permanent limp. Kyle’s just relieved the worst is over.

Or is it? Putting that day behind them isn’t as simple as it sounds. As Sean struggles to make something positive out of the tragedy, Kyle fights to save their relationship from the dangers of publicity–and Sean’s unwillingness to face how the crisis has changed him.

Not Knowing Jack

When your lover becomes a stranger, trust is the weakest link of all.

Bartender Tony Gemetti has it all: a rich, hot boyfriend, a McMansion in the burbs and unlimited sex in an expectation-free zone. He thought that was all he ever wanted out of any relationship until Jack begins making excuses for frequent disappearances. Realizing he has more than his libido and enough drawers for his T-shirt collection riding on this relationship, Tony figures it s time to find out what s going on.

Jack Noble has spent his life hiding his real self behind a carefully created image. With Tony, he finally knows real freedom, real happiness. Now a past of buried secrets and lies is closing in, and no matter how hard he tries to stop it, the truth is tearing through. Once Tony learns what kind of man Jack really is, he won t stay. Jack s sure of it.

Suddenly the past shows up in a completely unexpected way, testing the boundaries of their old, coasting-along-on-fun relationship. Tony indeed finds that Jack isn t the man he went looking for, but it s too late. There s too much at stake to just walk away. First, though, he has to make sure there are no lies left for Jack to hide behind.Warning: Readers should be free of any heart condition that may be affected by a hero with an overactive imagination, painful back stories, and hot sex in a variety of athletic positions. Neither the author nor the publisher is responsible for any sudden or frequent urges to have children with Tony Gemetti.

My View:

Two different tales, that at their core, are about love, trust, and making it through together. They are each great reads together or alone.

Regularly Scheduled Life 5*

I don’t remember what my first ever KA Mitchell book was, but ask me my favorite and I have absolutely no problem telling you. However, if you don’t have 15 minutes for me to tell you why this book is so awesome, you might not want to ask. I have not read a single KA Mitchell title that I did not enjoy. She can write sensitive, flawed, hot men that just draw you in even while you want to wring their necks. Sean and Kyle are not different.

What is different about this pair is that they are real. They are not a picture perfect couple that rides off into the sunset together. Hell, this book starts well after their sunset riding would have taken place. They have been together for about six years when their picture perfect life is shattered. What we have the privilege to witness is just how they attempt to weather that storm. How they try with everything they have to weather it together. How they fall apart due to each of their doubts and insecurities. Insecurities and doubts that one act of violence brought to the surface. Insecurities and doubts that will make them stronger, if only they can see their way together.

I spent much of this book in tears. I don’t mean that little burning I get at the back of my eyes during an emotional and inevitable breakup scene in some of the better romance novels. I don’t mean a heart string tugging when characters I love have found a tough road. I mean ugly cry face; tissues aren’t enough; sloppy crying… and this was my SECOND time through this book. Heck, I think I loved it more the second time.

Mitchell tackles the very real and very scary problem of school violence. She looks at the effects it has on the community, the families, the nation, and the individuals directly affected. She looks at how one act of violence can have a ripple effect that can tear at the very fabric of society.

Not Knowing Jack 4*

Not knowing Jack is a very different book that Regularly Scheduled Life. It stars the best friend from RSL, Tony and his partner/boyfriend/whatever Jack. Once again, we look at the trials that can be faced after the Happily Ever After. Tony has to face his insecurities in their relationship and Jack’s less that forthcoming nature.
Jack has to learn to trust Tony and their love.

I am not a huge fan of kids in my romance novels, but this isn’t really a romance novel so much as a story about family. In this case a little bit of instant-family, which is something that many partners will have to face. We watch as Tony and Jack figure out where they stand with each other, the kids, and the past. We watch them struggle apart and together.

I liked Tony a lot in RSL, but I gained and lost respect for him in equal measures in NKJ. There were times I my heart tugged for what he thought he had and what he was losing. There were times I wanted to tell him to grow up. I think the latter, however, is part of the struggle he faces in this story. He has to decide whether to grow up or lose what he didn’t know he wanted.

Buy Links

Amazon US
All Romance eBooks

This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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