Ever since the first installment of the Tigers and Devils series, Tigers and Devils, I have been in love. Even though Simon drives me batty, the sheer delight I have in reading another episode in his and Declan’s life makes me giddy. Now with this third novel in the series, Tigers On The Run, I have gotten my Sean Kennedy fix and am crossing my fingers that there will be a fourth of this delightful Aussie duo. Be forewarned, this is not a standalone read, so if you have not yet discovered the magical world that this author has created, get thee gone and check out the first in the series as mentioned above. However, if you, like me, have followed this author’s work, then dig in to this review because I think this is the best one in the series by far.
The story opens eight years into Simon and Declan’s life. Currently living together, Declan still possessing the patience of a saint and Simon ever paranoid but trying to be better, an old nemesis has reared his head and is threatening to intrude on the happy group that are Simon’s friends. Fans will remember Nyssa leaving and Coby taking her place as Simon’s assistant at the television studio. Dec, having retired, is working hard to make his GetOut! Program for teen LGBT athletes a success. Plus, Fran and Roger have had their twins, thanks to a hefty gift by Declan. When Jasper Brunswick reenters Simon and Dec’s life, neither is happy about it but Dec decides to bury the hatchet and try to move on. Oh if things were that easy for Simon. There is no doubt about it, Simon’s mouth is still a lethal weapon when it comes to cutting someone down to size but his regret over it is more real and quicker in coming to the fore.
Along with Jasper’s reappearance, one of Dec’s star athletes is a troubled seventeen-year old whose mouth rivals Simon and then some. Micah is on a self-destruct pathway and Dec is desperately trying to keep him from implosion. The young man is a top footy player and being sought after by the AFL. Much like Simon, with a dash of Dec’s propensity to run when things get to be too much, Micah will lead this merry band of friends on a chase where Simon will finally come to terms with Jasper, Coby will pledge to marry the man of his dreams, and Fran will realize that being a new mother does not make her any less fantastic. In other word’s chaos ensues with a remarkably wonderful outcome and a tiny bit of a mystery ending as well.
There is something incredibly down to earth about Sean Kennedy’s characters. From the witty dialogue to the loving relationships, the Tigers & Devils series is all about friendship and loyalty. I loved the fact that Simon and Declan are now a solid couple, discussing everything from potentially getting married when Australia gets off its bum and recognizes gay marriage to possibly adopting kids, something that terrifies Simon to no end. Fran and Roger epitomize new parents and Roger, in particular, has that near frantic hovering over a newborn down to a science with hilarious results. But it’s the teenagers that really stood out in this novel. They were so realistically written and never easy. Micah’s rebellion was rooted in pain and fear and a deep longing just to be loved. It was both heart breaking and annoying as hell, in other words, a typical teenager.
This novel worked on so many levels. The interaction between the characters this author created is spot on and truly made me laugh right out loud many times. The love between Simon and Declan is strong and their care for each other just lovely to read. While there were no big angsty moments in this novel, it was pure entertainment from beginning to end. I sincerely hope this is not the end of this fabulous ensemble and given the slight cliffhanger at the end of the story I feel pretty sure we will see a fourth novel in this series. Tigers On The Run is a must read for fans of this author and this couple. I highly recommend it to you!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.