gummy bears and grenadesRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novella

Dex and Sloane are about six months from getting married, and tonight Dex is going out with his friends for a bachelor party. He is looking forward to a night of drinking and dancing, but Sloane can’t help but be worried. This is Dex, after all, and trouble seems to follow the man.

While Dex does get plenty of partying (including gummy bear vodka martinis, natch), he also gets more than he bargained for. Before the night is over Dex and his friends face kidnappers, drug dealers, a man in a bear suit, Dex in a bear suit, grenades, and an unfortunate spot on the evening news. But when it is all over, Dex happily returns home to Sloane, the man he loves.

Gummy Bears & Grenades is a cute novella that fits into the THIRDS world between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and the upcoming Tried & True. Although the story does touch on a few key series threads, like a reappearance of Wolf, the big picture and overarching story arc of the series aren’t really in play here. This is a chance to catch up with all the guys, hang out with Dex, Sloane, and a host of side characters, and watch them have fun and get into crazy adventures. Sloane isn’t technically at the party, but we get plenty of time with him as well, including some hot, sexy times with him and Dex.

Most of the story is pretty light, with lots of Dex craziness and some silly hijinks, though we also touch a bit on some heavier subjects as well as the story continues. I found the tone shift a tiny bit jarring as we went from light and fun to more intense, but mostly it works. While there are some times where the guys have to do their jobs, there isn’t a case or an investigation here. More of a “night in the life” of these guys. I did wonder why at six months out from the wedding they were already having a bachelor party, let alone had already sent out invitations and received RSVPs, but that isn’t really important in the scheme of things.

Overall this one is cute and fun. It is not designed as a stand alone, and per the author’s note you don’t necessarily need this one to move on to Tried & True. But it is a fun story and if you are a fan of the series, you are not going to want to miss it.

Two notes: 1) This story ends at the 85% mark and includes an excerpt from Tried & True at the end. And 2) I have to say I usually love the covers for this series, but I don’t get this one. Dex looks about 15 here to me. I am not sure if this is the usual model caught in a youthful way, or if this is a different cover model, but he seems weirdly young to be Dex.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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