Michael is a doctor and he cares about his patients. One bad day at work turned into a downward spiral for both his career and his personal relationship and Michael was given a chance at a fresh start in New Zealand for two years. It’s a long way from California and Michael is determined to sample as many men as possible. No relationships and no commitments is what Michael thinks he needs to make himself happy. He wasn’t expecting K9 handler Josh Rawlins and he also wasn’t expecting to meet the man in a compromising position.
Josh thinks he knows what Michael is all about at first glance. He sees him as arrogant and a player and Josh has no time for any of that. His last relationship devastated him and he has absolutely no time for whatever Michael might be offering. If only his head, his body, and his heart could all agree.
Reading a good book is always a good thing and when it’s a good debut book, it’s even a little bit better. First Impressions did what the title suggests in more than one way as it left me with a great first impression of author Jay Hogan.
We meet Michael first in chapter one. I really liked what the author was able to do here as she showcased exactly what Michael was all about as he’s out cruising one night. He has no interest in a relationship or repeats and the hot guy in the club is everything he needs for the night. The scene takes it just far enough to really get the feel for Michael as you sit up and take notice in chapter one.
Michael’s life imploded after a case went wrong in the ER. He couldn’t get his footing back and sabotaged his career and his relationship. He thought he did the best thing for his relationship in getting his ex to cut him loose, but Michael goes through a lot of changes during the course of the book and realizes he needs to make amends in a lot of places.
Josh was happy in his life. He had the guy he wanted to marry, he was raising his daughter, and his job as a K9 handler was the other half of his world. His relationship wasn’t what it seemed and Josh hasn’t dated in two years. He hasn’t felt ready, but he’s getting to the point where he misses being in a relationship, but players like Michael are not what he needs. Yet the attraction is oh so real.
Michael and Josh do not like each other at first. Sure, they like looking at each other, but they can barely manage a civil word to each other. When they just can’t take the chemistry between them anymore, this book has many scenes that will stem up your Kindle (or equivalent) as Michael and Josh are a perfect fit in the bedroom. A good portion of the story is them hooking up, which is certainly not a hardship to read at all, and them coming to terms that what they have going is not just physical between them. Although it takes the entire book and a whole lot of pushing each other away to come to terms with what they feel for each other.
Also part of the book is a drug dealer storyline with some mild violence that Michael and Josh both find themselves in the middle of. This storyline worked fine for me until the end where it seemed a little too thrown together. There is also a storyline with Josh’s daughter and his homophobic parents and from my perspective Josh needed to cut the parents off much earlier. The guys also don’t talk about their relationship at all during the course of the book because they refuse to admit they are in a relationship. But, when they finally have a conversation it’s all off page and I would have liked to have seen at least some it.
The heart of the story is the chemistry and growing relationship between Michael and Josh. If you like the characters and the heated scenes between them like I did, this book will be a winner for you. There were also several interesting characters that seemed to be set up for their own story and if those stories get told, I’m in.