Title: Upside Down
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Lowell Cartwright’s life as a mercenary problem solver has taken its toll, and after one more difficult job, he wants out. For help, he turns to Bull, a soldier of fortune turned club owner—not exactly a friend, but the best chance Lowell has. He visits Bull’s club to scope it out and meets Jeremy Hodgson. The twink captures his attention in a big way. Bull tells Lowell to stay away from the club until he decides whether he can help, so Lowell stays in town. When he spots Jeremy passed out on the floor of a convenience store, he goes to Jeremy’s aid.
Lowell piques Jeremy’s interest immediately, pushing all the right buttons. Then, when Jeremy needs help, Lowell’s kindness turns interest into something more.
But trouble comes knocking when Jeremy’s place is bugged. Maybe Lowell’s past is catching up to him, or maybe the danger centers on Jeremy’s roommate Tristan’s mysterious boyfriend. Whatever the source of the problem, the future Lowell and Jeremy hope for doesn’t stand a chance unless they can find a way to protect themselves.
Review: I have to preface this review with: I am a huge fan of Andrew Grey. When I met him at the GayRomLit Retreat in Atlanta, I was so taken aback by the kindness he projects. I like what he writes about and I always learn something new. I especially liked the South Dakota Native American series, and I like his characters. They are all very likable people. I know they aren’t real, but when I am reading one of his books I feel like they are. I want to stay in their worlds, I get very melancholy for a few hours after I finish one of his book, and I was reminded it’s called Book Hangover. So when I was given the opportunity to re-visit Zach, Bull and the gang I jumped on it.
Upside Down is a continuation of Inside Out, but it can be read as a standalone book, you’ll just need to fill in some of the details. But, I suggest that you read Inside Out, as it’s a great book.
The main characters in this book are Jeremy Hodgson and Lowell Cartwright. Lowell is tired of being a paid mercenary and always having to watch his back just to stay alive. Jeremy is tired of being the odd one out, the third banana; in his words, he wants a strong, loyal caring and incredibly giving, not-just-out-for-sex kind of man.
Lowell wants out of the “business,” and Bull, having also been a paid mercenary who was able to leave that world behind, decides to help him. Jeremy and Lowell meet on the dance floor of the Bull’s club and the sparks fly between them. Jeremy always thought that dancing was vertical sex, and “sex with this guy was likely to be wild, maybe a little dangerous and definitely a ride to the moon.” That’s what I call great chemistry. After dancing around each other, Jeremy decides that’s enough and goes in for the kiss. “I like that I can make a strong guy like you quiver. It’s pretty hot.” I would agree it’s pretty hot reading about it too.
This story has many twists and lots of surprises, including don’t trust anyone named Moonstone. Who knew you could hide something behind woodwork molding? And my favorite: check your takeout food after it’s delivered. You never know what might have been sprinkled on it.
Jeremy has a very loyal group of friends that all look out for each other, especially Zach. One scene in particular drives that message home—Zach talking to Lowell: “If you hurt anyone I care about, I’ll find your ass and roast you over a spit.” Throughout the book, the group supports and protects each other.
Lowell starts out being the aggressor in the relationship, watching over Jeremy, but as trust builds between them, Jeremy starts opening up and asking for what he needs. When Lowell calls Jeremy and just simply states, “ I need help,” Jeremy doesn’t hesitate going. I knew they were going to be alright. They both had to build trust. And we have the privilege of watching it grow.
The ending of Upside Down is awesome. You will never guess it either. You just need to know that Andrew writes really good stories about characters you can care about, even if they are whiny or giggly sometimes. And really. what’s wrong with giggling? Giggling is infectious.
You can buy Upside Down here: