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Romance and other things

Review reposted from Dear Author

Model Citizen - Lissa Kasey

Oliver “Ollie” Petroskovic’s life as an international supermodel was heading in the right direction. He worked part-time for his brother at his detective agency—Petroskovic Haven Investigations—and had just bought his dream house. But all that changed when he found his brother dead, a victim of PTSD-induced suicide. Almost a year later, Ollie is trying to keep his brother’s business afloat, but can’t get his PI license. Then his brother’s best friend, Kade Alme, shows up, fresh from the battlefield after a close brush with death. Kade is looking for a new life, in more ways than one, and with PI license in hand, he’s exactly what Ollie needs to keep PHI running. When one of Ollie’s childhood friends gets in trouble, Ollie feels he has to help. Kade insists on investigating if only to keep Ollie safe. Neither realizes the danger they’re in as someone tries to tear them apart before they can find solid ground together.


Dear Lissa Casey,

My book buddies on Amazon group loved this book, but I hesitated (for a day or two) before starting it. I love m/m romance/mysteries, but after reading the blurb I wondered if Ollie’s character was based on Andreja Pejick and I am not very comfortable with the books which may be based on “real person fanfiction”.  My book buddies kept praising the story however and I decided to give it a try.

Olliver “Ollie” is such an interesting character.  He used to be a famous model, but he almost stopped modelling after his brother died. He used to model both men’s and women’s clothing and he likes to dress in women’s clothing too. For the most part he is very comfortable with who he is and his doubts come because of external events that hurt him. Ollie is also very good with the computers and book keeping, and he used to run a PI business with his brother Nathan, who left the military to raise him when their parents died.  The story begins with Ollie discovering that Nathan shot himself – obviously this loss has hurt him deeply, and this is what causes Ollie to wonder whether something is wrong with him, because “everybody leaves him”.  There was an ex who cheated on him too, so this is another loss.

Olliver is very strong, though, and a year after Nathan’s death he is still struggling hard to keep PI business afloat. But he needs to get a PI license for that because his stakeouts of cheating spouses and the other things he needs to do more often than not end up with cops arresting him.  Olliver has two close friends, Britney and Will (they are married), who do their best to look out for him whether he wants them to or not, and while sometimes I wanted to smack Will and tell him to back off (he is a cop and he is tired of picking Ollie from police stations and he is worried that eventually he will be badly hurt), there was no doubt in my mind that they cared for him deeply. It is just that despite some obvious psychological issues, Ollie truly is no damsel in distress and I wished that Will would realize it before the end of the book (he did eventually but very close to the end ?).

“He did,” Will replied from the front.

“I am not happy about it, but I am not going to stand in your way either. Most people would have had their ass handed to them when confronted like you were.”

Kade is also formerly in the military and was a good friend of Nathan and Will. Ollie used to have a crush on him years ago and now Kade needs a job and a place to stay. Will and Brittany pester Ollie to let Kade help with fixing the house he bought for himself and Nathan, since Nathan died in that house. But the heat and air conditioning and everything else need work. Kade is also a licensed PI, and Will keeps insisting that Ollie should let Kade handle the business and go back to modelling. Yes, this was why I wanted to smack Will, because Ollie had a lot to offer in the PI business too, even if he is a talented model (and inspiring clothes designer too). But I loved Kade. He helped Ollie with what needed to be done, and while he may have pestered him about eating and taking pills on time, I felt that he respected his PI skills much more quickly than Will did, and I really liked the development of a romantic relationship between them.

While their mutual romantic crush from the years past may help fuel their physical attraction, Ollie’s unwillingness to trust anybody long-term functions as a believable obstacle between them and helps the romance to develop slowly. Kade was willing to go as slowly as Ollie needed, or just be his friend if that’s all he wanted. There is not much sex in the book, but I felt it was very well timed.  And slow developments in the romantic department make Ollie’s realization even more satisfying.

“So you’re really not leaving?”

“Nope. Not going anywhere”.

There is a mystery of sorts which Kade and Ollie investigate, one that fell in their lap because Ollie’s childhood friend came to ask for help. I say “of sorts” because there was not much doubt in my mind as to who the main bad guy was – I felt it was a bit too heavily foreshadowed. Do not get me wrong, I was surprised by the twist, which was about the real intentions of the bad guy, but not who he was. Take it for what it’s worth.

The ending was annoying.  Do not worry, the guys are together and there is no danger to them, I still found the ending annoying – it was such a blatant hook for the next book. Please writers, could you please kindly mark your books when it is the first book in a series so that readers can decide whether or not they want to invest in the whole thing? Are the days of stand -alone novels completely gone?

Grade: B-