Review | Six Degrees of Separation


About the Book: FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy and bar manager Machlan O’Bannon are exploring a new phase in their nonrelationship. The intention is to take it slowly, but power plays are still their favorite activity, and it isn’t long before lines begin blurring. After ending their friends-with-benefits agreement, no rules are left in place to guide them, and soon the only thing that’s clear is that neither man is fighting hard enough to reestablish the boundaries.

Their situations haven’t improved in the three months since their first encounter. Sam is still focused on his immediate family issues, and everything indicates Mac will have to go to war with his own family before he can reclaim his freedom. The last thing they need is additional complications.

But when the opening of a nightclub brings Mac to New York City and a break in the Leviticus investigation leads Sam to Houston, they discover how closely their worlds have been connected from the beginning. Hiding from the life-altering collision is not an option. They can take the easier road and go their separate ways or come to terms with their pasts and take a chance on each other.

By Degrees #2
M/M Contemporary Suspense
Dreamspinner Press | May 22, 2015
amazon2 bn2

I’m so glad I stuck with this series!  As I said in my review of the first book, Six Degrees of Lust, the series start was rocky.  I never thought that I would get comfortable with all the different points of view.  The character changes felt uncomfortable, and every time the perspective changed I felt yanked away from what I really loved, which was Sam and Mac.  The mystery in the story also didn’t hook me right away, so while I was invested in the series by the end, I wasn’t invested in the ‘whodunit’.

I’m happy to report that the second book has chained my feet to the floor, and it’s holding me hostage.  Not only has Mac and Sam’s relationship ramped up, with a momentum that only gets better, but I’m actually caring about that creepy serial killer, and how does this person know Chris!  I want to know who it is, and so far I feel good and stumped.  Not to pat myself on the back, but I feel like that’s kind of monumental.  I’m pretty good at anticipating the end of a book and I couldn’t lock this one down.

I also have started feeling really protective of all the characters in the By Degrees world.  While a part of me does wish that we got full books about Remy and Chris, or Logan and Erik, I’m still excited to read their worlds come together.  I even love Nick and Sasha, and their developing friendship.  What started off as a big jumble of people slowly worked itself out into a full bodied world full of people that I’ve grown to love.  (There are even parts of the story that remind me slightly of Queer as Folk, in the best of ways.)

The only character that hasn’t shown any growth is Gabi… I’m hopeful that she’ll wake the eff up in the next book.

Finally, Mac and Sam.  They are the epitome of why slow and steady wins the race.  Nothing’s rushed, they’re taking their time in the most beautiful way.  They are why I will always choose the slow burn over the rushed romance any day.  Super sexy!  In the climax I was actually begging Sam and Mac, verbally to my kindle, trying to appeal to them even though they aren’t real.  Clearly they felt real.

I’m so happy with this series.  Not that she’s worried about me, but Taylor V Donovan’s completely won me over.  I’m a fan.

By Degrees is addictive!  I’m so glad stuck along for the ride!

Thank you to Dreamspinner Press for providing a free copy of Six Degrees of Separation in exchange for an honest review.


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

7 Responses

  1. I’m so glad that this book was an improvement over the first one for you! This is why I try to always read two books by an author before giving up on them. Sometimes they have a lot of potential to grow into. Besides– the realism of the relationship makes me really happy. Lovely review!


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