Review: Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.

This book! This book was so much more than I could have hoped for. I mean, I wanted to read it based on the opening line of the blurb, “Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole” because I have a thing for redeemable assholes but Taylor isn’t one at all. Nope. Not. At. All.

There are books that go beyond the blurb and this goes way freaking beyond it. While you do get Taylor’s meddlesome family and Sietta being a mystery, there are many more layers to the story I wasn’t expecting and while they blurb isn’t exactly misleading, it doesn’t do the book justice to me. AT. ALL.

Set in Australia, we meet Taylor Jameson and his identical twin Clay as they are on assignment as Riot Squad officers that give you a hint of the shenanigans and slightly over the top things that are going to appear in the story. We first get the almighty rocket launcher that no one can quite get over being real but we also immediately get the Jamseon family who are all up in their brothers business like you wouldn’t believe. Trust me when I say the rocket launcher is important because of how many times it’s brought up and while the Jameson family loves to check in on one another, it’s all done with love.

So, considering Taylor and Clay have a ton of paperwork to complete after the rocket launcher deal, they are tasked with babysitting a bunch of young adults on a large ferry for a local politician’s, Minister Salisbury, fundraiser for his environmental foundation. What could possibly happen with a bunch of rich entitled kids on an almost cruise liner? Don’t ask because you wouldn’t believe it but while what happens on the ferry is truly important to the story, what’s more important is who Taylor meets when he takes a walk to make sure everything is safe and sound.

The meeting of Taylor with the unknown but obvious son of Minister Salisbury with the telltale gorgeous looks was so good. Meet cutes are always my favorite but Taylor’s reaction to Sietta was adorable and sexy. Yeah, there is some serious insta everything in this book but I didn’t mind it at all because it worked. It worked and I wanted it to happen so it’s a win/win right? Right.

But nothing can be taken at surface value in this book because while we learn right along with Taylor about Sietta being the unseen child of Minister Salisbury, his younger brother Micah takes to task the delivery of a USB to Taylor for an education.

Taylor is attracted to Sietta and wants to get to know him better but a phone call leads to a brush off of “never” that leads Taylor to question the truth about Sietta, because the never felt fishy. When Micah shows up at his doorstep with Taylor’s younger sister asking him to buy a phone for Sietta and then asks about Taylor watching the USB… Taylor indeed gets an education as well as the members of the riot squad and a rescue is put into action.

What was on that USB was difficult to read and I felt for everyone involved in it but it explains so much about both Sietta and Micah. You see, Minister Salisbury doesn’t like the fact that he has a gay son so he goes to disgusting depths to keep him hidden. Sietta does all that he can, and endures more than anyone ever should to keep Micah safe from their father but what’s on the USB is their key to freedom. It’s a freedom that isn’t easy to attain nor to keep when the wrong people are tangled with the corrupt Salisbury family and decide Sietta is a tool to be used. A tool or a means to end all that are involved including Taylor.

Goodness. Despite the darkness that Sieta has to deal with, he is an amazing character. I’ve read plenty of books that either over victimize the victim or make them so strong it’s unbelievable but with Sietta, you feel his strength and his stubbornness to make sure those who have hurt him or could hurt his brother are dealt with properly. Sure, there could have been other outcomes with how he dealt with his father but Sietta is uber smart and knows what he is doing. But while he is strong, he’s not without scars and ghosts that threaten his want of normalcy and it’s such a good thing that he has a big strong riot squad officer who thinks he hangs the moon and wants nothing but to protect Sietta. Sietta’s trust in Taylor was beautiful and just…

Le sigh.

Taylor Jameson is not an asshole, far from it.  He’s a guy who takes his job seriously and takes his family seriously and no one is more important than family. Super close to his twin brother Clay, Taylor is satisfied with cohabitating with his twin when Clay isn’t with his super smart scientist/professor/foster parent to at risk LGBTQ youths Joel, doing his job – while hating the paperwork – and surviving Saturday barbeques with his family. But Sietta, he gets under Taylor’s skin in the best way and watching Taylor fall hard and fast for Sietta was a pure joy.

This book though, it’s funny to the point of highlighting the hell out of all the moments that made me belly laugh. It’s swoon worthy romantic with the hurt/comfort between Sietta and Taylor. It’s a bit over the top but it balances out the darkness that keeps creeping into the story and it’s written so wonderfully that you truly get sucked in and don’t want to stop reading.

Now, I have to mention the Jameson family because they are a HUGE part of this book. The family is amazing to me and I love how they show support and affection to one another. All the Jameson’s are in some sort of public service and they take their jobs seriously. Service and family should be the Jameson’s motto because those are top of the list important for them but so is love, so is acceptance and so is calling one another out on their shit unless it’s mom or dad then tread carefully. BUT them being all up in one another’s business is what makes them incredible. They love, they care and they want the best for one another so it makes sense they would be meddlesome as they are. Only the strong can survive being brought into the fold of the infamous Saturday barbeques with the family and I love that all partners are included but cracked up at the mention of Hayley’s husband.

Okay. I have to make a note here about Clay and Joel because I love the hell out of them. I really would love their story even if we have to go backward four years because their romance needs to be told. Clay is such a good person – he is a Jameson after all – a dedicated twin brother and so head over heels in love with Joel as Joel is with Clay. I adored every moment both men were on the page together and separate but when we get a bit of Joel’s backstory… I want more. More is never a bad thing to want, is it?

Fishy Riot was once again, more than I expected. I am one who loves crazy family dynamics, insta everything when that everything is a forever kind of thing and a beautifully respectful hurt/comfort romance. Taylor and Sietta met for a reason and that reason was to fall in love and to be with that one person who truly sees beyond the surface.

Lord, but this was good and I just have one last thing to say…

“I fucking love Saturday barbeques!”

A review copy was provided.

No comments:

Post a Comment