Book Reviews

Fish on a Bicycle (Fish Out of Water 5) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Private Investigator / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 28-October-2019

Book Blurb

Jackson Rivers has always bucked the rules—and bucking the rules of recovery is no exception. Now that he and Ellery are starting their own law firm, there’s no reason he can’t rush into trouble and take the same risks as always, right?


Maybe not. Their first case is a doozy, involving porn stars, drug empires, and daddy issues, and their client, Henry Worrall, wants to be an active participant in his own defense. As Henry and Jackson fight the bad guys and each other to find out who dumped the porn star in the trash can, Jackson must reexamine his assumptions that four months of rest and a few good conversations have made him all better inside. 


Jackson keeps crashing his bicycle of self-care and a successful relationship, and Ellery wonders what’s going to give out first—Jackson’s health or Ellery’s patience. Jackson’s body hasn’t forgiven him for past crimes. Can Ellery forgive him for his current sins? And can they keep Henry from going to jail for sleeping with the wrong guy at the wrong time?


Being a fish out of water is tough—but if you give a fish a bicycle, how’s he going to swim?


Book Review

“Once upon a time, Ellery got up, put on a suit, did paperwork, and only assassinated people verbally, but now, after knowing Jackson Rivers slightly less than a year, this was his life. Putting together a gift list for hit men and their psychic boyfriends.
Color him surprised.”

The previous two installments in this series crossed over with another fabulous novel titled ‘Racing for the Sun’ and my joy knew no bounds. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that ‘Fish on a Bicycle’ was finally – FINALLY – going to introduce Jackson and Ellery to some of the guys from the ‘Johnnies’ series. I mean, both of these series take place in Sacramento, California, and it hasn’t been far from my mind that they might run into one another. I’m really glad the author waited until this fifth book to do it, though. Ellery and Jackson have gone through the wringer but they needed to be where they are, now, before gifting me with Easter eggs and shout-outs throughout the story.

“Ellery couldn’t seem to find the words to tell him that healing all of the myriad wounds Jackson had survived, both physically and emotionally, wasn’t going to happen overnight. As much as Ellery liked to think he’d made a positive difference in Jackson’s life, he couldn’t fool himself into believing that by the power of his mighty wang and some really rocking sex, poof! Jackson was cured.”

If you read Amy Lane then you’re probably fairly familiar with her broken boys. The list is long and I’ve adored every single one of them. However, even in that stellar company, Jackson is his own kind of beaten down and he can tear me up just by breathing. Literally. Mostly because the times he might not be functioning with a stable cardiovascular system have been many. His stubbornness is legend and his contrariness is the stuff of the gods. But just like Ellery, I can see that scared, vulnerable little boy trying to care for as many people as possible in the hope that he’ll be accepted and loved for who he is. And because he’s a decent guy. Just not easy boyfriend material.

This story introduces David (aka Dex from Johnnies ) Worrall's younger brother, Henry, and he is fascinating. I have a strong feeling the author is going to write his story pairing him with another of the Johnnies guys and something tells me the hints I got about him throughout this book barely scratch the surface. Regardless, Henry is in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong guy who ends up dead. Luckily, the owner of Johnnies’s boyfriend, Galen, a corporate attorney, asks around and they hire Ellery and Jackson. Jackson and Henry do not hit it off in the beginning but the way they end up is pure Jackson. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of Henry… hopefully in both worlds.

I haven’t talked a lot about the murder plot in this book because if you’ve been following these guys then you know the kind of trouble they can just fall into. It’s a good one involving a lot of shady drug dealers, really dumb lackeys, one of Hamblin’s psychos from down south, and Jackson almost keeling over. Again. Although to be honest, this time it’s not totally his fault. At thirty-one I thought I was invincible, too. There are some wonderful relationship snafus going on here and I think my favorite part was when Jackson realizes that Ellery isn’t perfect and that makes Jackson so happy. Trying to live up to perfection is exhausting but now that Jackson knows Ellery can stumble, too… well, that takes some pressure off Jackson.

“I just wanted you not to worry,” Jackson said, looking at him for the first time. His green eyes were wide and shiny and scared, and Ellery’s chest went cold. In their entire relationship, Jackson had never looked at him with the eyes of the victim he must have been as a child. Until now.”

The problem for me with an author like Amy Lane is that she continues to exceed my expectations. I knew this book was going to involve beloved characters from two different series. What I didn’t know was how deep down fabulous it would feel to see Ellery’s reaction to Dex and Kane, or to watch Jackson be a big kid over Kane’s reptiles, and then to see Ellery and Dex bond over loving men who often are crazy about their less than attractive critters. Billy Bob? Flowers? Seriously? ‘Fish on a Bicycle’ was like getting your two most favorite families together and then just watching them all get along as if it were no big deal. Sigh. I really wanted to be there at the end, feeling all of the happy.

I’m looking forward to the next adventure although I do hope to see more of Lucy Satan and Jackson. They’ve got to be one of my top ten nonromantic relationships. Thank you, Amy, you’re the best.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 327 pages/114755 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-October-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle
Buy Link