Release & Book Review – Up Close and Personal by Jay Hogan

A big welcome to Jay Hogan as part of her release celebrations with Eliza Rae for Up Close and Personal.


I love this author’s writing, and got hooked on this series with the first one I read. The characters and both work together to pull me into the story immediately, and I know when I start reading one of her books I have a couple of late nights ahead of me as I don’t want to put them down.

I loved both Mark and Edward, and it was great to see others from previous books in the series like Cam, Josh, Reuben and Paris, and touch base with where they’re at now. The supporting cast feel very well developed and I particularly liked the banter between Edward and his sisters. Tink deserves a mention too – I loved her as a character, and the important part she played in the story.

I love Sandy—he needs his own book.

The banter between Mark and Edward was great. It was flirty and cute, and felt like a dance with one step forward, then one or more back. I loved Mark trying to figure out what Edward’s middle name was, and how that figured into their relationship later on. I’m always happy when a character is a comics geek so that appealed too.

The action scenes were exciting, and had me turning just one more page, needing to make sure these guys were okay. The mystery plot was layered, well thought out, and intriguing and I found myself trying to figure out what was going on. The final showdown with the bad guys had me on the edge of my seat needing to make sure everyone was okay.

Another fabulous read from this author. 5 out of 5 stars.

Title: Up Close and Personal

Series: Auckland Med, Book 3

Author: Jay Hogan

Genre: MM Romance

Publisher: Southern Lights Publishing

Tropes: Enemies to friends to lovers, forced proximity, humour, suspense

Amazon Universal



DETECTIVE MARK KNIGHT has a serious problem—one that comes in the form of Auckland Med’s brand-new forensic pathologist. Six feet of delicious blond-haired, scary smart, stern and disapproving hotness—DR EDWARD R NEWTON.

The man is miles out of Mark’s league; completely opposite in almost every way, and shockingly immune to Mark’s flirtations. Mark should just let him go. But the alluring doctor has taken residence in Mark’s brain and is messing with his life’s plan—in particular Mark’s determination to skirt attachments and all the self-absorbed drama that goes with them.

Mark has spent two years watching his friends drop like flies to the white picket virus, only to suddenly find himself hankering for a hammer and some white paint. Edward, however, doesn’t want a bar of Mark’s roguish charm.

But it’s not like Mark can avoid the sexy pathologist—death brings them together on a regular basis. So when a string of murders threatens both their lives and sends them into hiding, something has to give.


Liam laughed. “So, tell me again why we didn’t come in the brand spanking new entrance?”

Mark ignored him, eyes flat as a lake.

Liam smiled sweetly. “Oh, that’s right. You wanted to grab a coffee for our new pathologist. Don’t remember you ever getting one for Tom Spencer…let me see…” He looked thoughtful. “Nope, never.”

“Tom Spencer was seven-hundred-years-old,” Mark fired back. “Besides, the coffee was for us, the doc was a mere afterthought.”

Liam gave him the side-eye. “Of course he was.”

“And parking’s easier up the top. It’s still raining, in case you hadn’t noticed.”

“Would you like a bigger spade for that hole you’re digging?”

No. Mark was doing just fine with the one he had, thank you very much.

“Have to say I wouldn’t have pegged the man as your style. Just saying.”

They pressed themselves to the wall as a pair of orderlies pushed a steel body box past and Mark took the moment to study his partner. “We’ve been partners what, eight months?”

Liam nodded warily. “Seven months three weeks, to be precise.”

“Right. And I think we’ve talked about my sex life all of…hmm let me see…never in all that time. So, forgive me, but I wouldn’t have thought you’d have any idea, let alone an opinion, on my style, detective. So please, do enlighten me.”

Liam’s neck abruptly reddened. “Well, I haven’t, not really. But I’m not immune to the grapevine gossip either. And if you go through young gay dudes at the rate they say you do¾you call them twinks, right?” Liam’s eyes glittered with mischief. “Well, I just wanted to say that I’m seriously impressed. I honestly don’t know how you find the energy. By the time I get home and get the kids to bed, I can barely lift my toothbrush let alone any parts south of that. But on that note and in answer to your question, I just meant the doc is hardly in the same category as your usual pickings.”

No. No he wasn’t. And that was Mark’s problem in a nutshell. He let Liam chatter away about the sad state of his own married sex life with two kids under three, while Mark pondered the implications of Liam’s belief about Mark’s. It wasn’t like the office chatter about Mark was new, or even inaccurate. That people thought he was a flirt and a lightweight had never bothered him before. So, why then did it all of a sudden sting, just a little bit? It was a question he suspected he knew the answer to if only he was brave enough to stop running long enough to consider it¾which he wasn’t.

“I wouldn’t believe everything you hear,” he interrupted Liam’s inventory of sleep deprivation and its effects on the male refractory rate. “And why the hell are we even having this conversation?”

“Because I’m your partner?” Liam returned Mark’s playful punch.

“Hmmph. You never shown any interest before.”

Liam shrugged. “Maybe I should have. Besides, you know in intimate detail all the highs and lows of my own child rearing disasters, and the effects of new born baby cock-blocking syndrome.”

About Jay:

I am a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, and romantic suspense. I have traveled extensively and lived in the US, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea. In a past life I have been an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Nursing Lecturer.

I’m a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). I love to cook, pretty damn good, love to sing, pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing, absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging my characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee I’ve had.

Welcome to my world.

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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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