Tuesday, 28 March 2017


Spencer:  Rook and Ronin Volume 8 by J.A. Huss is a twofer that combines the novella, Bomb: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike and the novel Guns: The Spencer Book.  I read both of these books when they were originally released and thoroughly enjoyed reliving the experience in audio format.

Bomb:  The first part of the audio takes us through a “typical” Spencer day.  Of course, we all know there isn’t a typical Spencer day because he is such an unpredictable man.   Poor Spencer is having a lot of second thoughts and a little jealousy because his friends are in permanent relationships.  Even “F**king Ford has a wife now and Spencer is frustrated and keeping his distance from Ronnie.  

Spencer wants a relationship with Veronica “Bombshell” Vonn but he also knows he needs to protect her.  The sad thing is Veronica doesn’t understand and believes it is time for her to move on to someone who appreciates her.  The team of Ronin, Ford, and Spencer are still trying to sort out the events that happened between Rook and her ex.   They are getting ready for court and the possibility that everyone could be behind bars.  

The narrator, Troy Duran, does an excellent job of bringing Spencer to life.  He is a man so close to having it all, the woman he loves, a successful business, and the reality TV show.  At the same time, there is pain that it can all disappear in a flash.  We get glimpses into Spencer and Veronica’s past that are fun and set the stage for the next book.  

I remember the first time I read this book Bomb was the bridge to Spencer’s story.  In the audio version, Bomb is his introduction or re-introduction to Spencer and the team, although I don’t think anyone who meets Spencer can ever forget him.

Guns:  Each member of the team has a purpose--Spencer’s job is protection.  He has the guns and knows how to use them.  He is concerned because he shot too fast and may bring down his team that includes not only Ronin and Ford but their women Rook and Ashleigh.  As if things aren’t bad enough, unexplainable events are happening in town, and unknown people are showing up.  It’s all fishy.  The team doesn’t know who the target is and how to keep everyone safe.

There is a lot of suspense in this story and Troy Duran and Jennifer Reilly do an excellent job pushing the anxiety and heartache right into the heart and psyche of the listener.  There are times when I experience Veronica’s loneliness and rejection; especially when everyone she loves including Ashleigh and Rook excludes her.  

Enter Bobby Mansi.  Is he part of the problem or part of the solution?  He gives Veronica a friendly shoulder and pulls her into the fray unintentionally.  I love the two epilogues and the way they wrap up the series.  (Although there is another novella that we didn’t know about when the book originally released.) I love the characters of this series and appreciate every time they show up in one of Julie’s books.  There is also an unexpected character who makes an appearance at the end.  Love how her worlds intersect sometimes.

The only thing that didn’t work for me is the segue from Bomb to Guns.   The audio version flows one story after another without a break Guns sounds like a new chapter, even though the narrator reads the title, it is a little confusing.  For me, this is very minor, but someone that hasn’t read the book could be a little put-off. 

Great job Tory Duran and Jennifer Reilly.  Spencer:  Rook and Ronin Volume 8 is on my “play it again” list.  It is just that good. 

NOTE:  A caution to anyone new to the series, there is a lot of backstory in the previous Rook & Ronin books/audios that you need to know before listening to this one.


About the Author:

JA Huss lives on a dirt road in Colorado thirty minutes from the nearest post office.  She has a small farm with two donkeys named Paris & Nicole, a ringneck parakeet named Bird, and a pack of dogs. She also has two grown children who have never read any of her books and do not plan on ever doing so. They do, however, plan on using her credit cards forever. (And she’s OK with that.)

JA collects guns and likes to read science fiction and books that make her think. JA Huss used to write homeschool science textbooks under the name Simple Schooling and after publishing more than 200 of those, she ran out of shit to say. She started writing the I Am Just Junco science fiction series in 2012, but has since found the meaning of life writing erotic stories about antihero men that readers love to love.

Even though JA is known to be testy and somewhat of a bitch, she loves her #fans dearly and if you want to talk to her, join her Facebook fan group here where she posts daily bullshit about bullshit.
If you think she’s kidding about this crazy autobiography, you don’t know her very well.

Graphics and author information from JA Huss' Website:  http://jahuss.com/