Review: Toni Griffin, Jon Keys and Gregory L. Norris – Behind the Uniform

512l6lxKjtL_uniformAuthor: Toni Griffin, Jon Keys and Gregory L. Norris
Reviewer: Diane
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Genre: MM Uniformed Personnel

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary: **Please Note: The stories in this anthology will *not* be released individually.

Uniformed careers are a matter of choice and of sacrifice – military, fire, police, forest service, etc. – and the people who choose these careers are often dedicated to a fault. But sometimes dedication can come with a hefty price. Behind the Uniform illustrates the physical or emotional sacrifice and the hard choices that sometimes come with such all-consuming dedication.

A Wolf in Cop’s Clothing by Toni Griffin
Marcus Holland loves his job as a small town cop and his life with his pack. When his mate, Brian, kissed him goodbye that morning and remarked, “This is Leyburn. What trouble could I possibly find?” Marcus really hoped never to find out. He had no idea how much those words would come back to haunt him as he goes about his duties.

It’s the Hat by Jon Keys
Forest ranger Matt Keller’s frustrations mount as he tries to bust a poaching ring in a Michigan national forest and now he’s discovered that Kyle, the gorgeous waiter he desperately wants to ask out, has an ex-boyfriend hanging around. The ex is bad news, Kyle says it’s complicated, and Matt’s not sure which way to jump. Just as Matt’s puzzling things out with Kyle, his pursuit of the poachers takes a dangerous turn and he could risk losing all the pieces he’s fought so hard to juggle.

The Head Shed by Gregory L. Norris
Milo Hanover is proud to manage a Head Shed. He and the sex workers he supervises are vital to the morale and sanity of troops fighting a ruthless alien invader. When Colonel Dunnegin arrives at the Shed, though, it isn’t for the usual reason. He reveals that humanity needs Milo for the secrets carried in his genetic code rather than his enthusiastic service. In the desperate race to get Milo to the front, he battles his own heart even as he’s thrust into the battleground for humanity’s survival.

Review:
The Head Shed by Gregory L. Norris
Milo Hanover manages a Head Shed and believes the work he and the sex workers he supervises are vital to the morale and sanity of troops fighting a ruthless alien invader. Then Colonel Dunnegin arrives at the Shed, though, it isn’t for the usual reason.
The story is told from both Milo’s point of view.

It’s the Hat by Jon Keys
Matt Keller is a forest ranger trying to track poachers in Michigan national forest and it is not going well. His stress release is to spend time at a local restaurant where his usual waiter is the gorgeous Kyle that he would love to ask out, but then he finds out there is an ex-boyfriend hanging around. The ex is bad news, Kyle says it’s complicated, and Matt’s not sure which way to jump.
This story is told from Matt’s point of view

A Wolf in Cop’s Clothing by Toni Griffin
Professional and personal lives collide when Marcus Holland’s mate, Brian, kisses him as he heads off to work saying “This is Leyburn. What trouble could I possibly find?”
This story is told from both Brian and Marcus’s point of view.

I have mentioned before that I quite like anthologies. I like that it is almost like sampling stories, genres or authors to get you interested in more of one of those things! One thing I really like about the Mischief Corner Books anthologies is that they provide a theme for authors, but overall, leave the creativity to the authors. As a result, you can get anthologies that mix genres together, so you really get to try different writing styles and this one is definitely a case of that.

The Head Shed, which, according to the author, was inspired by a gritty and romantic dream, is a science fiction story of a sex worker who was previously a librarian, then alien invaders came and life as anyone knew it came to an end. This story had me hooked from the first chapter! I was not sure what to make of it as I started to read, but then I had a hard time putting it down! I loved the fact that Milo was just an average guy, not a stereotypical hero, although he had the spirit of one, even if he did not see it. It’s one of those ones that has great characters, action, a fast moving plot, but then you would happily read more about Milo and his Colonel Dunnegin, but it’s still a satisfying read. A new author for me, Gregory L. Norris, but I will be watching for more.

It’s the Hat is about a forest ranger, which I was happy to read about. I love and respect the military, but I like seeing other services with uniforms getting some attention, so that alone had me interested to read this and it did not disappoint. This is the contemporary story of the anthology and again, great characters, a well-developed story, the action and one on one scenes balanced each other, and of course I was cheering for a happy ending for Matt and Kyle! I think one of the best compliments to an author is to say you enjoyed their story, but wanted to read more and that was definitely the case for me with this one as well. Again, Jon Keys is a new author for me, but I will be looking for more of his work based on this story.

A Wolf in Cop’s Clothing is the paranormal story for the anthology, and a short story from the Holland Brothers series, book 7 if you are keeping count! Marcus and Brian were the characters of the first Holland Brothers story, Unexpected Mate and by the time this book is set in, they are parents of twin boys, Sammy and Dylan and living in a very full house of the four brothers, all their mates and the various children that entails! And of course they would not have it any other way – then Brian goes and makes the crack to Marcus about what trouble he could possibly find in Leyburn. A regular day of getting the boys a haircut and doing the shopping becomes anything but average for Brian and the boys. This is a fast-paced short story that definitely had you on edge and not wanting to put it down for fear of missing something – Toni Griffin and Holland Brothers fans will be pleased! And for how it ends, whether the author wants it to be or not, maybe book 7 is not the final word on the Holland Brothers series!

So, if you like adventure, action, uniforms, two men together, sometimes with families as part of the story, you will likely enjoy this anthology, and if you are looking for a men in uniform anthology that is a bit different than what has been offered before, then I highly recommend Mischief Corner Books presents Behind the Uniform!

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