Feb 11

Fries Before Guys by Lani Lynn Vale Review


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Sometimes people come into a person’s life and make their heart skip a beat.

Those people are called cops.

Well, one cop in particular.

A SWAT officer for the Kilgore Police Department, to be specific.

The first time Avery Flynn saw Derek Roberts, she was photographing him for the first annual Kilgore Police Department SWAT calendar. He was leaned back in his squad car, shirtless, and giving her a smile that was completely between them. A smile that hinted at what he wanted to do to her later.

When she scrounges up the courage to ask him out after the photoshoot, he laughs in her face.

Well, screw you, too, Mr. February.


Derek Roberts never really paid attention to the photographer.

She was a mousy girl who dressed like a twelve-year-old girl. Her tight leggings, extra baggy Star Trek t-shirt denoting her a Klingon captain, and her surprisingly clean Chucks didn’t leave much of an impression.

Now, the outfit that she was in weeks after he rebuffed her? Yeah, now that caught his attention.

Too bad that happens when he’s trying to save her from what’s sure to be death thanks to an unhinged native Texan who’s convinced she was the reason he lost his last chance at a million dollars.

When he tries to save her, she tells him she’d rather take a cattle prod to the forehead than go anywhere with him.

Challenge. Accepted.


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I’m absolutely loved Lani Lynn Vale’s original KPD-SWAT series, so it’s been a lot of fun to revisit those characters, and meet their children and other new characters in this next generation series. It’s really incredible what Vale has created in her fictional Kilgore, Texas world. She has been building it, story by story, series by series, for years with her many intersecting, intertwining books and series. As a result of this unparalleled character development, Vale has given her readers an original reading experience unique to her. For me, sitting down with her latest book each month is like visiting with friends.

I don’t want to give too much away, but this story really focused on Avery’s tumultuous life, and let me tell you, this poor girl just couldn’t catch a break. The nineteen year old daughter of two fallen police officers, Avery Flynn is “off limits” to Derek Roberts for more than just that fact. Although they are only separated in age by a few years, he also considers her too young because she’s still in high school. Following the untimely deaths of her parents, Avery took some time off school to grieve, and she’s recently returned to finish her education and get her diploma. There is definitely a strong attraction there, but Derek struggles with it.

He tries to ignore it, he tries to push her away, but their chemistry doesn’t fizzle out, and eventually Derek threw in the towel. In the grand scheme of things, he wasn’t that much older than her, he was just in a different place in his life than she was in hers. She was immensely mature, and Avery certainly wasn’t a weak girl looking for someone to take care of her. She was doing everything within her power to stand on her own two feet. She was smart, she was strong, and she never gave up. I loved that about her. I wasn’t crazy about Derek at first, he was kind of rough on Avery, but once he made up his mind, he was all in, and he won me over. He was as alpha as they come. He was protective and attentive, yet he managed not to smother or overwhelm Avery, and he often stepped back and gave her the support and the space to figure it out on her own.

Fries Before Guys was a roller coaster ride of emotions. My heart ached for Avery and all she had to endure, but at the same time, it soared as the romance between her and Derek built. Full of feels, packed with heat and Vale’s wildly hilarious sense of humor, this was a fantastic addition to an amazing new series. Fries Before Guys by Lani Lynn Vale gets five smooches from me!

~Danielle Palumbo


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