Book Review: Hell on Wheels by Z.A. Maxfield

Hell on Wheels by Z.A. MaxfieldTitle: Hell on Wheels
Series: Bluewater Bay, Book 3
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: December1, 2014 by Riptide Publishing

Nash is the reliable one in the Holly family, the guy everyone counts on to keep things going. His genius twin brother is off at university, so Nash runs the family’s auto repair business and cares for his partially-paralyzed little sister while his crackpot father invents. His life seems mapped out for the foreseeable future, however much that might chafe.

So when Wolf’s Landing actor Spencer Kepler-Constantine lands in his life, Nash is ready for a diversion. Spencer is in the middle of a very painful, very public divorce and isn’t ready for a relationship—not that Nash wants one. But they both need a friend, especially one with benefits.

As they grow closer, Nash starts to see his family in a whole new light. Do they really need him so badly? Or does he simply need to be needed? Then Spencer’s ex reappears with a grand romantic gesture, and Nash has to figure out what he wants—and how to get it—before Spencer’s gone for good.

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Reviewed by: J9

In a Nutshell: I liked this gentle story with wonderful characters. I do admit something was wrong with my file so there was massive delay turning pages that greatly diminished my reading enjoyment but I didn’t dock the rating.

Why I Read This Book: I like MM romance between blue and white collar characters so wanted to try this. No, I hadn’t read the previous two books in the series and didn’t need to in order to enjoy this one.

What I Liked: Nash is a “fixer”of things and people. He’s got lovely character growth as he learns his own value, for himself, not what he can do for people. I really loved this.

Spencer’s character isn’t as rounded as Nash’s in my opinion but it was enough. Spencer’s British upbringing made him emotionally repressed and self-contained. Nash breaks into Spencer’s heart with his silly dates, like at a mini-golf and trampoline park.  I love the epilogue when Nash cooks for Spencer as it perfectly showcases their relationship and how much they value each other.

This is the rare MM romance where the leads have a friendship as well as an intense sexual chemistry and I loved that.

What I Also Liked: I really liked all the characters here, not just the leads. Nash’s family from the blurb would seem selfish but they were more complex than that. They were at a point, where the entire family needed to change and grow as individuals and a family group; even Nash’s twin living 1,000 miles away played an important role in this book. Nash’s father had me chuckling a few times and his sister as well, like when she explains to Nash what a “OTP” is (anyone with a teenager on Tumblr has got to know what that is!)

What I Didn’t Like: This isn’t a book that’s got mystery or intrigue so don’t expect it. What Spencer’s ex-husband did to force the emotional denouement between  Nash and Spencer is exactly what you think but it worked for me. Primarily because this book allows Spencer to understand why his relationship with his ex wouldn’t work, and why it does with Nash.

I do have to mention here how totally f*cked up my MOBI file was! There was tremendous delay flipping pages, primarily at the end of one chapter, beginning of the next. I think it’s because each short chapter started with a picture of a movie reel. I hope they fixed this for the mass release because it nearly made me quit reading this book. (Again, this did not have an effect on my rating, since this was an advance reader copy.)

IMO: This sexy, heartfelt romance with strong leads and humorous secondary characters will be enjoyable for MM readers.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Sometimes I want a romance that doesn't have suspense or intrigue, but is just a nice simple boy meets boy story.

    1. Then this would fit, Ryan!

    2. I just downloaded it, but wasn't paying attention to the fact it was part of a series. What are the first two books/


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