Detective Oliver Worth is enjoying his new relationship with his boyfriend, Connor Pearce. Connor is an alpha werewolf though, and he knows that Oliver is his fated mate. Oliver is skittish about committing fully, and Connor tries not to push. Much. But when he brings up the idea of courting publicly, Oliver balks and runs without giving Connor so much an explanation.
Oliver had his heart severely broken in the past, and he’s afraid of letting someone in again. Though he knows how he feels about Connor, and what kind of man Connor is, he’s still unwillingly to take that final step. But when Oliver gets back to Nimueh Court, he sees the headline splashed across the paper outing him as not only gay, but as a man who has had scads of partners and one night stands. Oliver is worried about Connor’s reaction to the news, especially after he refused to acknowledge Connor’s question about publicly courting, and he’s reluctant to answer when Connor calls. Except Connor is asking for Oliver’s help as a detective. One of Connor’s pack has been murdered.
Murder has never happened in Logan’s Court, and the werewolves don’t know what to do. Oliver takes over the case, but the clues, what few there are, are most puzzling. There’s no evidence whatsoever, and no motive. As the pack mourns and Oliver tries to make sense of things, another wolf is murdered. Desperate, they call in Special Investigations, an agent of which will have the training necessary to put the clues together and to solve the mystery. Oliver is reluctant, only because of his one contact there, and of course it’s none other than Sky Hawthorne who shows up.
Sky is not only an agent for SI and went through training with Oliver, he’s also Oliver’s ex. The one who walked away and left Oliver crushed and unable to trust again. When a third body emerges, there’s no doubt that a serial killer is on the loose, and that he is deliberately targeting Oliver. But when Connor is taken, everything comes to a head. Oliver finally figures out who would do such a thing, and now it’s a race against time to rescue Connor and bring the murder to justice.
This is the second book in the Worth series, and it pretty much can work as a standalone. In Worth A Shot, we meet Oliver and watch him meet and begin a relationship with Connor. Though it definitely added something having read that book first, this plot and storyline is fully contained and the author gives all the background information needed on their relationship so you could start here if you wish. I enjoyed them both, so I suggest you start with the first and then move quickly onto this one.
What I particularly liked was the character growth throughout this story. Oliver, in particular, really came to some understandings about himself, and what he wanted and needed. We knew that he was previously fairly content with his life, and we knew that he was enjoying Connor and falling for him. But as he came to understand himself better, he definitely realized what he wanted out of life. I also liked watching him learn more about the werewolf culture, and seeing him embrace the part of his life that was entwined with the wolves. I enjoy Oliver, his determination and strength, and it was great to see that growing and expanding throughout the story.
The relationship side of things took a back seat to the mystery at times, but it actually worked really well. The story spans only a couple of days, so with all the events that were taking place, it made sense that the MCs were less intimate and wouldn’t be able to talk as much. I really liked that when they did have sex and conversations, it felt absolutely right for the plot. Oliver and Connor have insane chemistry, and it definitely was used to the story’s advantage in this book. Because it was handled so well, what could have felt like a plot device of miscommunication felt instead like two men who just didn’t have a chance to converse, but would as soon as they were able. It really worked here, and I found the pacing to be excellent.
As for the plot, I will say that, though I knew who the killer was pretty early on, I think the mystery side of things was handled well. Identity of the killer aside, the hows and the whys fit perfectly within the world that Evans has crafted. This, more than anything, made me happy. There are specific rules to the way magic works in this world, and what can be done, who can do it, and how it can be done. So I have to give props to the author for crafting murders, clues, and evidence that absolutely worked. I might have known who did it, but I wanted to know how it was done, and when that was revealed, I was very satisfied.
So I definitely enjoyed this story. I liked seeing Oliver grow and become even more sure of himself, I loved his relationship with Connor and the ending just made me grin, and I liked that mystery absolutely worked. It was well written and well developed. This one is easy to recommend, especially if you’re a fan of well-done paranormal world building.