Beto Hernandez is an FBI agent working undercover as a police detective in the small city of Skagit, Washington. He’s there investigating a human trafficking ring making its way through the area. Beto’s tough and focused and determined. Two years ago, he lost his partner in work and in his personal life, so he doesn’t want anyone to get close to him. Therefore, Beto’s confused when he meets a younger man who’s involved with the case, and begins to have feelings toward him…feelings that are more than wanting to protect a witness.
Carsten Quinn has been abused for years and he’s finally been able to escape. Carsten is in Skagit to do his own investigation of the trafficking ring. He and a friend are working together until his friend is found in the woods badly beaten and on the verge of death. Now, the man who can’t trust anyone has no choice but to trust the handsome detective who’s determined to bring down the bad guys and end the suffering of the children who’ve been stolen from their families.
Both men are afraid of relationships, but their feelings for each other continue to develop as the investigation moves along. As they get closer to finding out who’s running the operation, threats against them become very real. After all is said an done, will they be able to overcome their pasts and stay together, or will they be forced to part and go their separate ways?
I’ve been with the Accidental Roots series since the beginning. Every book is exciting, action filled, and romantic. Elle Keaton’s writing style (and skill) is detailed without being overwhelming, and her descriptions are rich. With every book, I learn a little more about Skagit and its residents. I’m constantly amazed at each installment because there is always something new to discover.
I love Beto and Carsten. I do admit, it took me a bit to fall for them because they’re both abrasive. However, they’ve been through so much, and they’re broken. I’m happy I let myself care about them. Beto is a loner and is determined to not get close to anyone. He lost his partner. He was in love, but their relationship was on the down low, so not only does he feel grief, but anger at not being able to tell anyone what they meant to each other. In Skagit, he’s focused and determined to bring down the trafficking ring. Beto doesn’t want to let Carsten in, but eventually he has no choice. Speaking of Carsten, he’s been through so much more than any human being should have to be. This makes him focused and determined as well. He wants to get photographic evidence of the main players before he and his friend bring it all to the police. He’s frightened and on the run, so when he meets and begins to get close to Beto, he wants to get away. When they discover each other, there is chemistry to spare…sexually of course, but emotionally. They actually talk and get to know one another before they give in to their passion. When they do come together, they’re hot, but tender. It’s a perfect combination and the author achieves this balance wonderfully.
I’d like to talk about the mystery portion of the story a bit. If I go into too much detail, I’ll give everything away, and I don’t want to do that. It’s both horrifying and fascinating. The bad guys are really bad. It left me on the edge of my seat, and I was compelled to keep reading long after midnight because I didn’t want to put the book down. As with every Accidental Rootsbook, there’s quite a bit of action. Again, I’m constantly amazed with Elle Keaton and her attention to detail. She’s got a knack for it, and I’m so impressed.
There are a lot of background characters here. I can’t mention them all by name because there are so many, and they’re all important to the story in their own way…from Beto’s partner’s family, to the cops and residents of Skagit, to the men who run the trafficking ring. They’re not difficult to keep track of, though, and I’m able to get a sense of who they are without them interfering with Beto and Carsten and their purpose.
The ending of When It Rains is excellent. There had been a slow burn type build up, and it was satisfying when it was over. I was able to see there’s room for at least one more Accidental Roots installment, and I love that idea. Now, I will tell you, I don’t recommend you pick this one up without reading the first seven books. The characters and situations cross over, and in order to know them all, as well as getting the feeling of Skagit, you must start at the beginning. However, I can tell you the whole series is amazing, and it’s so worth it. It’s one of my very favorites…interesting, intriguing, and infinitely readable. I can’t recommend it enough.