Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset are officially partners at their small town police department. After years of bullying in high school, some at the hands of John-Henry, Hazard has had to figure out how to work with Somers and it’s an on-going process. Now that they are roommates as well, there are more adjustments to be made, especially because the attraction between the two men never takes a rest.
When Somers volunteers the men to work on Thanksgiving, Hazard just wants the day to end so he can see his boyfriend, Nico, before Nico leaves town. But the job, and the weather, have other plans as Hazard and Somers find themselves trapped in a mansion with a murder mystery weekend come to life. And, to complicate things further, the men have to share a room and a bed.
An intense blizzard has the men cut off from any backup or a way out and there is a killer hiding in plain sight in the mansion. As the body count rises, Hazard and Somers are working as fast as they can to isolate the murderer, but they won’t be able to save the other guests if they don’t make it out of the mansion alive themselves.
The story of Hazard and Somers continues here with this second book in the series and the books are intended to be read in order. Hazard and Somers have come to an arrangement, sort of, and things between them are better, kind of, sometimes. Being police partners, they have to rely on each other, but since they haven’t truly settled their past, they are always on high alert around each other. The sexual tension between the men is intense and all around them and Hazard knows he has wanted Somers since he first met him years ago. Hazard finds it hard to hate Somers and, despite their past, it’s also hard not to want them to finally give in and be together. But these guys have years and years of emotional turmoil to deal with and any kind of romantic relationship between them is still in the future.
Still, there are tender moments between the men, interactions that, while brief, speak to the intense bond that is and will also be between these men. However, they are trapped in a mansion during a blizzard that lasts for days and the men have to survive first. The murder mystery here takes over most of the book. Somers and Hazard stumble upon way more than they even knew when they first went to the door of the imposing house. There are a lot of characters introduced quickly and the scene is set for a storyline of old-fashioned murder while guests are trapped in the home due to the blizzard.
The actual storyline behind the murders and the cast of characters themselves didn’t overly engage me. There were moments, but ultimately, I wasn’t trying to figure out who the murderer was and the larger plot, which was most of the book, didn’t overly captivate me. What was of interest was watching Hazard and Somers work the case together and seeing their relationship grow in ways that they found unexpected. The guys are somewhat tormented by their longing for each other, but they have so much history between them and their relationship is most definitely the hook for this series. There is no easy solution to get these guys together and it’s not even a case of them being in their own way, as there is just so much for them to get through between their combined pasts, as well as what each man has gone through separately. And, Hazard still has Nico in his life and Somers is still married, although estranged, from his wife, Cora, and there are layers upon layers for both to navigate through. At this point, I feel like I understand Hazard well, but I would like more personal POV from Somers to better understand him as well, which we have not been given yet.
The murder storyline in this book connects to the overall larger arc of the series with corrupt politicians and deceit lurking close to home for the men to have to uncover as the series continues. At the forefront, this series is a police procedural with the true highlight of watching Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset fall in love.