Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel

Emery Hazard didn’t want to return to the small town where he grew up, but that is where he finds himself. He’s still partners with John-Henry Somerset, his former school bully, but they are able to work well together. Hazard also has Nico, his gorgeous boyfriend, and although Nico is completely into him, Hazard knows something is off and that something is that Hazard is still in love with Somers.

Just when Hazard is thinking about it all too much, the sheriff is murdered and Hazard and Somers once again have a murder to solve. The sheriff had many enemies and narrowing down the list will take some time. But time is what Hazard and Somers seem to have as a special prosecutor is brought in and the men find themselves stuck at their desks doing research.

Everywhere they turn, they are confronted with each other and the tension and longing never ends. Their job is find a murderer, but Hazard and Somers might finally find what they each have been looking for for years—each other.

Gregory Ashe keeps the tension high, both personally and professionally, in this fourth installment of the Hazard and Somerset mystery series. The books are intended to be read in order, as this is a true series where the personal relationship and the larger plot continue and connect from one book to the next.

Murder comes once again to this small town and Hazard and Somers are ready to find out who killed the sheriff. But, when a special prosecutor is brought in from the outside, the men find themselves sidelined in the investigation. The men are completely put out about being assigned to busy work and the banter between the two of them is amazingly funny with Somers usually getting them started. Somers also opens up more here; we get much more from his POV, and the longing the men have for each other is so well written.

The main focus of this series remains the murder investigations and there are a lot of people being murdered in this small town. There is corruption from the top and the chief still has my radar pinged as well. The men work incredibly well together; they area also just starting to realize this themselves, as they break the case down in their own way with their own style and they are a perfect complement to each other.

Even with the murder taking center stage, there is still a balance to their personal relationship. It was with great skill that the author took a bully and his former target and worked them into the relationship they have and I appreciate that it was not an easy road filled with easy forgiveness. They have an incredibly complex history and both men have waged their own personal wars since graduating high school and it takes until this book for them to finally (finally) have the breakthrough they need.

The murder does come together in a rush for me and there are pieces that don’t all quite fit. While I enjoy the setting and I enjoy Hazard and Somers and I enjoy the atmosphere the author creates, the mysteries aren’t the most compelling for me. But the murders, combined with the evolving relationship between the men, are certainly worth your time. There is still a lot of story left for these men and this series is a great choice for murder in a small town combined with a slow burn redemption romance.