Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
SERIES: Accidental Root #3
AUTHOR: Elle Keaton
PUBLISHER: Dirty Dog Publishing
LENGTH: 258 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 6th, 2017
Sometimes a guy needs a break. Carroll Weir got one–but it wasn’t what he expected.
All he dreams of is escaping dreary, damp Skagit, WA, for a warmer climate. Instead, Federal Investigator Carroll Weir is assigned to a cross-agency case involving geoduck smugglers and a very dead Fish and Wildlife Detective.
Sterling Bailey, the regular bartender at the Loft, likes to think of his customers and employees as family since he doesn’t have one of his own. Exhausted and tense, Carroll Weir wanders in one night and one thing leads to another. All in a night’s work, right?
Who murdered Fish and Wildlife Detective Peter Krystad? Does the killer have Weir in his sights? Things begin to heat up between them but Sterling and Weir will have to move past their personal history in order to change the course of their future.
The spark burning between them is hot enough to scald, unless they’re careful somebody’s going to get burned.
*HEA No cliffhanger
*Intended for a mature audience, 18+
Wow! I loved this book!
Our first main character is Carroll Weir. Weir has some issues in his past, his sister vanished when he was a kid, his mother ran away, his father was an asshole and then died. Weir was partially raised by a man named Ben, who was a cop and killed on the job. Pretty much everyone Weir has known has abandoned him, intentionally or not. He is the perfect tortured character, dark and lonely on the inside, smart and snarky on the outside. He’s highly educated, young for his job, and physically active. Weir is from SoCal, and is not happy to be is Skagit Washington. He’s stuck there working through a human trafficking case, with Adam, and can not wait to get the hell out. He actually has his bags packed, when his boss calls to tell him he’s got to stay a little longer. A Fish and Wildlife Detective has managed to get himself murdered. Weir is the best option to take the case. So he stays.
Our other main character, Sterling Bailey, is equally interesting. Sterling manages a bar called the Loft, and lives over the bar in a small apartment. He’s grown up in Skagit, and has his own family drama. He was outed against his will by an asshole from school, and his conservative parents freaked out. He was kicked out, and headed to Seattle. He spent a very bad few months on the streets, until he was recognized and rescued by a fellow Skagit resident. Eventually he gets his shit together, and ends up at the Loft, hoping to buy it. He has a younger sister now, also gay, much to the horror of his parents. He helps her when he can, and avoids his parents as much as possible. He’s emotionally stunted and reluctant to let anyone in.
So Weir goes into the Loft, looking for some companionship, and picks the wrooooong day. The bar is packed for Valentine’s Day. Weir finds a spot to sit, and has a couple of drinks. He’s never been impressed by Sterling, the bartender, but Sterling actually comes to his rescue when he has a panic attack. Which leads to a blowjob in the office….. as you do! Their next encounter is not so good, as Sterling comes to Weir’s rescue after he has been hit by a car. This gets the two men in the same circle, and eventually starts us off with two plot lines, a kidnapping and the murder of the Fish and Wildlife Detective. There is lots going on, I won’t give it all away, but it involves Sterling’s family, Adam and Micah, some surgery, a lot of sex, and the bonding of two fucked up men.
I liked the first book in this series, I loved the second book, and I’m happy to say I loved this one too! It’s so cool to see how Elle Keaton has developed so quickly, just over these three books. I live in Washington, as does the author so I particularly loved how she sets the scenes. The weather is mentioned, but not harped on. She includes geoducks, which I have not seen used in a romance book before! I thought that was very cool. She gets the feeling of the pacific northwest just right. I found the plot of the kidnapping interesting, and the drama it causes for Weir and Sterling forces them together, giving them the push they need. I was concerned that the murder plot line had been forgotten, as so much focus was put on the kidnapping plot, but it wrapped up nicely at the end as well. I loved that both of these man have so much shit in their pasts, yet are able to eventually find love. It’s not easy, it’s not instant, it’s not smooth, but there is a good ending for them. I love me some tortured men, and this book gave me two! My only issue was how fast Weir heals from his injuries… I thought to myself, “Hmmmm, really?” several times. But other than that, I think this is a well written, fantastic book!
I very much recommend this book, but you need to read the others first to get the background.
I am so happy I read these books, I can’t wait to see what Elle gives us next!