Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: As Sure As The Sun
SERIES: Accidental Roots
AUTHOR: Elle Keaton
PUBLISHER: Dirty Dog Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 30th, 2017
The universe is trying to tell Sacha Bolic something. A fire escape collapses under him, he lands in crap, and a killer barely misses his target… all in the same few seconds. That’s on top of a long list of mishaps and job dissatisfaction. Not one to ignore signals when they’re shoved in his face, Sacha retires and uses his savings to buy an old building in Skagit, Washington. With a little help from DIY videos, he’s going to bring it back to its former glory. And, yeah, it’s a metaphor. If he makes one change, others will follow…
Seth Culver avoids entanglements, romantic or otherwise. Who needs them? He’s learned the hard way that people betray you or leave. Still, Seth finds people compelling. He kind of collects them, learning their secrets before letting them go their own way. His commitment to no commitments may have met its match in Sacha. Handsome and hot, Sacha seems to offer a permanence that scares Seth more than anything ever has. Seth will have to decide if he’s going to grab life by the balls or keep watching from the sidelines.
A box of inconsequential belongings hidden for decades in the old building hints at lives imagined but not lived, reminding them both there are no guarantees in love, or this thing called life.
A standalone in the Accidental Roots series, HEA, and lots of hot m/m.
Sacha first appeared in No Pressure, book two of this series. He was a side character, a US Marshal undercover in a child trafficking ring. I was very curious about Sacha, and hoped he’d get his own book.
Seth was also in an earlier book, Storm Season, book one of the series. He showed up later in the story, as the previously unknown brother of Adam, one of the main characters.
This book starts off with Sacha having a very bad day chasing a bad guy, which leads to his decision to retire. But this leaves him at loose ends. He has no family, having been brought to the US by a refugee group from Bosnia (I think it was Bosnia!) when he was 12. He’s been either in the military or a US Marshal ever since, and the only “family” he claims are two fellow foster kids. Mae-Lin and Parker. The only place that is calling to him is Skagit Washington, where he was undercover recently. So, he quits his job, grabs his bag and heads to Skagit. Where he buys a building!
As Sacha begins to renovate his old building, he has an incident involving a ladder, the floor, and some drywall, leading him to look like a zombie when he runs in to a man outside a coffee shop! Than man is Seth.
Now Seth is the brother of Adam. Neither Adam nor Seth knew about each other, until Seth found a painting by an artist in his aunts stuff, which lead him to Skagit and to Adam. Seth also has a lack of family and connections. His dad has been non-existent, his mom is a nasty piece of work, and the aunt that raised him died. Leaving him with some abandonment issues. He’s settled in Skagit for the time being, maaaaaybe building a relationship with Adam, and starting a landscaping business. He’s more than willing to offer help to the zombie man he sees outside the coffee shop, and invites the poor guy home for a shower. He’s even more interested when he finds out Sacha is renovating an old building, being a history buff himself.
So that’s how we get Seth and Sacha together. They bond over the Warrick, the building Sacha owns. Of course this is a romance, so the two don’t stay un-involved for long…. but they both have so many freaking issues, and so much baggage, that they seriously have to work for it!
While the relationship between them is building, there are a couple of things happening. Sacha finds a couple of boxes hidden in the Warrick, one contains some personal items from what appears to be a gay couple from back in the late 30’s. Seth is intrigued, and works to trace the history of the two men. This eventually sends the Sacha and Seth on to a nice road trip to eastern Washington, which causes some drama when Seth has a freak out. The story of the two men from the photo was a very nice addition to the plot and had a realistic ending.
The other bit of excitement is Sacha’s foster-brother Parker. Parker has some drama and shows up unexpectedly in Skagit, attempting to drag Sacha in to his issues. Seth, being the nice guy that he is, lets Sacha and Parker crash at his house as they work through Parker’s shit. Sacha has to get Adam involved and Parker’s boyfriend shows up…. which makes me now want a book for Parker! (Pretty Please??)
The first three books in this series have very action driven plots. Now this book doesn’t have any of that. There is no mystery, no murder, no geoducks, no dead bodies. It is all about Seth and Sacha. Plus a little bit about the two men in the photo, and Parker’s shit. But the plot is pretty minimal. After commenting in a couple of reviews lately that I was not overly excited about the lack of action in a the books I had read, I was concerned that I would be bored with this book. BUT I WAS NOT!!! I really loved this book! These characters just had so much going on internally that I was captivated. Both are so screwed up! Seth is a fuck and run guy, never wanting to commit, until maybe he does. But he gets so scared! Sacha has not been open with his sexuality, now that he’s moved he’s committed to living an open life, but has no idea how to make a connection with a man. Until he meets Seth and tries so hard. These guys really have to work at themselves, as well as being a couple. I was totally in to it. They are also smoking hot together….
As Sure As The Sun is a fantastic book. I loved that it’s set in my neck of the woods, and is written by an author who lives here, so she gets things right. I loved the history of the two men in the photo and how that almost reflects in how Seth and Sacha behave. Maybe their choices are in reaction to what they find about Owen and Theodore. I liked the plot even though it didn’t have much action. Sure, there was some stuff about the local Chamber of Commerce that wasn’t really necessary, and maybe there could have been a little more drama, but overall I was really happy with the plot. I liked seeing the guys from the other books pop up, and there is a snippet at the end that has a character in it that made me really excited about the next book! I loved the background and details about Seth and Sacha, this book is long enough that the author was able to really get in to these guys in depth. I like a good screwed up man, and this book has two!
Elle Keaton is turning in to a really strong writer. I love that I am getting to follow her as a developing author, so many authors I read have been writing for some time that they are all really well established in their quality and style. Being a fan so early in an authors career is cool! I feel like she’s improving book by book, and I get to watch it happen.
This could absolutely be read as a stand alone, in fact you could start with this one, then go back and get her others. Just be aware that this has a more character driven plot, and the other books have more action driven plots. So depending on what you like…. Give this book a read, it’s great!