Author: Elle Keaton
Series: Accidental Roots, Book #6
Page/Word Count: 70K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 18, 2018
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood
Running away from a messy divorce did not bring Ira Fragale the peace he sought. If he’s going to get his life together he needs to pull up his big boy pants and take care of business. He’s been hiding out, licking his wounds in Skagit for two years now, keeping his head down (aside from the trail of twink hearts he’s left behind), something’s gotta to give.
Bartending at the Loft is easy, Cam likes the community he’s found since his family’s rejection, but he craves more. He wants Ira Fragale but first Cam needs to take Ira off the pedestal he’s placed him on. Ira’s older but that doesn’t mean he has any clearer idea about life and the universe than Cam. Cam needs to focus on his own needs and forget about Ira, but he can’t.
Ira didn’t chose Skagit at random, events over twenty years ago set him on the path his is on today. The mystery of his father’s murder may never be solved but Ira would like to lay his spirit to rest.
None of this explains the upswing of hate crimes in Skagit. The small town has its share of trouble but someone, or someones, are on the prowl harassing the LGBTQ community, and Cameron is directly in their crosshairs.
4✨s – I do enjoy a May-December sort of romance and I liked the relationship treatment used here with Ira and Cam. Ira came out later in life, knowing he’d lied to his wife and son for years. His angst drives him to become a man-hoor and a twink chaser, refusing to offer more than a night. Cam has some feels for Ira but watching him sleep his way through the bar is getting old. A good deed brings Cam and Ira back together but also stirs up old trouble for Cam. Ira steps up to help Cam and prove he’s changed his ways.
I like having chapters alternating between characters, learning their internal thoughts, fears and doubts. I was able to identify with them and really feel the romance. Cam’s history is very rough and it gave him a maturity greater than his age. Both he and Ira have good friends where they work, who stick up for them. Their age gap is mentioned and discussed but it wasn’t a catalyst for a big, dramatic breakup, which I liked too. The plot focuses mostly on Cam and Ira establishing balance as boyfriends plus danger that Cam encounters. New characters come into the picture and some past characters are involved because of the crimes occurring.
I think that Cam and Ira’s first time might have been mentioned in a previous book but I’ve not read them all yet. This stood alone just fine though. The two year time lapse did give credibility to the fast pace of the I love you’s. The epilogue was a little bit of a letdown. It was a short time in the future but didn’t give a lot of insight to their status and the end was a little abrupt. The series stories that I’ve read have been good and offer mystery/suspense sub-plots. I would recommend them for light reading with extra substance and just enough sexy spice.
Cameron watched with ill-concealed irritation as Ira Fragale left the bar with yet another unsuspecting twink. He was going to have to start a support group for all the glittery little hearts Ira broke on his quest to bed every queer man in Skagit. Or maybe hang a warning sign in the men’s room, next to his mug shot.
With a huff he began to wipe down the bar, cleaning off invisible specks of dust and whatnot. He’d already wiped it down twice in less than ten minutes.
What was Ira’s problem anyway? Cam’d washed his hands of him, Ira was all flash no substance. Cam had more self-respect than to allow himself to be treated like a doormat. Especially when Ira’d told him that he wasn’t planning on changing and wasn’t looking for anything permanent. He’d pulled some bullshit telling Cam he was too young for him, but night after night of watching Ira leave with other men, some younger than Cam? He called bullshit.
That was when Ira gave Cam the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech. Whatever, it was hard to believe that when Ira was tapping the well of younger guys in Skagit every time he had a chance. Tonight’s guy was barely twenty-one, probably a student on campus, he’d looked like he didn’t have to shave yet.
“You’ve got to let that guy go.” His boss’s voice came from behind him. “He’s an asshole for one thing, and,” Sterling watched as Ira escorted ‘new guy’ past the front windows his hand on the guy’s ass, “he’s is a disaster waiting to happen.”
“I know. I have. It just pisses me off.” Cam turned to look his boss in the eye. “It’s like he’s trying to do everything possible to hurt me. Hurt everyone.” He didn’t say the other thing he was thinking, that Ira wasn’t that much of an asshole, not when he let his guard down. Ira was funny, well read and, from other little tidbits he’d dropped when they’d talked, had travelled quite a bit, had decent taste in music, liked museums.
Sterling stared after Ira, “I gotta say, I think he’s hurting himself most of all.”
“Since when are you so insightful?”
“Bartender, occupational hazard.” Sterling chuckled, then his expression turned serious, “Ira’s toxic, don’t let yourself be sucked into his orbit. He’s not worth it, he’s too old to change and whatever has him on this path of destruction isn’t worth your effort. I’ll be in back if you need me.” Sterling slid from behind the counter to go hide in his office. Probably to sext with his sexy freakishly smart boyfriend.
Cameron tried to focus solely on his customers but his mind kept wandering back to Ira and what Sterling had said. Ira was toxic, Sterling wasn’t wrong. But, for a few days maybe even a week or so at the beginning of the year, Cam believed he’d had a glimpse of the real Ira Fragale and he’d liked what he’d seen. He’d been drawn in by Ira’s intelligence, hidden sensitivity and yes, even his snarky attitude. A little voice, one he’d been trying to hush for months, insisted there was more to Ira than met the eye.
It wasn’t as if the man was hard to look at either. Ira was fit. Broad chested and muscly, bigger than Cam, although Cam was a little taller. He was elegant in a sort of piratical way. Cam had no problem imagining Ira at the helm of an old sailing ship, hair blowing in the wind, skin bronzed from the sun. Ira’s hair had been very dark when he was younger, Cam was certain, but now it was mostly silver, as was his beard. The silver was what Cam had first noticed and it turned him on.
Had turned him on. Had, had, had.
Ira also had long elegant fingers and when he talked, he talked with his hands. Cam could watch him all night.
If he wasn’t constantly leaving with other men and stomping on what was left of Cam’s self-respect.
About Elle Keaton:
Author/imaginator & photographer (also rare Pacific Northwest Native), Elle grew up in Seattle, WA., with the Cascade Mountain range to the east and Olympics to the west.
Elle shares her life with between three to five cats (depending on who’s counting), an extremely patient fiancé and a flock of young adults. She’s lived in four US states, London England, and Hong Kong; always knows what time it is, and has little problem finding parking even in the most difficult places.
Elle’s series made its debut spring of 2017. Accidental Roots is set in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington. Writing has always been a passion but not something she was able to take seriously until recently. Some journeys are longer than others. Now her head is full of ideas and not enough time in each day. As far as we know she wasn’t actually raised by wolves.
This contest is hosted by author Elle Keaton and the tour company Other Worlds Ink. Jessie G Books Inc does not have access to any data gathered in this rafflecopter.