Book Review – Without a Trace by RJ Scott

Lancaster Falls #2
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Pages: 241
Characters: Drew/Logan
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mystery Detective, Series

When long-buried secrets are exposed, and the search for truth becomes a race to save a life, how can two men ever hope to find real love?

Losing his brother has shaped Drew to become the man he is today—heartbroken, alone, but determined to make a difference in the world. Joining the military, fighting battles in places that he’s never even heard of, is his attempt to make amends for telling his brother to go to hell. After his brother disappeared, he’d clung to the hope Casey was out there living his life. Of course, he’d be furious at Drew, and probably hate his brother, but at least in Drew’s head, Casey was safe.

One call changes everything. Casey’s body has been found, and the hope that had fueled Drew’s constant search for the truth is destroyed. Coming home to Lancaster Falls to bury his brother and face his mom’s anguish and accusations, is a nightmare made real, and he has nowhere to run from the pain.

Logan has made a home in Lancaster Falls. As a police officer, he plays by the rules, and he would never think of working off-the-grid. All that changes when an anonymous tip crosses his desk, and he is thrust headlong into solving a hundred-year mystery that could be connected with the modern day death of Casey McGuire. Fighting an attraction to Casey’s brother is hard enough, but the infuriating man is there at Logan’s every turn, interfering with the case, breaking the rules, and demanding that Casey’s story be heard.

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I love this series, and this story did a great job in taking the mystery a little further, answering some questions and asking others. One of the reasons I enjoy series is the opportunity to catch up with characters from previous books and see them from a different perspective. I thought this story did a great job with that, especially as Drew has the huge history with both Sawyer and Josh.

This author is great at capturing the feel of a small town, with its gossip and everyone knowing everyone else. I loved the extended family feel too, although members of this particular family don’t always get along because of events in their past. I loved how all the grandmothers in town leave Logan casseroles and try to set him up with relatives.

I thought the author captured Drew’s grief and his trying to come to terms with his brother’s death very well. The title of book 1 What Lies Beneath bleeds into this story too with how he hides his emotions beneath his attitude and the wall he’s put up between himself and others.

I loved the progression of Drew and Logan’s relationship. I could feel the need from both men, yet also their hesitancy in acting on it, and Sawyer’s answer to that. Perfect. Both Drew and Logan are complex, layered characters, and I loved them together.

The action scenes are exciting, with a couple of twists I half expected yet didn’t. I thought the story was a well told gripping murder mystery as well as an exploration of a relationship between two damaged people. This town has so many secrets, and I’m already hanging out for book 3, and reading Josh’s story.

More please. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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