Book Review – Long Shadow by Elle Keaton

Thanks to Elle and Eliza Rae for the opportunity to read and review!

Title: Long Shadow

Author: Elle Keaton

Genre: MM Romantic Suspense

Series: Hamarsson & Dempsey, Book 2

Tropes: Opposites Attract; Hurt Comfort; Family Found

Release date: May 7, 2020

Standalone: No

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/longshadow-ers

Add to your TBR here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53246761-long-shadow

Synopsis:

Niall’s known nothing but betrayal. All Mat wants is Niall’s heart; what will it take for him to coax Niall in from the cold?

Mat’s connection with Niall is tenuous. One step forward, two steps back. Since that night on the beach Niall’s been avoiding Mat like a bad case of the flu–which, ironically, most of his deputies have come down with. What will it take for Niall to believe Mat wants him for who he is?

Mat’s overworked, Niall’s unnerved, and then things really go sideways.

Will a killer destroy everything before Niall realizes they are stronger together than apart?

Long Shadow is a dual POV about a broody introvert and a somewhat patient Sheriff. Mat will have to prove to Niall he’s the man for him. The Hamarsson and Dempsey series follows the same couple as they find their way to their happily ever after.

Review

I love this series, and its mix of mystery/detective, suspense, and romance. The characters are fabulous, and the small town setting is a character in its own right. Plus there’s Fenrir, a wolfhound who steals every scene he’s in.

Niall and Mat play off each well, and complement each other, which is a good thing considering how damaged Niall is, and how he takes one step forward and two back where relationships are concerned. I did love the way this book progressed with their relationship, and the final scene was wonderful.

This story also has a strong family vibe, with not just Mat’s family playing a substantial role. I love Alyson, Mat’s mother, and how Fenrir knows what and who he wants and just goes for it, and bonds. I like how Ella and Riley are now playing more of a role in their lives. Birdy totally rocks, and I was very happy with how Marshall’s story is progressing. I hope we see a lot more of Trevor in future books. I loved the town’s reaction when Mat starts parking his cruiser outside Niall’s motel room. Perfect.

The mystery unfolds at a good pace with a very satisfactory balance between solving the book mystery, yet keeping threads open for the series. And that scene outside the police station! No spoilers, but I had to kept reading. Wow. Edge of seat, and traumatic for both of them. I did not see that coming! I really liked how it impacted, and had consequences moving forward, which made it both scary and realistic.

I’m already hanging out for the next book in the series.

5 out of 5 stars.

Excerpt:

He paused at the guardrail, his hands jammed into the pockets of his jacket for protection from the cold. As he stood at the end of the road, the fog began melting away, slow at first and then faster, until he could see all the way across the water to the mainland crouching in the distance. Niall took a deep breath of the salt-laden air, filling his lungs, then released it. As he stared out at the dark silhouette of land, something unnameable inside himself loosened a bit further, a nearly tangible click into place. Piedras felt right.

Niall didn’t feel like an old-timer, but he did have a history on the island; he existed here as more than a bitter homicide cop. Some islanders—like Mat Dempsey—even seemed to want him there. Most of the residents seemed to accept Niall’s presence, and the few who whispered behind his back… well, that’s the way things had always been.

And, he thought as he breathed in and out again, more than likely the camper was no big deal. He was making a mountain out of a molehill—something his grandmother used to say quite often. There was likely a perfectly good, lawful reason the owner was driving around the island and only using facilities when they were less likely to run into other inhabitants.

The cop in him protested. Niall tried to ignore it.

His thoughts drifted further afield, as the fog continued to fade, to the sexy and very available Sheriff Dempsey. Mat seemed to see right into Niall’s soul and never once flinched—he actually thought he liked Niall. Mat was something Niall had never had in his life, or not often, anyway. Mat represented family, safety, commitment. Given everything Mat had done since Niall had come back to Piedras, it should be easy for Niall to trust him. But he couldn’t find the off switch for the little voice inside that pinged a warning every time he and Mat got close.

It was, however, proving difficult to stop thinking about him.

About Elle:

Elle hails from the northwet corner of the US known for, rain, rain, and more rain. She pens the Accidental Roots, Never Too Late, Hamarsson and Dempsey and the Home in Hollyridge series’, all set in the Pacific Northwest. Elle’s books feature hot mm romance with the guarantee of an HEA. The men start out broken but they always find the other half of their hearts.

Elle loves both cats and dogs, Star Wars and Star Trek, pineapple on pizza, and is known to start crossword puzzles with ballpoint pen.

Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ElleKeatonWrites

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HighwayToElle/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elle-keaton

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elle.keaton_author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PirateQueenRdz1

Website: https://www.ellekeaton.com/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/ek-amazon-profile

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/ek-gr-profile

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 https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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