The Week Ahead Mar 27-Apr 1

Here’s a look at what’s happening this week at Book Reviews & More by Kathy:

This week’s book reviews:

March 27: The Memory of You by Catherine West (New Release)
March 27: The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick (New Release)
March 28: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz (New Release)
March 28: Shallow End by Brenda Chapman (Upcoming Release 4/4)
March 30: All You Need by Lorelei James (Upcoming Release 4/4)
March 30: Betrayed by Karen E. Olson (Upcoming Release 4/1)
March 30: Home by Ginny L. Yttrup (Upcoming Release 4/1)

Blog Tours:

March 27: Erin Nicholas
March 28: Amy Jarecki
March 30: Rachel Lacey

Winning Wednesday (March 29) eBooks up for grabs:

Hot for the Fireman by Gina L. Maxwell
Lost in You by Jules Bennett
Strays by Garrett Leigh

Click here for more info on entering the eBook contests.

This week’s Friday Feature: Sally Christie.

This week’s Saturday Series Spotlight is Erin Nicholas’ Opposites Attract and contest for one of the books in the series (winner’s choice).

Have a great week!!

***All the eBooks in this week’s Winning Wednesday & Saturday Series Spotlight giveaways have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Saturday Series Spotlight & Giveaway: Tara Lain’s Cowboys Don’t

Title: Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain
Cowboys Don’t Series Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 200 pages/Word Count: 60,629

Summary:

A Cowboys Don’t Story

Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.

Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.


Title: Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain
Cowboys Don’t Series Book Two
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 226 pages/Word Count: 73,735

Summary:

A Cowboys Don’t Story

Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch on, enough money to make up for some of the education he missed… and, secretly, a beautiful femme who likes to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn.

Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes the horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker. Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend. But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.


Giveaway

I am giving away one eBook from the Cowboys Don’t series-WINNER’S CHOICE. Here’s how to enter the Saturday Series Spotlight contest:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Monday afternoon.

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail one lucky winner the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winner will be posted HERE on Tuesday.

***The eBooks in this giveaway have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Friday Feature: Holden by Delores Fossen

Title: Holden by Delores Fossen
The Lawmen of Silver Creek Series Book Ten
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Length: 272 pages

Summary:

When a baby goes mising, a Texas marshal and a woman from his past discover there’s a whole lot more behind this kidnapping…

Holden Ryland certainly didn’t become a marshal just to end up busting his ex, Nicky Hart, for taking files from Conceptions Fertility Clinic. But only Nicky knows just what was really stolen: a newborn being held for ransom. A newborn who is kin to both her and Holden. The missing boy is only the start of a mystery that snakes through Texas, winding its way through their families. Bad blood may linger between them, but Holden can protect his nephew back at the Silver Creek Ranch. If they can lay their past to rest to rescue this child, is it possible for them to have a future together?

Add to Goodreads.
Add series to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * BAM! * Harlequin


Excerpt

It was the name of the fertility clinic that Holden knew well, and just hearing it brought back some painful memories. Of his brother Emmett and his brother’s wife, Annie. Annie had been Nicky’s sister, and now both Emmett and Annie were dead. Annie had died in a car accident, but that hadn’t been the cause of Emmett’s death.

No. He’d been murdered only months after Annie’s death. His killer was dead, but that didn’t soften the blow for Holden. Emmett wasn’t coming back from the grave just because the Rylands had managed to get justice for him.

Before their deaths, Emmett and Annie made mul­tiple trips to Conceptions Fertility Clinic in San An­tonio with the hopes of finally getting the baby they so desperately wanted. But that hadn’t happened. Because they’d both died before the process could be completed.

So, why would Nicky steal files from the place now?

“You’re either going to give those files to me now, or I’ll start putting bullets in you,” the man warned her. “I won’t kill you, yet, but I’ll make you wish you were dead.”

Every word of that threat put Holden on higher and higher alert, and he had to move fast.

Still trying to keep quiet, Holden hurried to the end of the hall and peered into the living room. Nicky was still by the front door, and there was a man be­tween Holden and her. And yeah, the guy had a gun pointed right at her.

Nicky didn’t say a word, but her eyes widened just a fraction when she saw Holden, and the man must have noticed even her slight reaction. He pivoted, taking aim at Holden.

The thug fired.

Not a loud blast. He was using a silencer on his gun.

Holden jumped out of the way just in time, and the bullet tore through a chunk of the wall.

“Get down,” Holden shouted to Nicky, but she was already doing just that.

She scrambled behind the sofa. It wouldn’t give her much cover, but Holden was counting on this moron shooting at him instead of her.

And that’s just what he did.

The gunman ducked down beside a chair and fired another shot at Holden. Then, another. The shots wouldn’t be loud enough to get the attention of the neighbors, which was a good thing. Holden didn’t want bystanders hurrying over to Nicky’s house to check on this.

Whatever this was.

“You want him to die?” the man barked. “Because that’s what’ll happen if you don’t tell him to get the hell out of here.”

Holden wasn’t going anywhere. He dropped lower to the ground, leaned out and fired a shot at the guy. However, before Holden could even tell if he’d hit him, all hell broke loose.


Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she’s had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: The Bisti Business by Don Travis

A Trio of Great Looking Guys All in One Motel Room
But not for the reason you’d think… at least in Don Travis’s The Bisti Business

Albuquerque confidential investigator BJ Vinson’s search for two missing gay college kids who are supposedly vacationing in the state in a bright orange Porsche Boxter takes him to Farmington, New Mexico, which is not exactly gay-friendly territory. But one terrific looking gay who seems to flourish in this hostile environment is Jazz Penrod, thanks to a tough half-brother on the Indian side of his family and a beefy uncle on his mother’s Anglo side. BJ and one of the missing men’s brother, Aggie Alfano, have reason to believe the teenager had contact with the missing couple, so they go on the hunt for him. At the beginning of Chapter 11, they find him—totally by accident. We pick up the action there:

I drove past, confirming it was Jazz. Pulling a U in full view of him, I approached at a crawl. His stride shortened as he eyed the car. I halted ten paces in front of him and leaned across the seat so he could get a good look at me.

The “stare” is a standard move for a lot of gays on the make, but in New Mexico it is a complicated maneuver. Many Native American cultures have an eye avoidance custom, considering it rude. Gangbangers take it as dissing, a challenge to their machismo. A lot of straights feel it’s an invasion of their space. It makes them uncomfortable. Jazz Penrod didn’t have a problem with it. His gaze locked onto mine.

“Morning.”

“Morning.” His smile displayed a row of straight, sparkling white teeth. “Can I help you?”

“Maybe you can. I’m new in town. Just here for a couple of days. You look like a fellow who can tell me where the action is.”

“Depends on what kind of action you’re looking for.”

“Why don’t you get in the car, and we’ll discuss it. Maybe we can go back to my motel room to talk at leisure.”

“Where you staying?”

I motioned with my head. “Down the street. Trail’s End.”

He did a half turn and looked toward the motel. “Don’t see why not.” He stepped off the curb, grasped the door handle, and slid into the passenger’s seat. “My name’s Jazz.”

I accepted the handshake, noting the strength of his grip, which argued Jazz Penrod worked for his living, although exactly what kind of work seemed to be a mystery.

“BJ. Up from Albuquerque for a visit.”

“BJ. Like the initials?”

I nodded.

“Here on business?”

“In a way.”

As I pulled out onto the street, his eyes raked me. “Go in the back way,” he directed. “I know the girl who works in the office there.”

“You mean Melissa? She seems like a decent sort.”

“She is, but….” He left the rest unsaid.

I turned away from the office and circled around behind the building in order to reach my room. Jazz got out of the car and waited until I unlocked the door. As I moved aside, he stepped into the room where he abruptly halted.

“What is this?” He backed up, bumping into me. “I don’t do threesomes.”

“Not asking you to.” I applied pressure to his broad shoulders. “Just want to talk to you for a few minutes.”

“No, thanks. I gotta be someplace.”

I managed to close the door and lean against it, blocking his way. “Hear me out, and then you can leave if you want. Won’t take but a minute.”

Jazz stepped forward, giving me some room. He motioned toward Aggie sitting on the edge of the bed. “I know you. Well, I mean….”

“Looks just like his brother, doesn’t he?”

“You’re Lando’s brother?”

“I’m Aggie Alfano.”

“Look, man, Lando and Dana came on to me. I didn’t—”

“Nobody’s pissed, Jazz,” I assured him. “We just need some answers. Dana and Lando are missing, and we’re trying to find out what happened to them.”

“Missing?”

“Yes, and their car went over the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos the other day, although neither of them was in it.”

“No shit? That Porsche? Man, that was a bitchin’ ride.”

“Sit down.” I indicated one of the two chairs at a small table. “Let’s see if we can figure out a couple of things.”

I examined the young man as he strolled to the table and settled into a seat. Although the photo Dix Lee had shown us looked vaguely androgynous, the flesh and blood Jazz Penrod exuded a powerful masculinity. But there was something else at work, too. Some sense of vulnerability, approachability. This guy could probably raise the pulse rate of half the men and women in town. He tossed his head, throwing his shoulder-length hair back. Seductive as hell, and he wasn’t even trying.

“When did you meet Lando and Dana?” I asked.

“I don’t remember the exact date, but I know it was a Sunday night a couple of weeks ago.” His voice was a light baritone with a husky quality. The inflection on some of his words was different—he almost swallowed the final syllables. Yet, he came across loud and clear.

I took out the calendar I’d worked up for Lando’s trip and made a notation. “That would have been August 12, right?”

He shrugged. “I guess. I know they’d gone to the Aztec Ruins that day because they talked about it.”

“You met them at the Sidewinder?”

“Yeah. We got to talking, and they bought me a drink or two.”

“We understand Lando and Dana got into an argument at the bar. Was that over you?”

Jazz smiled. “Nope. They were arguing about where to go the next day. Lando wanted to go see the Bisti Badlands, but Dana wanted to try the Salmon Ruins.”

“That was it? That caused an argument?”

“Not really an argument, but—” Jazz cut his eyes to where Aggie sat on the bed. “—Lando did this Italian thing. You know, getting earnest when he talked.”

Aggie chuckled aloud. “You got him down pat, Jazz. That’s my brother. Italian.”

“So did you go back to the motel with them when they left the bar?” I asked.

Jazz shook his head. “No.”

“Look, we need the truth, okay?”

“Uh-uh, I didn’t go to the motel with them, but they gave me a ride back to town and dropped me off at my place. It was their decision, not mine,” he added. “They were pretty much into each other—that night, anyway.”

“But you saw them again and decided to get between them.”

“Not exactly. I mean, I saw them again. I went to the Salmon Ruins with them the next day, but I wasn’t trying to cause trouble.”

“But that’s the way it turned out, right?” I asked. The skin around those expressive black eyes tightened. I recognized stubbornness when I saw it. “Jazz, those guys might be in real trouble. We need to know everything that happened. Some trivial little detail might turn out to be important. You caused some trouble between them—right or wrong?”

“Okay. Yeah, Lando caught me flirting with Dana at the pueblo. Pissed him off, but he got mad at Dana, not me.”

I decided to push. “Come on, Lando was a good-looking guy. He owned the car, and he was the guy with the money.”

Jazz came halfway out of his seat. “Hey, man, I’m no whore. I only go with guys I like.”

I nodded at Aggie. “What’s not to like? And from the picture I’ve seen, Lando’s even better looking than his brother.”

“Yeah,” the kid said, settling back in his chair again. “He was fucking beautiful. But Dana was too. And I like guys who don’t look like me. You know, with the same dark hair, dark eyes—like me.” With a sideways look at Aggie, he gave a grin. “I’d go for you before him. That’s cool hair. Brown, but not really brown either. Reminds me of coffee with cream in it. And I like green eyes—you know, like emeralds.”

*****

So now they’ve found Jazz. Can he help them find the missing men? That’s what the rest of the book is about.

Author Bio

Now they tell me I have to say a little about me. Born an Okie, I strayed over into the Lone Star State for a degree in government and history from Texas Christian University. Then I expanded my universe by joining the army and seeing the world—parts of Europe, anyway. When earning a living monopolized my time, I turned to painting to satisfy a creative urge. Did okay at it, but that craft didn’t scratch the itch I was feeling. Penning short stories seemed to do that. After selling around sixty of them under a pseudonym, I turned to writing novels. Zozobra is the first to see the light of publication, and Bisti is the second. A third BJ Vinson novel, The City of Rocks, is scheduled for release on July 18, 2017. The first draft of a fourth in the series, The Lovely Pines, now rests on my OneDrive.

I do a weekly blog about my writing and recounting some of my personal peccadillos on dontravis.com. I am a member of SouthWest Writers and give back to the community by teaching a free writing class at Albuquerque’s North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center.

Here are some links to me and my writing:

Website * Email * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Title: The Bisti Business by Don Travis
BJ Vinson Series Book Two
Publisher: DSP Publications
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 310 pages/Word Count: 103,257

Summary:

Although repulsed by his client, an overbearing, homophobic California wine mogul, confidential investigator B. J. Vinson agrees to search for Anthony Alfano’s missing son, Lando, and his traveling companion—strictly for the benefit of the young men. As BJ chases an orange Porsche Boxster all over New Mexico, he soon becomes aware he is not the only one looking for the distinctive car. Every time BJ finds a clue, someone has been there before him. He arrives in Taos just in time to see the car plunge into the 650-foot-deep Rio Grande Gorge. Has he failed in his mission?

Lando’s brother, Aggie, arrives to help with BJ’s investigation, but BJ isn’t sure he trusts Aggie’s motives. He seems to hold power in his father’s business and has a personal stake in his brother’s fate that goes beyond familial bonds. Together they follow the clues scattered across the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness area and learn the bloodshed didn’t end with the car crash. As they get closer to solving the mystery, BJ must decide whether finding Lando will rescue the young man or place him directly in the path of those who want to harm him.

Add to Goodreads.
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Purchase Links: DSP Publications (eBook) * DSP Publications (Paperback) * Amazon * B&N * iTunes

Many thanks to Kathy at Book Reviews and More by Kathy for permitting this guest post. And a tip of the hat to DSP Publications for bringing out the book.

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Review: Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Title: Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Jessica Strawser’s Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.

Review:

In Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser, unresolved grief and guilt are the basis for an impetuous kidnapping that tests the bonds of friendship and love.

Violet and Finn Welsh, along with their three year old son Bear, are on vacation in FL when Violet returns to their hotel room and finds both her husband and son have disappeared.  She has no idea what prompted Finn’s decision to kidnap their son and as the days pass with no word about them, she discovers Finn and their close friend Caitlin Bryce-Daniels have been keeping secrets from her.  Finn uses some of those secrets from his and Caitlin’s shared past to gain her co-operation when he needs a place to hide while he figures out what to do next.  Caitlin is torn between her loyalty and her fear about what will happen to her family if she does not do what Finn asks.  Will Violet be reunited with her son? Can she forgive Finn for taking their son?

Years earlier, Violet and Finn met while they were both on vacation and despite their instant connection, they are separated before they can exchange even the most basic information.  They each return to their normal lives, but they both wonder “what might have been”.  Years later, they eventually reunite but they do not talk much about what happened in their lives between their first meeting and their reunion.  By all appearances, their marriage is happy and both Violet and Finn are devoted to their son Bear. Violet is beyond stunned when Finn kidnaps Bear and during the subsequent investigation, she learns some very shocking information about her husband. In light of these revelations, Violet looks back on their relationship and comes to some very shocking conclusions about herself, her husband and their marriage.

Almost Missed You is a very suspenseful and engrossing novel. The chapters alternate between Violet, Finn and Caitlin’s perspectives and often end on cliffhanger. One of the most gripping questions that keeps the pages turning at a blistering pace is, of course, why did Finn kidnap Bear? Equally compelling is what happened in the years between Finn and Violet’s first meeting and their reunion years later. Forgiveness, secrets, deliberate omissions and betrayal are just a few of the fascinating topics that Jessica Strawser explores in this well-written and intriguing story. The novel ends on a curious note that is vaguely unsatisfying but overall, readers will be quite pleased with this debut.

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Filed under Almost Missed You, Contemporary, Jessica Strawser, Mystery, Rated B, Review, St Martin's Press

Review: Undertow by R.M. Greenaway

Title: Undertow by R.M. Greenaway
B.C. Blues Series Book Two
Publisher: Dundurn
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 424 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

A heartbreaking set of murders bring detectives Leith and Dion together in the Lower Mainland, where violence flows like a riptide.

Last summer the inlet waters washed an unnamed woman’s body onto the rocks of North Vancouver’s Neptune shipyards. When RCMP Constable Cal Dion returns home after a year’s absence, he finds the case still open and grown cold.

While Dion works to fit back in and put closure to the Jane Doe drowning case, newly relocated Constable Dave Leith is learning to cope with his first big-city posting. But they have bigger concerns: Why would anyone beat up a young electrician, then track down his wife and baby girl to finish them off? It is a motiveless and haunting killing that leaves behind one small witness and a handful of cryptic clues. And who battered and asphyxiated a wealthy nightclub owner in his own garage? A case of home invasion, by the looks of it. But Leith has a less abstract set of suspects to deal with: the victim’s business partner and his strange little clan.

The North Vancouver General Investigations Section is put to the test, with two files to solve, one tragic cold case, and Dion seemingly lost at sea.

Review:

Set in Canada, Undertow by R.M. Greenaway is an intriguing police procedural.  This latest release is the second installment in the B.C. Blues series and while it can be read as a standalone, I strongly recommend reading the series in order to fully understand the characters’ backstories.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constables Cal Dion and Dave Leith have recently been transferred to North Vancouver and are once again working together.  Leith is struggling with living apart from his wife and daughter and he is also trying to assimilate to his transition to a life in a big city. Dion is still making progress with his recovery from a traumatic brain injury but he is frustrated by  his memory lapses and lack of focus. He is also depressed as he tries to settle back into his old life but does not fit comfortably in the world he once inhabited.

Leith and Dion are both trying to solve the heartbreaking murders of the Liu family when they are called to the scene of the puzzling murder of wealthy businessman Oscar Roth. The investigations into the murders are not really turning up any leads when Dion makes a sudden decision that leads to some very enlightening information.

Dave is much older than Cal and he is a competent constable who relies on old fashioned detective work during the investigation.  Despite Cal’s cognitive problems, he is quite intuitive but these flashes of brilliance sometime slip away before he can fully comprehend what he has just discovered.  The two men do not seem to really like each other but they do set aside their differences during the investigations.

Cal has plenty of tricks to make it appear that he is fit for duty.  But maintaining the facade that he is back to normal is exhausting and he doubts his competence.  His inability to fit back into his old life leads him to make a somewhat impetuous decision about his career.  He then becomes unexpectedly involved with some of the key witnesses in the investigations but can he really turn off the instincts that have become second nature to him over the years? When he unexpectedly stumbles onto a witness that could help solve the Liu murders, he is quick to call Dave but has Cal inadvertently tainted the investigation?

Despite the sometimes confusing storyline involving Cal Dion’s past, Undertow is a riveting murder mystery.  The investigations are fairly straight forward even though it takes a while for the pieces to begin to fall into place.  Dion and Leith are both likable protagonists and in spite of  their very different styles when it comes to detective work, they are a formidable investigative team. R.M. Greenaway has an enjoyable writing style but the slow parceling of information about Dion’s past is sometimes a little frustrating. This newest addition to the B.C. Blues series comes to a very clever conclusion that wraps up all of the loose ends with the current investigations.  However, readers will have wait for further installments to (hopefully) learn more about Cal Dion and his tangled past. 

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Filed under BC Blues Series, Contest, Dundurn, Mystery, Rated B, Review, RM Greenaway, Undertow