Title: Bait by Elizabeth Noble
Circles Series Book Five
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Mystery/Suspense, Romance
Length: 94 pages/Word Count: 31,049
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author
Circles: Book Five
Tyler McCall has made mistakes. He was a teacher—before he fell for a student in his school. That misstep cost him his job and everything he’d worked for. He moved to the Black Hills of Wyoming to start his life over, and he’s happy working at the Big Rock Inn near Devils Tower.
Linden Bourne, a no-nonsense FBI agent Tyler had met before, returns to Wyoming hot on the trail of a killer. The previously unexplored attraction between them grows—which is good considering they’ll be spending a lot of time together when a blizzard strands them at the inn. Cut off from the outside world, with no power, they’ll need to rely on their wits and each other to survive.
Especially when it becomes clear they’re not alone—and the danger they face comes from more than the elements.
The fifth installment in Elizabeth Noble’s Circles series, Bait is a suspense-laden, engrossing mystery.
Ten years after a lapse in judgment cost him his career, Tyler McCall has carved out a new life for himself in Wyoming. So, when FBI Agent Linden Bourne unexpectedly arrives in town right before a big snowstorm, Tyler is a little confused why Bourne is asking questions about people he knew during that time in his life. Linden’s latest investigation of two murders leads him to believe a killer is targeting a select group of people that Tyler may have known back then. While he is fairly certain Tyler is not the murderer, he needs to cross Tyler off his suspect list before moving forward with his investigation. Just as the weather takes a drastic turn for the worse, the two men realize they are trapped with the killer. Completely isolated with no way to escape, will Linden be able to save Tyler from certain death?
Having previously met Tyler, Linden does not really believe he is responsible for the murders he is investigating, but he has no choice but to consider him as a suspect. Relieved to discover his instincts are indeed correct, he hopes Tyler can help him figure out why someone would be targeting these particular men from his past. Although Linden makes considerable progress fairly quickly, the would be killer takes advantage of the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions to carry out a calculated attack on Tyler. Despite Tyler’s efforts to save himself, he is soon in dire straits and he can only hope Linden will arrive before it is too late.
While the murder investigation is the main focus of the story, there is a slight romantic element to the storyline. Tyler and Linden’s brief meeting prior to their unexpected reunion lays the groundwork for their budding romance. There is a simmering attraction between them that neither man pursued since they do not live in the same state. Their renewed acquaintance provides them the impetus to pursue a relationship but the investigation into the murders takes precedence. The novella concludes with a quick peek into the men’s lives months after the case is closed that is quite satisfying and quite steamy.
With less than a 100 pages, Bait is a fast-paced and riveting mystery that is sure to be a hit with readers who enjoy a little romance with their mysteries. The characters are multi-faceted and easy to like. The mystery aspect is well-developed and the investigation moves at a brisk pace. The setting springs vibrantly to life and serves as a perfect backdrop for the killer’s nefarious plan. Although this latest release is the fifth installment in Elizabeth Noble’s Circles series, it can be read as a standalone.