Title: No Pressure
Author: Elle Keaton
Series: Accidental Roots #2
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Page Count: 224 pages
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5
Joey James has given up on his ‘Prince Charming’. There is no such thing, he needs to be realistic about his chances of finding a lasting relationship. A chance encounter with a former school mate at the local grocery store changes everything-maybe.
Before Joey can decide what to do about it, he is swept into a terrifying scheme. Forced into helping a dangerous stranger in exchange for his family’s safety, Joey begins a perilous journey into the criminal underbelly of Skagit. He will do whatever is needed to protect his family.
Buck Swanfeldt had a secret crush on Joey James in high school. Buck’s social anxiety and two-year age difference made it impossible for him to approach Joey then. Life since high school has been challenging, and lonely. Eight years later, fate brings them together and Buck decides to act. He utterly fails. He would have left it at that, except fate seems to be intent on pushing Joey in his direction, and clearly, Joey needs someone at his back.
Dark, sordid secrets hiding in Skagit are bubbling to the surface, danger lurks in unexpected places. Buck has never been anyone’s hero but something about Joey has him throwing caution to the wind. Together the two men take on a dangerous force greater than themselves. But sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves.
*warning may need a tissue!
This book is a work of fiction intended for mature audiences only.
No Pressure (Accidental Roots #2) by Elle Keaton
Everyone has secrets. Secrets that should never be brought into the light of day.
Secrets that are lurking under the surface of a small town and threaten to unravel its countryside idyll and ideal world.Secrets two men involuntarily participate in, which not only causes quite a stir but will change their life forever.
For Joey James, the nurse we already met in the previous book Storm Season, two things almost happen at once: a random encounter at a grocery store with a former schoolmate who never even was on his radar, but whom he suddenly cannot get out of his head and an alarming picture on the windshield of his car meant to blackmail him into helping out a criminal individual or otherwise his family would come to harm. Both are things Joey is in over his head, but it soon becomes apparent that the former will – and is even bound and determined to- help him coping with the latter.
Joey, the nestling of a big family, is a caring person by nature. That is the reason why he will be exploited over and over again by his much older siblings to take care of his parents. That is the reason why he takes in a stray, although there a no dogs allowed in his apartment. That is also the reason why he loves his job at the hospital, which causes him lately more trouble than he prefers.
“He’d been thinking with his heart, with the part of him that hated pain and suffering, with the part of him that fiercely protected those he loved. It wasn’t stupid to care. That’s how he was built: he cared, often too much and too soon.”
But Joey is lonely. The prospects to find someone who wants to share your life as a gay young man in a small town are pretty rare. When he meets a shy and socially awkward man who apparently knows him from yore and who immediately takes flight after a moment of embarrassment, he is curious about the conundrum that is Buck Swanfeldt, owner of the local garage. Fate seems to be intent on bringing both men together and after bumping into each other repeatedly, Buck slowly but surely becomes a safe haven for Joey.
As much as I loved Joey, it was Buck I loved more.
Maybe because I could totally relate to him, being more on the shy side and socially awkward myself. I know how it would feel to screw up one’s courage to address someone you had a crush on for years. I could virtually feel his embarrassment, but I admired him for doing something that would have been a milestone in his life, but I could also understand his need to bolt when sliding into an awkward situation.
Buck always felt a bit like an outcast. He learned early on in his life that appearance is everything. His parents always pretended outwardly to be a loving family, while a look behind the curtain would have revealed a father who liked to bully his son at every chance he got and a mother who stood idly by.
“Buck learned early to be seen and not heard, to listen for the undercurrents, to be very careful how he presented to his family and to Skagit. He figured they would never accept him for who he was, only who they wanted him to be.”
I loved Buck for his fortitude to make something of his life, despite the low self-esteem his parents conveyed at him at every turn. He is the gentle giant you tend to underestimate and who never recognizes himself how gorgeous he really is.
And it was far from easy. Buck also lived constantly in fear of ending up like his father, but his inner strength helps him to acknowledge that he needs professional helps to overcome his social anxiety and to get a chance at a love-filled life. Oh, and I loved him for grabbing the chance at love when it presented itself…
It was great to be back in Skagit. Elle Keaton creates an atmosphere that makes you not only just read the story, but feel like being part of it, like being there. Well, I could have done without all the rain and snow, but that just conveyed a feeling of reality. 😉 And the great characters did one more thing to make it authentic. I loved the humor in the story and the tentative pace the author brought the relationship between Joey and Buck forward. This might have happened a bit at the expense of steam, but it did not bother me one bit.
Joey and Buck’s relationship was just sweet and both are the perfect match.
The mystery part that forged a bridge between the first two books in this series was wrapped up nicely, but it took a bit of a backseat regarding the romance and all in all it was the perfect combination of both.
There are also a lot of interesting side characters I would love to read more about.
Some of them I already shipped so hard, I can hardly wait to see if I am right and I wonder if -no,…
…I hope– all of them will get their own book…