Title: No Pressure (Accidental Roots: Book Two)
Author: Elle Keaton
Length: 224 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: What really clicked for me about this sequel was the way Elle Keaton gives readers an in-depth look at the diversity of Buck and Joey’s personalities and upbringing.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Joey James has given up on finding his ‘Prince Charming’. There is no such thing, he needs to be realistic about his chances at 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!
Review: Joey James has returned to the small town of Skagit, Washington. He works in the ER at St. Joe’s, and loves it. He’s a little flirty, always happy, and is an all-around caring person. He’s been looking for that one special person, but still finds himself alone.
Joey was a definite surprise to his family, his siblings are much older, and when he graduated at sixteen, his parents were in their sixties. His parents always accepted who he was, and provided all the love and support he needed. Maureen, Joey’s mom, still resides in the family home, and his dad is now in a care facility. Maureen keeps the large house in hopes that one day her children and grandchildren may visit.
Buck Swanfeldt has never left Skagit. He and Joey don’t really know each other. Joey was a few years ahead of Buck in school, so they never connected. Buck now owns his father’s garage, which he started working in at the age of eight. Buck never knew how to have a conversation with his parents—the only thing he could talk about with his dad was cars—but there were times when he hated talking about cars and had always wished for a better relationship with his father.
When Joey discovers he’s being stalked, he moves back to his mom’s and adopts Xena, a shelter dog, for protection. He’s scared to death to tell anyone what he’s seen and done. When Buck gets suspicious, he has his reasons to contact Micah, who gets Adam involved. Once again, Buck finds himself being dragged into the ugly world of human trafficking and child abuse.
What really clicked for me about this sequel was the way Elle Keaton gives readers an in-depth look at the diversity of Buck and Joey’s personalities and upbringing. Joey is more experienced with his sexuality, and Buck’s only experience was a disaster. Buck knows one thing for sure, though. Other men don’t rev his engine like Joey does. Buck is an innocent, to a certain degree, and the way his parents treated him causes him to have to face his emotional issues. There are moments when things are sexy and sweet between Joey and Buck, but it’s a gradual learning about each other. It’s heartrending when Buck struggles with his fears and past abuse and has an emotional break down. Buck recognizes the need for help, and it’s a little heartbreaking when he tells Joey he needs time.
Storm Season, book one in the Accidental Roots series, is a must read first because it gives more detail about Micah, Adam and Buck’s involvement in the mystery that continues in No Pressure. I liked that the plot picked up where Storm Seasons left off, and that many of my favorite characters got to return. Two new additions are Kon and Xena, who bring many heartwarming moments to the storyline.
I really enjoyed No Pressure and hope that Elle Keaton will create more mysteries with the entertaining group of characters who inhabit the town of Skagit.
You can buy No Pressure here: