As Sure As The Sun by Elle Keaton
I have enjoyed the Accidental Roots series immensely and this latest addition was nothing short of wonderful. This time the story focuses on Seth Culver, the half brother of Adam. It is set in Skagit like the previous stories and features many of the previous characters. One of which is Sacha Bolic, a US Marshall working undercover with the Russian mafia in Skagit. Once his assignment ended and Sacha went back to regular work he realised that at nearly 40 he had pretty much worked himself to death so he retires and goes to live in Skagit.
Through a series of event, Seth and Sacha meet and the chemistry between them scares both of them. Sacha is renovating an old building and Seth visits him regularly. As their friendship grows, so does their attraction and inevitably they end up kissing.
In the meantime 2 things happen - one is that Sacha's foster brother Parker leaves his own boyfriend and a series of unfortunate events and joins Sacha in Skagit, where they enlist Adam's FBI help in absolving Parker of any crime related offence. The other is that Seth discovers old papers and a photo in Sacha's building, relating to two men from the 1920's and he resolves to find out more about them.
Both plot lines play out (although I suspect there will be more about Parker in future) while Sacha and Seth develop stringer feelings for each other. Unfortunately, Seth does not believe in long term relationships. His background has shaped him into a certain mind set designed for self preservation and he is scared of getting hurt. Inevitably, Sacha suffers and it looks like they may not ever get their HEA.
I was utterly absorbed from the first chapter to the last. I loved the familiar references from the previous books but they did not overshadow Seth and Sacha's story; merely enhanced it. There was a lot of hot sex but it was by no means gratuitous and I felt it added to the intensity of the couple's feelings towards each other. There wasn't angst as such, but some parts of the story were sad and heartfelt. When I read the author's postscript I was really moved. She definitely did justice to her 'Owen'.
It was a thoroughly satisfying and well written read and I highly recommend the entire series.