All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Embers And Echoes by Daniel de Lorne

on September 24, 2018

Embers And Echoes (Echo Springs #2)
Daniel de Lorne
Harlequin MIRA
2018, 110p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Blue lights in the red dust…Echo Springs on the edge of the outback – a town where everyone knows your name, and your business. But the wholesome country living and welcoming community aren’t what they used to be. Echo Springs has a dark underbelly, and it is seeping ever outward.

A suspicious fire on the edge of town sets Constable Ben Fields on a collision course with firefighter and one–time friend Toby Grimshaw. When the investigation takes a troubling turn that calls the two professionals’ integrity into question, the heat gets turned up on Ben and Toby’s unresolved history. Ben’s got something to prove, but his love for Toby could cost him – and Echo Springs – everything. Meanwhile, will Toby overcome the horrors of his past and find a new future with Ben – or will it all go up in flames?

Book two in the Echo Springs series takes two characters who appeared as minor characters in the previous books and gives us their story. Constable Ben Fields and Toby Grimshaw were friends as teenagers – even more than friends, just finding their feet and discovering how their feelings worked. But then tragedy struck, they were torn apart and Ben left town for close to a decade. He’s back in Echo Springs now after a relationship went wrong but he and Toby haven’t been able to see eye to eye. Ben feels hostility rolling off Toby whenever they’re near each other and so they remain distant, nodding in passing at best until someone begins setting fires in Echo Springs.

I feel as though for me, this was a better constructed story, even if the police procedural work was also a bit….odd. But that seems to be a theme in this series, that it’s used as conflict when Ben and his partner actually start looking at Toby as a possibility for setting these deliberate fires, one of which is in his own house and could have potentially killed him and his father. I wondered if part of it was Ben’s desire to provoke Toby or interact with him, that made him so desperate to haul him in for questioning. Ben seems a bit like a lovesick teenager, staring longingly at Toby from afar whereas in the beginning, Toby seems quite distant, avoiding Ben or deliberately avoiding interacting with him.

The deeper I got into the story though, the more I enjoyed it. I really liked Ben and Toby’s backstory and how that had impacted on their current day interactions. They had a lot of stuff to really deal with in terms of being able to move forward and one of them had to confess something in order to feel as though moving forward would be even an option for the two of them. I think that the chemistry between the two of them was very well done and the angst was believable as well. I also think this progressed the story in the first book really well and I’m super curious to find out what is happening in this town. For me, this was a strong instalment in the series. It’s my first book by Daniel de Lorne but I’d be happy to seek out more of his work.

7/10

Book #161 of 2018

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