Hi there! Today I ‘m sharing a review and giveaway for a M/M romantic suspense novella from Elizabeth Noble. BAIT is the fifth book in her Circles series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone. I really liked GONE AWAY, and I love the remote Wyoming setting, so it was a must read, for me.
Catch the author notes, review and comment to win in the book giveaway below!
About the book:
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.
Thoughts from Elizabeth Noble
Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble and thank you for having me today!
Believe it or not, deciding on the locale for a novel can be a huge part of the plot. Where the action is takes place has the ability to greatly influence how the characters act and react to any given situation.
In Bait, the majority of the story takes place near the Devils Tower in Wyoming, USA. There of course is the spectacular beauty of the land. It’s a wilderness location and that in and of itself makes this place mysterious and exotic. There are no palm trees and beaches, but pine trees and snow.
It is that location, the trees, the snow, the remote location that creates the thriller portion of the story. FBI agent Linden Bourne is trying to piece together clues that will help him catch a killer. What he doesn’t realize is in doing so he’s driven to the very spot where that murderer is stalking their next victim.
The next victim, Tyler, is the man Linden has come to question. This killer could have just as easily hunted their intended victim in a city. However, placing the story out in the wilds of the Wyoming Black Hills, in the winter, in a blizzard adds a whole other layer to the danger the characters face.
The elements of nature are a very hazardous adversary. You can’t reason with high winds, low temperatures and white out conditions. The only real choice is get out of the way. Now, throw an unknown person or persons into the mix who is hell bent on driving our heroes into those elements and the suspense ramps up.
Most readers know the feeling of having the power go out in a storm, or trying to travel through poor weather conditions. It’s a short leap to imagining fighting your way through heavy snows, cold so frigid it’s deadly and unfamiliar terrain.
In Bait, I’ve taken the story’s location and used it as more than a backdrop. The land, the weather has the potential to become another executioner. Not only do Linden and Tyler have to survive a human threat that is hunting them, but deadly natural conditions that are far more perilous.
Though part of a series, BAIT is easily read as a standalone. It does bring back two side characters from the previous book, GONE AWAY.
FBI Special Agent Landon Bourne is headed back to the Black Hills of Wyoming to either catch a killer or save a man he’d recently met. Tyler McCall had been a high school teacher in Ohio, another life ago. As a recently minted teacher, he didn’t balk when he met an attractive younger man, not realizing Dimas was a student in the high school. Their affair was turned in, Tyler went to prison, and more than ten years has passed with no contact between them.
Tyler started over near Devil’s Tower, doing odd-jobs, at first. He now delivers beer and mans the reception desk for a local motel. It’s honest work and he’s glad for it, but he’s lonely. It’s a big surprise when Agent Bourne shows up at his hotel, hours before a blizzard is set to begin. It’s even more of a surprise when Agent Bourne’s investigating the possible murders of three of Tyler’s former students.
Is it Dimas, on some sore of spree? Or was it Tyler? Landon’s pretty certain Tyler wasn’t mixed up in these deaths, which had been framed as either accidental or suicides, but that means Tyler might be a target. As the blizzard rages on and the hotel loses power, and contact with the rest of the world, Tyler and Landon scramble to stay warm and safe. If only the elements were their problem.
I had just a bit of trouble with the set-up of the story. It didn’t make a lot of sense that this agent, stationed in Arizona, would be the only person sent to question/apprehend Tyler, rather than a local agent–or pair of agents. The suspense elements once the story got going were interesting, however. This is a pretty short read, which didn’t allow for as much character development. That said, the way they interact felt engaged and committed. They don’t drop into bed, they develop an uneasy partnership–that deepens as they are confronted by more and more peril.
The climax is really intense, and I did love how it all got resolved. Expect a desperate chase, several near-death experiences and a sunny HEA.
Every life is a circle, and sometimes those circles connect and overlap in unexpected ways, even if the patterns they form aren’t obvious at first glance.
Past and present, from the wilderness to small towns and cities, the greedy and evil seek to exploit the vulnerable. The brave men of law enforcement fight to protect the innocent and punish the guilty—but they’re not alone. Men from all walks of life are called to stand beside them and solve these mysteries. Along the way, lives intertwine as couples are reminded that one thing makes the struggle worthwhile: love.
You can learn more about all the books in the series here.
This book features people meeting their untimely ends in the way they most feared. Leave me a comment on the way you’d be most afraid to die for a chance to win one of Elizabeth Noble’s backlist reads. (2015 and earlier, no book bundles) Winner chosen at random.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.
Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess and one tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.
Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published several of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner up in the 2015 Rainbow awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category.