Six bodies in a single grave… in the same West Texas country where Dakota left everything behind.
Every beat of my heart belongs to you.
Thirteen years ago, Dakota Jennings thought he’d found his forever when he fell in love with Shane Carson. But one afternoon shattered their love story, and both Dakota and Shane left Rustler, Texas, with broken hearts. Even now, Dakota is still feeling the agony of losing Shane. Sure, he’s a Texas Ranger, but that’s not how he wanted to live his life. All he ever wanted was to love Shane.
Loving you is the only time I feel alive.
Shane’s life was supposed to be different than this. There’d been a plan, ever since he was knee-high to his father. But falling for Dakota spun Shane’s world upside down, and for years, Shane has had nothing but the memories of all that he lost: Dakota’s gentle touch, and the sweetness of his lips, and the star-strewn nights they spent wrapped in each other’s arms.
West of the Pecos, there is no law.
When the Rangers get the call about six bodies being pulled out of a mass grave in West Texas, the governor sends Dakota to run the investigation. Dakota heads back to his hometown and comes face-to-face with the last man he ever expected to see again: only now, he’s Deputy Shane Carson… Dakota’s local partner assigned to the case.
There’s nothing Dakota wants more than a second chance with Shane, but so much is stacked against them: six corpses, a murderer on the loose, and history that refuses to stay buried. And the bodies keep piling up as Dakota and Shane try to run the killer down across the West Texas plains.
In a moment, everything changes: the hunters become the hunted, the past fractures, and all Dakota thought he knew comes tumbling down. Secrets break wide open as Dakota remembers–
This is West Texas, and out here, nothing is as it seems.
Big Bend County is a place of beauty and desolation, of secrets and small towns. Where the past and the present collide, and where nothing stays hidden forever.
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating between Shane & Dakota.
Another fantastic book by Tal Bauer. I adore his mix of romance, mystery, and suspense in this one. A second chance romance between high school sweethearts now in their early 30s. I loved Dakota & Shane as characters. Their relationship as teens (so adorably sweet!), their lives apart, the angst of being thrown together in a high profile mass murder investigation, and their path back together as a couple.
The investigation had lots of twists and turns and the whodunnit was a complete surprise to me. I truly enjoyed that aspect as much as the love story. The ending and epilogue were amazing and brought a lot of resolution to complicated case as well as solidifying Shane & Dakota’s HEA
About the author:
Tal Bauer is an author of gay romantic suspense/thriller novels.
The world needs more gay heroes, gay love stories, and powerful women kicking ass. I try to write those stories. With a background ranging from law enforcement to humanitarian aid, my stories are global in scope and with diverse characters in all roles. My goal is to help normalize gay characters as action heroes and to bring to life strong, dynamic, holistic women in all of my novels.
You can connect with Tal Bauer here:
My Favorite Quotes
Beyond the Pecos River, out in the bitter reaches of far West Texas, blood soaks the parched earth far more than rain. – Never Stay Gone by Tal Bauer #MM #RomanticSuspense #SecondChance #BigBendTexasRangers #KindleUnlimitedTweet
His first kiss in his whole life, and it was with the boy he loved with every atom of his being. – Never Stay Gone by Tal Bauer #MM #RomanticSuspense #SecondChance #BigBendTexasRangers #KindleUnlimitedTweet
It wasn’t fair that the place where his heart shattered had carried on like nothing awful had ever happened. – Never Stay Gone by Tal Bauer #MM #RomanticSuspense #SecondChance #BigBendTexasRangers #KindleUnlimitedTweet
Jesus, they were like a desert thunderstorm, all wildfire and fury, the world splintering apart in a cataclysm before being reborn. – Never Stay Gone by Tal Bauer #MM #RomanticSuspense #SecondChance #BigBendTexasRangers #KindleUnlimitedTweet
that was West Texas. Wild shit happened in West Texas. – Never Stay Gone by Tal Bauer #MM #RomanticSuspense #SecondChance #BigBendTexasRangers #KindleUnlimitedTweet