Title: Fox and Birch
Series: The Rowan Harbor Cycle: Book Three
Author: Sam Burns
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 166 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: A great addition to this fabulous series. I love the mystery/suspense/paranormal with a side of romance plot and can’t wait to see what is in store next!
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Fletcher Lane wants to protect people. It was why he became a deputy. A month ago, it was why he killed a vampire who kidnapped one of his friends. Now, that death has started a cascade effect that’s tearing his life apart, leaving him possessed by magic that whispers to him in ancient Gothic.
While he’s already fighting for control of his own mind, he has to hold it together when strangers come into town looking for the dead vampire. They say they’re bounty hunters, but Fletcher knows that’s a lie. They’re the same kind of murderers who killed Fletcher’s mother. When one of them puts up a kind front, Fletcher knows that people who hunt the supernatural can’t be trusted. However nice Conner Mason seems, the worst thing Fletcher could do is fall for his act.
This novel is intended for adult audiences, and contains swearing and sex.
This is the third of nine books in The Rowan Harbor Cycle, not a standalone. It continues where the second book left off. Fletcher and Conner will return in book six to continue their story, so this book contains a HFN, not their HEA.
Review: Let me start by saying if you haven’t read this series yet, do not start here. This is the third book in a trilogy of trilogies—basically, what will eventually be nine books total—so this particular installment wraps up the first trilogy, but there are still six more books to go and this absolutely can’t be read as a stand-alone.
So far I haven’t been disappointed with anything I have read by Sam Burns and so I immediately jump on the next available book and have been lucky enough to get all of them in this series. I do a little internal (and sometimes even an external) happy dance, because I know I am about to reconnect to the amazing town of Rowan Harbor.
Fox and Birch surrounds Fletcher, Wade’s partner and a deputy with the Rowan Harbor police force. I have been waiting for this book for what seems like forever, but really it was only since the first book. It just felt so much longer since I immediately fell for the big and quiet deputy and wanted to know more about him. In the second book, Wolf and Holly, a little more came out and I just fell harder.
Fletcher’s story picks up pretty much right where the second book left off. He is struggling to figure out what to do about a little problem—the whole “being possessed by magic” that is freaking him out—and at the same time, he ends up having to confront his past in ways he never imagined. Conner Mason brings with him a whole set of complications in that Fletcher can’t trust him, but for some reason he is drawn to him.
This book really focused on Fletcher finding strength in himself, overcoming doubt and shedding his past fears to embrace who and what he was meant to be. With each passing book it was clear Fletcher was shy and had a difficult time trusting people and reaching out to find friendships and bonds. Yet it was equally clear he desperately wanted to not be so lonely, and he desired acceptance and friendships. He started on the path of building those bonds in the first two books, but here is where they solidify and strengthen. Sure, there is the budding romance with Conner, but, more importantly, the story surrounds him facing his mother’s murderer and breaking through his own shields he has built around himself, eventually finding his place.
What I love about this series is it is slow building; the foundation for each couple is set in this first trilogy. Though they are quick to fall for one another, they don’t rush the relationship and the romance isn’t fully explored, as the characters’ focus is usually split by something else happening. The mystery and suspense tend to take the front seat as more clues are dropped and a bigger picture is being formed.
There are definitely clues something huge is coming, and each of the main characters introduced have a role to play; some make sense and their roles seem clear. Devon and Jesse are fleshed out to me on their strengths and their importance in whatever they will be facing. But characters like Fletcher, Wade, Isla, Conner & Sean are still slightly unknown to me, along with many of the other secondary characters who seem to be a part of everything, like Max and Oak. Their paranormal abilities are identified to some degree, but how they fit into the puzzle has not quite coalesced into a clear image, and each time a new crumb is dropped, I find myself shifting things around in my head trying to make it fit.
As I progress with the series I find myself more and more drawn to Oak and their way of thinking and communicating. There is quite a bit more of Oak in Fox and Birch, and it made me supremely happy. The wisdom, insight and patience of the dryad really draws me in and I find myself picking apart their words.
My one issue so far has been that both in the last book and this one, the romantic partners haven’t really been quite as drawn out. Conner, much like Sean, is more of a mystery to me than even many of the secondary characters. Basic information of their past is given, but I feel a little less connected to them as individuals. Hopefully in the next trilogy more information is supplied so I can connect a little more.
Fletcher’s story was a great addition to this fabulous series, and I can’t wait until the second trilogy comes out.
You can buy Fox and Birch here:
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1 thought on “Review: Fox and Birch by Sam Burns”
This is exactly why I read reviews! Thanks for recommending a new author and series to me…and the caution to start with book one. You’re the best!