Series: Accidental Roots: Book Six
Author: Elle Keaton
Length: 235 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Age Gap, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Elle Keaton really outdid herself with Unforgivable. It’s a well-structured mystery that leads to an unsolved crime, but, most of all, this truly is a superb May/December romance.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: No one ever claimed it would be easy.
Running away from his messy divorce did not bring Ira Fragale the peace he sought. If he’s going to get his life together, he needs to pull up his big-boy pants and take care of business. He’s been hiding out in Skagit, licking his wounds, for two years now. Keeping his head down, except for the trail of twinks he’s left behind. Something’s gotta give.
Bartending at the Loft is easy, and Cameron McCulloch likes the friendships he’s developed since his family rejected him, but he wants more. To get that, Cam needs to knock Ira off the pedestal he’s placed him on. Ira’s older, but that doesn’t mean he has any clearer handle on life and the universe than Cam. Cam needs to focus on his own needs and forget about Ira, but he can’t.
Ira didn’t choose Skagit at random; decades-old events set him on the path he is on today. The mystery of his father’s murder may never be solved, but Ira would like to lay his spirit to rest.
None of this explains why Cameron is suddenly the target of a series of hate crimes. The small town of Skagit has its share of trouble, but someone has it in for the LGBTQ community, and Cameron is directly in their crosshairs.
Review: After numerous mistakes in his life, Ira Fragale has secluded himself on the farthest outskirts of Skagit. He’s estranged from his son and feels the guilt, shame, hurt and loneliness he’s caused and doesn’t know if he deserves to heal. He’s also left with the memory of his father, a former prosecuting attorney, who was murdered, and he feels like he should have done more to find the truth behind the murder. He’s found a decent job at the Booking Room, but he has a talent that has been falling by the wayside. And, he’s trying his best to avoid Cameron McCulloch.
Cameron is bartender at the Loft, where his boss, Sterling, is trying to make sure Cam’s not heading for a fall. Cameron may be much younger than Ira, but their weekend encounter left Cam feeling that he and Ira had hit it off, that it seemed mutual, but all it left Cameron with was bitter feelings. Ira walked out, saying that Cameron was just too young and doesn’t suit him even though Cameron has watched Ira leave the Loft with younger twinks.
Cameron also has dreams to better himself. As a teen he battled with cancer and was shunned by his family because he’s gay. But, he went on to make his own family with a neighbor, Ruth Cramer, who loves to bake. Going back to the old neighborhood to visit Ruth stirs up issues and bad memories for Cameron.
One night after closing Cameron is assaulted. He hides information from the police, but Sterling puts pressure on him to tell the truth. After one too many nerve racking incidents, Cameron has no choice left but to tell the truth. Even though Cam and Ira are at odds, when Ira becomes aware of what’s happened, he becomes Cam’s protector. When Adam Klay, head of the local FBI, Detective Jorgensen, and Evan Weir start digging deeper into Cameron’s assaults, the case starts to take a turn, with hate group and human trafficking connections.
Elle Keaton really outdid herself with Unforgivable. It’s a well-structured mystery that leads to an unsolved crime, and there’s always danger and suspense when Adam Klay and his team get into the mix. But most of all, this truly is a superb May/December romance. Ira made his appearance subtly in the first Accidental Roots novel, Storm Season, and he’s somewhat of a grouch to the locals in Skagit.
Cameron didn’t come into the series until Spring Break, and Elle Keaton really dug deep into Ira’s and Cameron’s personal lives and issues, which is what made this novel amazing and not what I expected. She did a top-notch job with both Ira and Cameron, bringing them to life. All I can say is this is a powerful, character driven story with so many emotions on many different levels. There are family issues, and plenty of chaos and surprises. The Loft always seems to have an abundance of interesting characters with their own stories—Jacob, Marcus, Rod and Travis, just to name a few.
Being in on the Accidental Roots series from the start, I have to admit this is my favorite novel so far. I’m more than excited and can’t wait, as I hear there’s a novella about Detective Jorgensen in the works, and it sounds just too intriguing to pass up!
You can buy Unforgivable here:
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