Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Release: 24th March 2016
Genre: M/M (mystery)
Jamie Matthews goes to Cornwall to find his missing brother. The police are convinced Michael drowned, but Jamie knows better. No way would Michael swim to his death, especially on a beach with a wicked rip tide. Finding a stranger in his brother’s cottage only deepens his misgivings.
Felix Bergstrom is recently discharged from the British Army. Unable to put the past behind him, he takes an unhealthy interest in old acquaintance and millionaire businessman Karl Weston, hoping to catch him up to no good. Michael’s disappearance adds fuel to Felix’s suspicions. Weston’s clifftop home overlooks the beach where Michael supposedly walked into the sea, but Weston has an alibi for that day.
When Jamie and Felix meet, the physical attraction is instant. Mistrust keeps them from acting on it until finally all their secrets are laid bare. But time isn’t on their side. Before they’re able to work out whether they have a future, danger catches up with them and threatens to put an end to everything.
Cornwall and the military; two things I know all too well through personal experience. Yes, I know you’ve heard it before, but what can a born & bred Cornishman and ex-military guy do when he reads a synopsis like this one? Yes, I was all over this book like wasps around jam at a summer picnic. There’s nothing better than to read something that you can relate to through personal experience. This obviously means the stakes are high and the pressure is on for the author *mwuahaha* but also for me as a reader, the disappointment can be big too.
So, putting Annabelle Jacobs out of her misery………I’m delighted to say……. I loved it! You can breathe out now, Annabelle! A great story that is as intriguing as it is hot. First Annabelle got the setting perfectly described. Lonely cottages on the windswept cliffs of Cornwall. Holiday makers who throw caution to the wind, disregard the warning signs and advice from the coast guard and then it’s no wonder people go missing and believe me they all to often do, tragically. What happens? The lucky ones get rescued. Others are reported missing first of all and then invariably found dead, washed up on a beach six miles down the coast. Yes, as beautiful as the Cornish coast is, it’s also as dangerous. At least families who have lost loved ones can get closure if the bodies are found, but what about the ones who are not? A living nightmare. Missing presumed dead the verdict.
It is in this nightmare hell that Jamie travels to Cornwall to pack up his brother’s belongings and then go back home to Nottingham. His and his parent’s lives will never be the same again. Jamie’s brother Michael is missing presumed dead. He is still mourning, trying to accept the situation but again closure is difficult when there's no conclusive evidence that someone is dead. There maybe that one spark of hope that he is alive and not dead. What he doesn’t reckon bumping into is a hot, fit, ex-army guy called Felix. As soon as these two got together I loved the pairing. At first due to the way they met, very suspicious of each other even though a certain sexual tension is there from the onset. But Felix is mysterious and is obviously hiding more secrets than he is willing to tell Jamie. Jamie’s suspicions are also raised, could Felix know more about his brother’s death? How he died? Where the body can be found? Or dare he even think there’s a small chance of him being alive? Well, although Felix is obviously hiding a few things who can’t start to fall for the man of mystery type, throw in hot and sexy as hell and you have a character to droll over.
I loved how first of all they did the usual merry dance of denying that they are attracted to each other but this soon goes out the window when Felix’s still serving Army friends, Nick and Adam, come to visit. Now this I loved! After being in the military I was interested very much in how Annabelle was going to portray the connections between these characters. And?……..Yes, superbly done! Just as I would have imagined it. First of these guys are larger than life and have the mouths to go with it. As soon as they arrive the constant teasing and mickey taking starts. I loved it!! But that’s the thing behind all this teasing and making fun of each other, there is a deep rooted respect and camaraderie hidden there, almost a kind of love if you will, buried beneath all those layers of jabs and jokes. Something you do not find outside of the military. Believe me, when you have to depend on each other for your life this develops a bond that goes beyond any casual friendship. Annabelle got this spot on and when these guys were serious for five minutes then the truth started to come out about the neighbour living in a luxury house up on the cliff too. He is also ex-army but was never liked and who Felix most definitely has an axe to grind with. This of course piques Jamie’s interest into exactly how much Felix knows about this person and could he have any connection with Michael’s disappearance. However, the main thing about Nick and Adam being there is them pointing out the obvious about the “heat” in the room between Felix and Jaime until they also can no longer behave themselves. They give Jamie and Felix a not so subtle nudge in the right direction. And then there stars and fireworks in bed all the way.
Once Felix and Jaime get it on, oh my, the heat between these two is definitely sizzling! Phew! Just imagining Felix, ooohhh, although I think I would love to have got him out of a uniform – lol! However, Felix being ex-army means Jamie doesn’t get that pleasure, I’m afraid. Oh well, can’t have everything! But just when you think these two are getting on fine, Felix throws a huge spanner in the works, the idiot. I could have slapped him despite how “logical” he may have thought his reasoning was – ggrrrr! So a nice bit of angst thrown in there from Annabelle thank you very much – lol!, But she pulls it around nicely and due to a set of hair raising circumstances Felix starts to rethink his decision, thank goodness!
This is a thoroughly entertaining read with some great characters and a super heat level. I felt the mystery part could have been fleshed out a little more to make it more exciting. It was like I could feel there was a lot more potential there to turn the mystery of Michael’s disappearance into a little more, making the crime / mystery story even more intriguing and exciting. However, after all is said and done, that’s just me. The book kept me intrigued all the way though. As for the truth behind Michael’s disappearance? Well, you’ll have to read the book – HA!…… ENJOY!
Jamie’s gaze swept down over Felix’s bare chest and lingered on the tattoo on his right pec before snapping up again. Felix had got it five years ago: four soldiers in silhouette. It was one of his favourites. “Um.” Jamie swallowed and started again. “Sorry it’s so early. I’ve been awake ages and didn’t realise the time until I got over here.”
Jamie’s cheeks flushed pink as his gaze dropped again, as though he couldn’t help himself. Warmth flared in Felix’s belly. It had been a while since he’d been so openly admired. He grinned and raised an eyebrow.
Instead of getting embarrassed as Felix expected, Jamie stood up straighter and shrugged. “If you answer the door like that, then what do you expect?”
Fair enough. At least that cleared up whether Jamie would be interested or not. Felix had no intention of acting on it, but it was good to know. Good for his ego, anyway. He glanced at his watch as Jamie regarded him expectantly, clearly waiting for Felix to invite him in. Which he would have done on any other day, but his mates would be here in about twenty minutes, and the last thing he wanted was for them to meet Jamie. Christ, they’d have a field day.
He didn’t want to be rude, but—
“Can I come in?” Jamie smiled then, a real smile that reached his eyes. It lit up his entire face and he looked so much younger.
It caught Felix off guard, and he found himself nodding and stepping back to let Jamie get past.
“Thanks.” Jamie ducked his head and he squeezed by. His shoulder rubbed against Felix’s bare skin and the rough material of his jacket brushed Felix’s right nipple, making him hiss. “Sorry.”
Jamie glanced up, meeting Felix’s gaze, then down to where they were still touching. The air crackled with tension. Felix felt it down to his toes.
“It’s fine.” Loose-fitting pyjamas were not the best thing to be wearing at a time like this, and Jamie stood with his hand dangerously close to Felix’s groin. If he didn’t move soon, things might get interesting.
Meet Annabelle Jacobs
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
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