Author ~ Cate Ashwood
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 29 August 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Zero Hour: Book Two
After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.
Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.
As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.
Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?
This second book in the series was just as good as the first for me. ER nurse, Ford is hurting from his last relationship with closeted surgeon Dr. Peter Provost. After being used and manipulated and realizing how he became so withdrawn from the rest of his life over the past year, he isn’t looking for another relationship and will not let himself get caught up in someone so much that he loses himself ever again. He’s happy spending his free time working. Nash, a paramedic, is the new partner of Adam (A Forced Silence) and is settling in nicely to his new post when he meets Ford. Nash and Ford immediately take notice of each other when they meet at the hospital but Ford is absolutely not going to get involved with anyone, no matter how sexy they are.
The main relationship conflict lies with Ford. His relationship with the manipulative surgeon took an emotional toll on him. He’s hyper-guarded about getting too close and allowing himself to be taken in again. As much as he tells himself Nash isn’t Peter, the damage has been done and every step they take forward brings a new spike of panic. Luckily Nash knows what’s going on and he’s not going to just give up and let Ford run scared. Nash is patient and knows that Ford isn’t really running from him. He knows just how to nudge Ford the right way and when Ford finally gives in to his attraction to Nash -- Holy Hotness! These two are on fire together and it gets better every time.
While Ford may want to keep Nash at arm’s length, this is not a slow burn as far as the sex goes. As much as Ford wants to resist, Nash is pretty irresistible. Nash’s intention is to go casual with Ford, understanding why he needs it, but he just can’t help his growly, alpha self, especially when Ford is running hot and cold. As much as Ford is afraid, he is pulled in by Nash’s obvious caring and sexy nature. But as perfect as he seems, even Nash has his limits. Told from both their points of view, I really had a good feel for both Ford and Nash who are very likable and relatable characters. Their story is romantic and sexy and I liked watching Ford’s walls come falling down.
This book also continues the murder mystery that started in A Forced Silence as Ford gets attached to the latest young victim of the apparent serial killer, thirteen year old Joel, when he is brought into the ER. While the main focus is on the relationship Cate Ashwood still manages to move the murder mystery storyline ahead quite a bit, especially in the tension-filled last parts of the story.
Like with the first book, I pretty much read this straight through. While I wouldn’t call the ending a cliffhanger since our MCs are all good and no one we know is in imminent danger, it does drop a twist as far as the mystery goes, leaving us knowing that there is more going on than anyone suspected and that the murders will continue. Luckily for us, so will the series. Fingers crossed that Jack’s story will be next.
A Forced Silence (Zero Hour Book 1)
For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.
The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn't gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn't enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other's arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.
Meet Cate Ashwood
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.