Erryn reviews The Same Breath (The Lion and the Lamb, Book 1) by Gregory Ashe (Released on audiobook by Hodgkin and Blount, February 18, 2021. Narrated by J.F. Harding. Listening time: 11 hours and 15 minutes. Ebook published by Hodgkin and Blount, September 25, 2020, 391 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I listened: I’m a fan of this author/narrator duo.
Teancum Leon, who goes by Tean, is a wildlife veterinarian. His life has settled into a holding pattern: He loves his job, he hates first dates, and he only occasionally has to deal with his neighbor Mrs. Wish’s cat-related disasters.
All of that changes, though, when a man appears in his office, asking for help to find his brother. Jem is convinced that something bad has happened to Benny, and he thinks Tean might be able to help. Tean isn’t sure, but he’s willing to try. After all, Jem is charming and sweet and surprisingly vulnerable. Oh. And hot.
Then things get strange: Phone calls with no one on the other end of the line; surveillance footage that shows what might be an abduction; a truck that tries to run Tean and Jem off the road. As Tean and Jem investigate, they realize that Benny might have stumbled onto a conspiracy and that someone is willing to kill to keep the truth from coming out.
But not everything is as it seems, and Tean suspects that Jem has been keeping secrets of his own.
Find Dana’s review of the audio here.
Any book that starts with the introduction of a dog is a winner in my book. Between Tean’s dog Skippio and the neighbor’s cats named after obscure American politicians, I knew this book was going to win my heart. And it did.
I was curious how a wildlife veterinarian was going to solve a mystery, but this author has steered me in many different directions before. Like the university professor and his student teaming up together. So I was willing to give this book a shot.
I liked Tean. He has a job he loves, a family he can’t always relate to, and is gay in the very religious Mormon Salt Lake City. Yet he makes it all work. He’s also patient, which helps both in his work and his personal life. He’s been seeing a married man for many years and I wasn’t happy about the man’s treatment of Tean. Tean definitely has a blind spot.
I liked Jem. He’s not always on the right side of the law, but given everything he went through as a kid, it’s hardly surprising. He’s struggled to make his way in the world, and his concern for his brother is laudable. When the brother goes missing, he turns to Tean for help.
Like I said, an unlikely duo. But as the strange occurrences grow, the men are increasingly reliant on each other. It’s hard to know who to trust. In the end, they are able to solve the mystery, although their personal lives are a whole other story. But this author often makes his characters suffer before they get their happy ending, so I’m not surprised.
J.F. Harding is a great narrator and I certainly enjoyed his performance. Book 2 is out on audio, so I’m off there now.
(One final note – I thought the cover was stunning.)
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
I’m a long-time Midwesterner. I’ve lived in Chicago, Bloomington (IN), and Saint Louis, my current home. Aside from reading and writing (which take up a lot of my time), I’m an educator.