Dana and Erryn review The Same Place (The Lion and the Lamb, Book 2) by Gregory Ashe (Released on audiobook by Hodgkin and Blount, Septermber 30, 2021. Narrated by J.F. Harding. Listening time: 11 hours and 24 minutes. Ebook published by Hodgkin and Blount, November 24, 2020, 385 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
For what seems like the first time in Teancum Leon’s life, things are looking good: He’s put an end to the toxic relationship with his former sex buddy, work is going well, and Jem Berger has officially decided they are best friends – in spite of Tean’s objections. Things are looking good for Jem too, although he’s not thrilled that somehow Tean has talked him into getting a real job. Everything changes, though, when Tean’s friend Hannah asks for help: She’s being followed, she tells them, and she thinks she’s might be in danger.
After Jem and Tean spend a weekend tailing Hannah, trying to catch her stalker, they make two unpleasant discoveries. First, Hannah is right that she is being followed. Second, she isn’t being stalked. She’s being watched by the police, who are interested in Hannah’s connection to a missing person investigation. And the detective in charge is none other than Ammon Young, Tean’s former friend and ex-sex buddy.
Tean and Jem’s search for the missing woman leads them to a body. The cause of death is a mystery, but one thing is clear: Someone wanted the remains destroyed. Tean believes it was homicide, and so do the police.
When Hannah is arrested for the murder, Tean and Jem must race to prove her innocence. But everyone seems to be lying, including Hannah, and she’s willing to take her secrets with her to prison – or to the grave. The answer may lie with the animal teeth marks on the victim’s remains. Good thing Jem knows a wildlife vet.
To read Dana’s review of The Same Breath (The Lion and the Lamb Book 1) click here.
To read Erryn’s review of The Same Breath (The Lion and the Lamb Book 1) click here.
Well, that’s it. I am falling for Jem and Tean hard. I just had to say it. They made me laugh in this book (How many names can Jem create for the elongated version of Tean?) , and they made me cry (Tean’s family and Jem’s Malaysian ant speech). They’re quickly becoming one of my favorite couples, even if you can’t quite call them a couple yet.
At the beginning of this book, Jem spends his time between squatting in an abandoned apartment and hanging out at Tean’s home. Jem insists, boldly, that they are the best of friends while Tean grudgingly admits to being friendly acquaintances. They are the opposites in every way but I see the way they complement each other and are helping each other grow.
Jem seems to still be pulling off small cons, and the way he adapts and comes up with things on the spot show how smart he is, and it impresses Tean. He is working through his dyslexia, though, and learning to read because he wants to be a better person, someone worthy of Tean. Tean is still smart and helpful to others. He still thinks about all the bad things that can happen with every decision he makes and how the planet is slowly heading towards ecological destruction, but he has stopped dating a married man and he tries to consider his health more.
In this book Jem and Tean set out to help one of Tean’s co-workers find out if someone is stalking her, and they end up stumbling into a police investigation in which Hannah is a person of interest. I still say that a wild-life vet and a con-man make for strange crime solvers, but since a body is found and the death is animal related, Tean’s skills are super beneficial. Add to that Jem’s quick thinking and they really do manage to solve the case. Happily there were plenty of suspects and I got to be surprised by who did it, just like the police were. Tean and Jem 2, police detectives 0, LOL!
I really liked the mystery in this book, and as far as possible romance, Jem and Tean at least acknowledge a love between them but it seems that they are still not at the place where they can be my favorite actual “couple.” There are parts of me that wonder if they will ever be able to make the transition from the best of friends to lovers, but I am rooting for them nonetheless. Adding to the intriguing mystery and the way Tean and Jem are burrowing into my heart was the excellent narration of this book. J.F. Harding does a good job emoting and bringing these characters to life.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
I was always skeptical of a grifter and a wildlife vet who solved crimes. Seemed to stretch credulity. But the first book worked, so I dove into this one. Glad I did. At first Jem is up to his old tricks. He’s holding down a job, despite his dyslexia, but he can’t quite quit those criminal tendencies. So he gets fired. Again. And then he gets turfed from the apartment he’s squatting in. Tean keeps trying to help him find a place to live but there are just so many roadblocks. And Tean’s couch (and dog Skippio) are far more appealing.
Speaking of Tean, he’s finally dumped Ammon once and for all. The married police detective had been stringing Tean along for years, always promising to leave his wife. Always promising to come out. Always promising Tean they could be together. And although Tean appears to have moved on, Ammon has a few surprises up his sleeve.
When Tean’s co-worker Hannah is caught up in a potential missing person case that turns into a homicide, Tean knows he has to help. And Jem’s right there. The problem? The police have this covered and don’t need the men interfering.
On top of that, the foster mother who abused Jem is back in the picture. Ugh.
Some things haven’t changed. Like Tean’s creative ways to die involving animals of some kind. His creativity knows no bounds.
I have to say, this book had more violence than I maybe saw coming. There are horrific descriptions of animal cruelty – the victim is an animal right’s activist, so some of that is to be expected. Also, the book is just violent. Or has moments of violence. Never gratuitous though. The acts fit in the story.
Tean and Jem save the day. The cops are looking pretty incompetent. Tean and Jem admit there’s more to their relationship than just friendship. Does that leave Ammon out in the cold? I sure hope so, but Tean and Jem haven’t completely committed to each other, so I expect more to come.
J.F. Harding is doing a great job of narrating this series and I think he was a brilliant choice. So on to the next one.
(and because I commented on the cover for the first book – I liked this one as well – the two men above Salt Lake – lovely.)
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.