Author: Cate Ashwood
Series: Zero Hour, #2
Released: August 29th 2016
Publisher: DreamspinnerLength: 200 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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?
Cate Ashwood’s writing has been very dear to my heart ever since her Hope Cove series first came out. I’ve read most of her books since then and enjoyed them all, but this series by far surpasses all her previous works. Zero Hour is a compelling blend of mystery and romance and one of those series I plan on rereading whenever the mood strikes.
A Forced Silence, the first book in this series, told the story of Adam and Sam. The two of them found each other again right in the middle of a murder investigation and they rediscovered their feelings slowly, all the while trying to solve multiple murders. While they did find a culprit eventually, the ending made it clear that there are more people involved and that there will be more books to come.
A Fallen Heart shifts focus to Ford and Nash. Ford is an ER nurse and Nash a paramedic. Unlike Sam and Adam, they don’t share a mutual past. They’ve only just met, under less than stellar circumstances. Ford just ended an abusive relationship and is still recovering both body and soul. His confidence is shaken thoroughly and he’s finding it hard to trust that Nash might be there to stay. Nash is a far simpler guy, but nuanced nevertheless. He is steady and loyal to a fault, which is precisely what Ford needs.
The two get tangled in the ongoing mystery as Nash responds to an emergency call and finds a hurt and abused young boy, the first one who survived our serial killers. Ford gets unusually attached to the boy and supports him throughout his stay in the hospital. As the mystery untangles and more victims start surfacing, both Ford and Nash are determined to protect the boy and themselves.
I admire Ashwood for always finding ways to keep her stories original and fresh. There isn’t very much that hasn’t been done in romance, but she weaves her story in a way that constantly surprises and thrills. There is a lot of love and a whole lot of heartbreak in A Fallen Heart. Ford especially has to go through so much before he can retake control of his life.
The ending once again made it clear that more is yet to come. We might get a new couple in the next book, but the mystery remains very much alive. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out who is mutilating and killing those boys, but I’m sure Ashwood will make it worth our while. This is a series I’d highly recommend to both romance and mystery fans.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.