Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I’m hosting author Thom Collins’ latest release Deep Waters, book three in the Jagged Shores series, a m/m romantic suspense. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Raffelcopter giveaway.

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Title: Deep Waters
Series: Jagged Shores, book #3
Author: Thom Collins
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, thriller and suspense
Tropes: Murder mystery, small town, coastal romance
Themes: Secret lives, seeking justice, danger at sea
Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames
Length: 61 740 words/ 262 pages
Release Date: December 27, 2022
Publisher: Pride Publishing

In search of a story, he found murder and romance.

Blurb:  Author Christian Costner is researching material for one of his dark thrillers and Nyemouth seems like the perfect setting for his next book. The small seaside town has witnessed plenty of trouble over the years, and Christian thinks it will provide him with the inspiration he needs.

He hires local tour guide and fisherman Harry Renner to help him explore the coastline for a couple of days. Harry is knowledgeable and mature beyond his twenty-eight years. Handsome too, though Christian thinks Harry is far too young for him.

As the weather worsens, Harry cuts short their first sight-seeing trip. Heading back to shore they spot a figure in distress in the water. A difficult rescue is made far worse when they discover the casualty has a knife wound to his abdomen and dies before they reach the safety of the harbour.

United by the trauma, Christian and Harry find comfort in each other, but when another murder comes to light, they find themselves at the heart of a dangerous mystery and the target of a killer more ruthless than they could ever imagine.

Note:  It is a standalone story. The third book in a linked Jagged Shores series but can be read alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Universal link | Publisher | First For Romance 

Harry went to the bar. He didn’t know the bartender so didn’t have to face another barrage of questions about Niko’s death. “Two of whatever these were,” he said, holding up the empty tumblers. “Make them doubles.”

He glanced over his shoulder as he waited. Christian gazed into the fire, looking lost in his thoughts. What was it about him? Just this morning Harry had dismissed him as being far too old, but the more time he spent with him and talked to him, Christian’s appeal grew stronger. He can’t be that old, anyway, he reasoned. Ten, maybe eleven years older than he was. It wasn’t like fancying someone his dad’s age.

Of course, Harry knew what really drove this new attraction to Christian.

Death.

He’d learned from his time in the lifeboat how sex and death went hand in hand. He had taken part in three failed rescues when he was a member of the crew and afterwards he had always wanted sex. It wasn’t unusual. He’d even read an article about it—how sex helped people to feel alive after a clash with mortality.

Is that what this is? Do I only fancy him because we didn’t save Niko?

As he carried the drinks back to the fire, Harry realised just how much he did want Christian. They had been through a gruelling experience. What better comfort could there be than each other’s bodies? He didn’t want to go back to his flat on his own and wondered whether Christian felt the same about his lonely hotel room.

Fuck it. One more drink and I’ll ask him. The worst he can say is no.

Christian lifted his gaze from the flames when he returned. Their eyes connected and, just for a second, a hint of a smile. “Thanks,” he said, accepting the drink.

“Is this your favourite tipple? Whisky?” he asked, sitting down.

“Sometimes. It depends on my mood. But at the end of the night, when I want to unwind, it’s the best. I always bring a bottle with me when I’m working away—for a nightcap.”

Their eyes locked again, and Harry wondered if there had been a hint of an invitation in the last remark. Or is it just wishful thinking?

He had never been good at reading signals.

“What’s your hotel like?” he asked in a rush. “I’ve had a drink at the bar in Quay House, but I’ve never been upstairs.”

Christian’s brow furrowed in confusion.

Oh shit. I’ve judged this all wrong.

Then he smiled. “It’s nice. I’ve got a good-sized room that overlooks the harbour. Actually, it’s pretty great.” He sipped. “You’re welcome to come up, if you’d like to look around. I could also give you that nightcap.”

Harry’s pulse quickened, and a stiffness developed in his groin. “I’d love to.”

This morning he’d been so dismissive about Christian because of his age, and now there was nothing he wanted more than to spend the night in his protective embrace.

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I read and reviewed Runner by the author.  And it was a great read, so when Deep Waters came up for review, I was in.  Although the novel is the third book in the Jagged Shores series, it operates as a standalone.  We do see the main leads from the previous books, but they are present to lend a hand, and in no way do they overpower the two main stars of Deep Waters.

Let’s start first with Christian Costner, a writer who is researching his latest novel.  He’s an older man, not out looking for love or anything other than what can inspire him to create a new piece of fiction.

Then there’s the younger Harry Renner, who is a local and operates a tourist boat to take people out on the sea to explore.  Harry has just come out of a relationship that ended amicably.  He’s also at a point in his life where he isn’t looking for anything special.  He seems pretty content with his life.

Then it happens—bam.  While out on Harry’s boat, Christian spies a body in the water.

From there, the author takes the reader on a deep mystery of murder.

I must say I liked Christian and Harry.  This wasn’t insta-love.  There wasn’t even a “I want in your pants” lust at first sight attraction.  They admired one another’s physical attributes and personalities, but that was it.  Not until they stare death in the face do they do anything about this admiration they have for one another.

The author excels at description.  I really felt as if I was at this seaside town wandering and running about with the characters.  The same for the action scenes, and there were quite a few.  I was sucked into the physical aspects of scenes.

There’s a cast of characters that bring a spark to the novel, giving it a feel-good small-town vibe, but the also paints danger lurking in the shadows.

It’s mystery and romance rolled into one as Christian and Harry try and solve who is murdering young men, and why.

The action never stops rolling until the final chapter.  I recommend you give the novel a read.  As I said previously, it operates as a standalone.  But do yourself a favour and get the series.  The author does a great job of combining mystery and romance.

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Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, North Point and the Anthem Trilogy. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.

Check out his website for news updates and a free ebook, The Night.

Follow Thom:  Twitter: @thomwolf | Instagram: thomcollinsauthor | Newsletter Sign-up

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 5 ebook copies of Deep Waters.

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