Book Review: ‘Real Trouble’ By Elle Keaton

Written on 06/26/2021
Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter


Read this 5-heart review by Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter

Title: Real Trouble
Series: West Coast Forensics #1
Author: Elle Keaton
Published: May 20, 2021
Publisher: Self-Published/Dirty Dog Press
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Erotic Romance; Mystery/Thriller
Length: 258 Pages
Tags: Gay; M/M; Angst; Family Drama; Hurt/Comfort; Law Enforcement; Mafia; Second Chance; Slow-Burn; HEA; CW: Murder

About Real Trouble

Two men on opposite sides of the law: will they be able to set aside their differences and trust love?

Danylo Peters has issues, lots of them. He’s not on Piedras Island by accident, he’s not a nice guy, and Peters isn’t his real name. Dany’s in hiding, trying to escape his family’s influence and start a new life. But Dany must have been born under a bad sign because the very man he’s really running from is one of the first he runs into.

A new life in a new town seemed like the right decision for Soren Jorgensen, especially after a difficult case left him recovering from a gunshot wound and lonely as he’d ever been. Finding Dany living on Piedras brings back all the feelings he’d tried to lock away. He’s angry and bitter and Dany is not going to continue to get away with his old tricks. Too bad Dany is just as compelling as he ever was.

The two men find themselves on opposite sides of Soren’s first case on Piedras, but neither is able to deny the attraction between them. They keep finding themselves in compromising situations; if they’re found out there will be Real Trouble.

Real Trouble is set in the Veiled Intentions world, while familiar characters appear Real Trouble can be read as a standalone. Real Trouble is a dual POV following Soren Jorgensen and Danylo Peters as they fight their way to their HEA and is the first in the new West Coast Forensics series.

REVIEW:

It’s definitive. Elle Keaton knows how to write a suspenseful and gripping murder/mystery while entwining a heartfelt romance. 

Ms. Keaton returns us to Piedras, the setting for her Veiled Intentions (Hamarsson And Dempsey) series, with Real Trouble, the first in her spinoff West Coast Forensics series. Real Trouble is captivating from its opening, with a mysterious murder, to its heart pounding climax. Amongst the death and destruction is a second chance romance, which blooms from a devastating past. Not to worry, we encounter some familiar Piedras residents but Real Trouble can completely stand on its own. 

Danylo (Dany) Peters/Petyr chose Piedras as the place to pull his life together. After the brutality Franjo Petyr wrought upon the island, Dany figures it will be the last place the Petyr crime family will look for him. Unlike the rest of his family, Dany was forced into a life of crime, one that he has to live with and follows him like a plague. With Franjo’s demise at the hands of the Piedras sheriff, Dany hopes to put the past behind him. But will the family let him go? 

It’s definitive. Elle Keaton knows how to write a suspenseful and gripping murder/mystery while entwining a heartfelt romance.

Soren Jorgensen is the new deputy in town. He, too, is trying to put distance between himself and his tiresome and depressing past and start a new life. Piedras may not be a gay mecca, but it sure has a disproportionate number of gay men. Growing up in a household of stoic Norwegian immigrants, he was good at keeping his emotions locked away. But dammit, the enticing Danylo broke his heart, and the man can cut through his defenses like a knife through butter. 

Sheriff Dempsey and Niall Hamarsson (Veiled Intentions series) are away on their Thailand honeymoon for two weeks. So, Deputy Birdy Flynn and Soren are flying solo as murder and a rash of fires breakout. However, when things go tits-up, they enlist the help of Niall’s colleagues at West Coast Forensics. Together Birdy, Soren and West Coast Forensics diligently sift through the clues and evidence, in a race to end the rash of crime, knowing full well they will have to answer to Sherriff Dempsey. 

To muddy the waters, is Soren compromised as Dany becomes a suspect? Soren believes in Dany’s innocence, but things smell a lot like the Petyr family is involved. Birdy is on high alert and while she cannot remove Soren from the case, she proceeds cautiously checking in with Soren frequently.

‘Real Trouble’ is a fast paced and intense ride. The murder/mystery and romance merge seamlessly, creating non-stop action while invoking heartfelt emotions.

Meanwhile, the past rears its head with old hurts and betrayal, intermixed with soul crushing desire and an undeniable connection that remains between Dany and Soren. They have a history but against the odds they are blazing a new path out of the ashes precipitated by the Petyr family. Both the connection and the sexual chemistry are intense and if they can get out of their own way, they will achieve ultimate happiness and a long future. Just a forewarning, near the end you will need a box of tissues by your side, until you get to the epic epilogue.

Real Trouble is a fast paced and intense ride. The murder/mystery and romance merge seamlessly, creating non-stop action while invoking heartfelt emotions. As with all Elle’s novels you will encounter an abundance of secondary characters who play a major part in helping the story unfold. If you have read Elle’s Accidental Roots series and/or Veiled Intention series, you will recognize many, but as I said before, Real Trouble stands on its own and you will either visit old friends or make new ones, as Dany and Soren reach there happily-ever-after.  

A copy of Real Trouble was provided to Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, by Gay Romance Reviews, at no cost and with no expectations in return. We offer our fair and honest opinion on behalf of our readers.

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