Fifth installment in the Accidental Roots Series: Simone’s honest thoughts about the depth of the characters and their Insta-love.

River Home (Accidental Roots, #5)River Home by Elle Keaton
Simone’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

***4 Stars***

... and HOME should be your safe place. A happy place. A place where you have your moral support system in form of family and friends, of people who love you. A retreat that keeps you grounded.

Miguel Ramirez never had a home. Well, not a real one. Growing up in foster care after his mother dumped him at a department store and due to a fault of the system never being cleared to be adopted, this wild kid circulated through various families who didn't care. Due to his mixed heritage, he always felt torn between two worlds neither of which accepted him and his only attempt at finding a place where he belonged ended up in an abusive relationship with a manipulative cop who used his position to ruin his life. To say his faith in the system would be shaken after that, would be quite the understatement and that's just putting it mildly.

After being on an apparently endless run with no end in sight, his drifting brought him to Skagit, WA, where he reached more or less the end of his rope. But some things are just meant to be and his savior comes in form of Buck Swanfeldt, who not only offers him a job at his auto repair shop, but also his friendship and a place to stay. Everything still has a feeling of a temporary solution, though, and Miguel is reticent to put down his roots here, for fear of his ex. Until the day he bumps into a certain someone at Buck and Joey's wedding, who is a cop of all people...
It was a good thing Miguel had sworn off men only minutes earlier, or he might be tempted to see if Nate wanted to take a walk on the wild side.

Nate Richardson always felt like an outcast in his own family and his decision to join the FBI rather than the family business did not really help making things any easier. When his job brought him to Skagit a while ago he decided to stay and built his own home here, but his home is just a nice little empty house and for someone who finds himself rather boring and unattractive with his red hair and an armada of freckles and never really explored and pursued his sexual orientation, it also feels lonely. Until the day he bumps into a certain someone at his boss's friends wedding, who is gorgeous and attractive and normally way out of his league...
And who in their right mind would call Nate handsome? Apparently a man whose flirt button perpetually went to eleven.

Although sparks are flying immediately between these two men whose background is as different as they come, they decide that it would be a bad idea on more than one account to pursue their chemistry. Fate has other plans, though, - the goddess of destiny seems to do overtime in Skagit - and when they stumble across each other again and spend more time together, they discover that it could be worth a shot to follow up on their attraction and their feelings grow into something deeper.

Until the day strange things happen to Nate, Miguel's feeling of unease about being hounded grows, and his imagination of seeing his abusive ex goes into overdrive. Now that he not only has to fear for his own life anymore, his flight instinct kicks in once again to protect those he loves, but there was one thing he hadn't reckon with... Nate's determination to save them both.

Miguel stole my heart right from his very first appearance in No Pressure and although I loved all the other books in this series, it was his story I was dying to get and it was the amazing story I hoped it would be. River Home starts right where the additional content in As Sure as the Sun left us and although this could technically be read as a standalone, I once again recommend to read the other books first and believe me when I say you won't regret it.

To be honest, I was a bit sad when I heard that Miguel and Owen, his fling in the forementioned additional content would not end up together, but in the end I was happy about Miguel and Nate being an item. They complement each other perfectly and Elle Keaton always manages to give her characters a complexity and depth that makes you root for them no matter what. And I trust her to always find the perfect match for her characters.

I'm also being honest about the fact that it took me a bit to decide how to rate this book, because I was a bit torn about their relationship development. I'm probably admitting it here for the hundredth time, so I'm sorry for repeating myself, but I'm not a fan of insta-love. And Miguel and Nate going from bumping into each other over going together on a shopping spree over one evening of watching porn and making out together to 'I might have fallen in love with him' was a bit too much living on the fast lane for me, especially when after another night of hot sex came 'move in with me'. Don't get me wrong, everything does not happen over the span of just a few days, I just wish there would have been a bit more page time of them together before it went down like this. On the other hand, after thinking about it, it still made somehow sense. Both men were starving for affection and a place to belong, a home, so grabbing what fate has in the cards for them, was just natural to them.
TrueBloodKiss3.gif (467×262)

Nate had told Miguel he thought of him as a river; well, Nate was his rock, solid and sure under the heavy current.

I decided to go with 4 stars after all, because in the end I could relate to them finally finding their place in the world. Everything else was simply amazing as well. If Skagit would be real, this would so be my go-to place for a vacation. Umm, okay, it would probably end up being an adventure holiday or a mystery tour, but I just love this place and its inhabitants. Well, at least the good guys. ;-) Speaking of good guys, I loved to see lots of Buck again in this book, since he is one of my favorites in this series and he once again proved his amazing personality.

The mystery part was absolutely well done and kept me on the edge of my seat, but what I really enjoy in this series is the fact that -as unlikely the events sometimes might be-, the outcome always feels real. As a reader, I would of course want to have each case solved down to the last detail, but that is not how real life works and there will always be some loose ends that might never be tied up.

I really hope there will be more books in this series, because I'm still not ready to say good-bye to this town and its residents.
***ARC generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!***

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