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Summary

An impossible son. An impossible murder.

The honeymoon is definitely over.

When Emery Hazard and his husband, John-Henry Somerset, arrive home from their honeymoon, they’re shocked (understatement of the year) to find a boy waiting for them on their doorstep. Colt, 15 and eager to pick a fight, claims to be Hazard’s son. It’s almost a relief, then, for Hazard and Somers to be called out to assist the Dore County Sheriff’s Department with what seems to be an impossible murder: a man has been found stabbed to death in a stretch of woods, and the only set of footprints in the soft ground belong to the victim. 

The more Hazard and Somers learn about the dead man, the more confusing the case becomes. While searching his home, they discover a secure room from which several high-end computers have been stolen. A woman makes a daring theft as the house is being secured and escapes with valuable documents. The dead man’s neighbor, who found the body, is obviously lying about how she discovered him. And something very strange is going on with the victim’s sons, who are isolated at school and seem to have found their few friends through the youth group at a local church - and in a close relationship with the hip, young, attractive pastor. 

An attempt on Colt’s life leaves Hazard’s (possible) son in the hospital. When Hazard and Somers learn that the attack came after Colt tried to investigate the murder on his own, they realize he is now in the killer’s crosshairs, and Hazard and Somers must race to uncover the truth. The results from the paternity test aren’t back yet, but father or not, Emery Hazard isn’t going to let anyone harm a child.

©2021 Gregory Ashe (P)2021 Gregory Ashe

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totally absorbing.....as usual

I am soooo pleased to have another 'Ree and JH' book narrated so ably by Tristan James.
I can't wait for book 2 in this series.

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A wild ride

The book begins as Hazard and Somerset arrive home from their honeymoon. The last series ended when they finally tied the knot. I should have known that wasn’t the end of this fascinating duo. Apparently Mr. Ashe can’t leave them alone either. And as they’re settling into married bliss, a blast from Hazard’s past arrives on their front door. Or, rather, a supposed blast. Colt, a diffident fifteen-year-old claims to be Emery’s son. The problem? Emery’s never been with a woman. Ever.

They ship off the DNA samples, but before they can settle into any kind of a routine, there’s a murder. Somerset is called in and so is Hazard. Things from the very beginning are suspicious. The circumstances of the murder, the neighbour, the sons of the deceased – all of it points in different directions.

As the men investigate, so does Colt. Which leads him into all kinds of trouble, including being badly beaten. But the young man just wants Emery to see him as worthy of being his son. This dynamic proved interesting – Emery knows Colt isn’t his son, but there are strong indicators that the boy is. Where does that leave a skeptic like Emery? Well, unable to tolerate anyone hurting the boy, that’s for sure. And his daughter he shares with Somerset is fascinated with the teenager who’s moved in. Evie is still adorable and precocious.

I have to admit, I didn’t see the murderer. But that’s why Ashe’s books are so good. It makes sense, but you have to review everything to peg down the clues you missed. Then, of course, after the murder was solved, it was time to settle the paternity once and for all. I have to admit, I liked the conclusion on that front. And, of course, the men’s neighbors and friends are all in the book. Nice to see the old faces – especially Emery’s mother. She’s a hoot.

Finally I have to mention Tristan James. He’s able to hit just the right notes with the man. Emery’s sarcasm, John Henry’s earnestness. I can’t wait for the next one in the series.

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I Loved It

OMG, Gregory Ashe does NOT disappoint in this next chapter of Hazard and Somerset's lives. Relative Justice is the first book in the third Hazard and Somerset arc, Arrows in the Hand. This is a series that's best read in order because there's so much history and backstory that unfolds in the previous books. In this book, Hazard and Somerset are once again thrust into a mystery full of danger and action with twists and turns. The introduction of Colt brings drama, and it was so well done. All the characters are multilayered and dynamic, and the emotions felt raw and real. The audiobook was narrated by Tristan James who does a fantastic job and really brought the book to life. Overall, I loved both the story and the characters, and the audiobook was just another fantastic element to an already great book.

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Clever mix of the mundane with sinister crime

I was given this book as an advanced listener but even if this wasn't the case I would have bought this audiobook anyway as Gregory Ashe's writing and Tristan James' narration, bringing to life Hazard and Somerset continues to be a great combination.

You may think you know all there is to know about these guys but believe me there is still more to understand about them and that is what makes them enduring characters. Like us they continue to find out more about themselves as well as each other.

Gregory Ashe has the ability to marry the mundanity of everyday life with a sinister crime story and these storylines are no different. The crime story is unfortunately all too real where we have man's greed and his inhumanity to his fellow man having to be worked alongside the surprise that Hazard and Somerset find on their doorstep. The way way the two storylines become entwined is naturalistic and quiet believable. As someone who has worked with children and adolescents for many years I find Ashe's portrayal of them equally poignant and amusingly accurate.

Tristan James' narration accurately captures the many moods of this tale and the pace of the storylines had me finishing 90% of the book in one day.

The ending leaves me with a sense of satisfaction but also with sense of disquiet in thinking that you may be missing what is under your nose. If I could, I would give this audiobook book a six. The e-book was great but with the narration it is fantastic.

I need more Hazard and Somerset.

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Intense listen...a rollercoaster of a story

I was delighted when I heard that there was a new Hazard and Somerset series and that Tristan James was narrating it. He's kind of made these characters his own - and I really hate it when a narrator is changed. As I settled down to get my fix I was happy to find Hazard and Somers coming back from their honeymoon. The honeymoon was most certainly over when they discover a boy on their porch who said that Hazard was his dad.
This is where I had to suspend disbelief for a while. Hazard is an ex-cop and investigator, and Somers's is now chief of police in Wahreda. Neither of them followed protocol when the boy said Hazard was his dad. Hazard was 100% sure he had never slept with a woman - and yet, they give the kid the benefit of the doubt. The excuse for such bizarre behaviour was tiredness. Fine. There were no questions about the boy's mum, no request for a photo, no background check on her. Hazard had zero details about where he was supposed to have met/slept with the woman. These men are not idiots and so all of this was completely out of character.
When a man was found dead and the pair got to work together again. The plot unravelled with the complication of the mysterious kid that no one did basic checks on - and Hazard went from one meltdown to the next.
While I was swept up in the rollercoaster intensity of the story it struck me that all of the events took place over A WEEK. With the levels of stress Hazard exhibited, I'm surprised he didn't have heart failure.
I enjoy Gregory Ashe's writing - but this story slipped nearer the end. We discovered that a girl was found beaten and unconscious - there was no follow-up. There was no follow up to explain how a bloody knife and crypo wallet were found in the kid's bag. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but Ashe usually ties up his books tightly and this wasn't so tight.

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  • Joe
  • 08-12-21

Another great Hazard and Somerset book...

to be honest, I get a little frustrated with Emory and have decided he's on the autism spectrum. But it makes their stories so much more believable than the romances with unrealistically perfect characters. Their story/relationships are evolving and that saddens me somewhat because I don't want to see an end to the series. So, Gregory Ashe, can you write more status quo adventurous mysteries without moving the characters along so fast? Also, The narrator really nails it. I strongly recommend this book and series, especially if you like a strong storyline with your m/m romance.

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  • Carol (bookish_notes)
  • 06-12-21

New story arc!

Hazard and Somers are back and after the explosive cliffhanger last Off Duty Vol. 2 short story, we finally get to see what happens next!! A teenage boy showing up on Hazard and Somers doorstep claiming he’s Hazard’s son?? Not only is the question WHEN, and WHO, but HOW. It’s a lot.

A note: This book is the start of the third story arc for Hazard and Somerset and should not be started here. New readers should start the Hazard and Somerset books with Pretty Pretty Boys.

Content notes include mentions of abuse, mentions of child abuse, mentions of pedophilia, mentions of grooming, and homomisia.

I liked this book, but I feel like it’s almost laid back after the events of the Union of Swords story arc. It’s very chill in comparison. No bees were found implanted in someone’s head in this book.

This book focuses not only on the mystery of parentage (on multiple levels) and the mystery of who Colt belong to, but also a seemingly impossible murder out in the woods.

The story takes some wild turns that kept me on my toes. I could not have predicted the way the ending all came together. It’s kind of hard to follow because there ARE so many pieces, but I thought it was fine. Or I’m used to it.

Let the lesson here be that you only see what you’re meant to see. There are no winners in this book, not really. But I did like that Colt might have stumbled his way into a really good situation, and Hazard and Somers ARE his best bet on having a happy life. This whole thing for Colt is the definition of a found family. I’m happy for him, even if his reasoning and actions is quite convoluted as only a teenager’s can be.

I’m not the biggest fan of kids in books. Love middle grade books, and I love YA books. But I feel like children in adult books can be massively hit or miss. However, Evie has been great so far and I shouldn’t be surprised that a teenager manages to fit into Hazard and Somers’s life so well here too without being annoying. Colt is your typical teenager, and Gregory Ashe manages to write kids WELL. I love Colt and I also wish him the best with Ashley. And I wish Hazard and Somers all the best with a fully grown teenager they now have to deal with. Love going from talks about having another kid, and a fully formed teenager shows up at your doorstep.

So, something I love in this book is that the dynamic between Hazard and Somers hasn’t really changed. Yes, these two are MARRIED now, but they’re still the same old Hazard and Somers we fell in love with and marriage has not changed that. They still work great together, and there’s still things that they do that get on each other’s nerves but they wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I think it’s interesting in this story where Colt is the new character waltzing into what is essentially season 3 of a storyline. He’s witnessing and learning their backstories and his reaction is basically me back in book 1 - fully on Hazard’s side and eyeing Somers suspiciously whenever he shows up. I understand Colt, I really do. But he does get on board with Somers after not too long and I like that proven by DNA or not, Hazard’s mother fully dotes on Colt like he’s her grandchild and that is so cute.

As for reoccurring characters, we see SOME Rebeca and Noah, but not a lot. Dulac and Darnell are new neighbors across the street, but we actually don’t see them that much either in this book. Dulac has a new partner now that Somers has moved to be the police chief, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out because Dulac is still a lot. We surprisingly don’t hear from Somers’s parents even though they must’ve heard about Colt being in town and living with them and claiming to be Hazard’s son. Wesley is understandably taking a break. Poor guy needs some time away. The last story arc really did a number on him. As for Nico, I’m weirdly warming up to him. He also needs some happiness in his life. He’s been through a lot too, but it’s nice to see how he manages to fit into Hazard and Somers’s life as a friend now even after everything they’ve been through together with Nico as Hazard’s ex. Nico feels more grown up in this one, even though he was never necessarily young before. He’s just…mature now and mellowed out, I think.

Tristan James is back as the narrator for this book, and I really love his voice for the characters because he IS Hazard and Somers to me. But I will say that there are a lot more noticeable mistakes with this audiobook than I’ve noticed in all the previous audiobooks for this series.

It seems like there’s a lot of moments where the wrong voice was used for the character speaking. For instance, there’s Hazard and Somers talking to a suspect named Daisy for the first time. It sounds like the Hazard voice is speaking for a line or 2 when the one talking is actually supposed to be Daisy. Same thing happens when Hazard and Somers is talking to Barbie (another suspect) for the first time. The wrong voice is used for the wrong character. Then again when Hazard and Somers were arguing about what to do with a SD card they find. The wrong character is reading from the wrong lines. The data quality on the narration for this audiobook just doesn’t seem as up to par to the previous audiobooks.

Overall though, I still really enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading the next book and seeing how Hazard and Somers manage to deal with more teenager son shenanigans!

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  • Buscatlady
  • 29-11-21

Gregory Ashe and Tristan James OMG

I loved this book and Tristan James brought it to life. I also finally found out how Hazard has a son.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Riva
  • 08-01-22

Great new series

This is the first book of the 3rd H & S series. In our last installment of the 2nd H & S series, the men returned home from their honeymoon to find a young man claiming to be Hazard’s son waiting on their doorstep. And that is where we pick up on this latest installment. Hazard vehemently (sometimes too much) denies this. To the point of being a real jerk to this young man and putting a strain on the newlyweds. GA keeps us guessing right until the end on whether this is actually Hazard’s son. It is a wild ride. Interspersed with this drama is a murder of course. At first I thought it would just be a normal murder mystery until it took a really dark turn that “shook” me. That is the thing with GA’s stories, you think you know the good guys from the bad, but ya don’t. Overall another great story and I can’t wait to see where this series takes this couple. Tristan James is one of my favorite audio performers and he once again hit it out of the park.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review

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  • C. Aeschbacher
  • 24-12-21

Continued greatness

I’ve loved Gregory Ashe’s stories for years. This addition to the life and times of Hazard and Sommerset just gets better and better. I enjoy the detective story but love the characters. Their personalities grow and adjust and I wish I knew them in real life. The addition of Colt and Evie’s emerging personality are engaging. The narration is dry which is exactly right for Hazard and a wonderful counterpoint to Sommer. It highlights when the emotions start ramping up, especially when Hazard loses it! This fan was not disappointed and I look forward to the next installment of their story.

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  • Rachel BPG
  • 16-12-21

They’re Back and Better!!

Hazard and Somers are back!! Wow did they grow as a couple and it was nice to see. I can’t even tell you how many times I was laughing or smiling while reading and listening. The storylines were great too! I had read the book first but listening to Tristan brought it to next level greatness!!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-12-21

Awesome

What can I say about this book I always enjoyed hazard and somerset from the first book ,I love the series. Thank you ,,,,,,, Gregory Ashe from writing this series the are awesome

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  • MjSmoke
  • 08-12-21

Hazard Does Have Feelings!

I loved revisiting this series in audio. The story is is very well done and the narration is top notch. Hazard gets some surprising news and instead of the usual grumpy Hazard, we start to see more and more that he does have feelings and by the end, it is evident that his life is changed. By far one of the better books (all of them are great, though) to showcase these characters. I look forward to the next in the series.

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  • Leshi Judy
  • 05-12-21

That was a Roller-coaster ride!!

Phew! This was an emotional roller-coaster. I survived Greg’s words torture.

Series three of Hazard and Somers is here. I enjoyed most of it, other parts not so much. I had to take a small break because I was angry at everyone in this book. Except Evie!

The writing is still stellar and the story telling amazing. I love how Greg describes scenes. I live for that shit. I can see everything clearly in my head.

The Mystery- Lawd! This was the most complicated, heart-breaking mystery Greg has written to date. What a bunch of horrible people. Worst of all things like this happen in RL. I liked tagging along and trying to solve the case.

Hazard and Somers – I wanted to pull my hair out most of the time when it came to these two. Hazard’s temper was off the charts. It was unbelievable most of the time. He threw temper tantrums like a toddler to a point he became unrecognized. I am hoping as the series continues, this Hazard takes a back seat, we have come so far. Somers on the other hand was Somers, the one trying to please everyone and keep everything together. This is the first time I have been all team Somers. Although I didn’t like how he was trying to win points with Colt.

These two had some sweet moments that drowned out the horrible moments. When they communicate and work together they are magic. Marriage looks good on them.

“Ree, I love you. We’re going to figure this out.”
“I love you too.”

Colt – Hmmmm! I am still not on board this train.

The banter – There are so many laugh out loud moments in this book that made me forget how frustrated I was. Hazard and Somers trying to have some private moments and keep getting interrupted is comedy gold.

Hazard’s mum. Awww she is such a darling. Her nicknames for Hazard gets me every time. Huge grumpy Hazard being called muffin and bunny is hilarious.

Evie is going to get away with so much when she grows up. Hazard stands no chance.

Nico - Poor soul. He needs lots and lots of therapy. I felt sorry for him.

Theo – YAAYY! Greg please give us another Theo and Auggie book.

Overall, I ended up enjoying this one. Taking it in small doses helped a lot.

Disclaimer! A copy of the audiobook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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  • john boyland
  • 04-12-21

Didn’t like

Didn’t really portray John Henry in much of a positive light in my opinion. Nor give any depth to his character.
Well hazard, was made out to be the good guy even with all of his contradictory traits.
Though, Colts story I thought the hammer hit the nail.