Author: C.S. Poe
Publisher: DSP Publications
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.
Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that brings him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases.
It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line—it’s his very life.
Review: Sebastian is going to be one of those characters who can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble. Book 2 of the Snow & Winter series picks up after the dust settles on the last murder mystery. Sebastian and Calvin are now an established couple who spend their limited free time together. Things are just getting back to normal when someone throws a brick through Seb’s shop window with a note attached. Of course something puzzling is written on it. Then another strange occurrence and another note. Seb tries to brush it off until of course a dead body in a petticoat turns up in his apartment just before someone blows it up. Yep. Seems he’s the focus of yet another psycho serial killer. One who knows Seb can’t seem to resist a good mystery.
Sebastian is a brilliant but frustrating guy. Poor Calvin really has no hope of his man staying out of harms way. Sebastian is good at the sleuthing stuff. He LOVES it! He really needs to find a way to protect himself when he gets into these dangerous situations. Calvin’s PTSD is getting worse and Seb being in peril at every turn isn’t helping. I think this was my only niggle. On one hand Seb’s determination to ignore the consequences of his actions for answers is endearing and just who he is. Of course it also makes for good reading. On the other hand his complete disregard for his own safety and how that effects Calvin makes me crazy. Seb acknowledges it but just keeps doing it. It’s something he has to work on. The relationship is new.
The guys have to come to some sort of compromise that works for them both. To be fair the killer wasn’t going away either so there’s that.
I really like Calvin and Seb as individual characters and as a couple. Calvin is finally out. He’s lost his family support but has Seb who makes him happy. Seb has a guy who is open about his feelings for him. Calvin looks at him like he’s the luckiest guy in the world. Not being someone’s secret helps Seb feel better about himself. The guys have amazing chemistry. They’re super sexy together. They’re falling in love. Things are happening quickly but for these two it feels very natural. Basically I like how the relationship is developing. The murder mystery is clever and entertaining. The dialogue is witty and fun. The MCs are lovable. There’s lots to like about this series. I’m looking forward to reading about whatever Seb gets himself mixed up in next time.