Publisher: Elouise East
Cover Artist: Maria Vickers
Release Date: June 3, 2021
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope: Opposites attract
Themes: Protecting those they care about; life, love, family and beating the odds
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: approx 70 000 words
It is the final book (book 9) in the Crush series, but is a standalone story.
There’s a fine line between protecting and stalking…
An MM romance about life, love, family and beating the odds, especially when it involves a police officer and a dancer.
There’s a fine line between protecting and stalking...
Logan has unwavering loyalty to the law, and when he finds Bastien in a precarious situation, his protective instincts flare up to an all-time high. His need to help overshadows everything else, including his sense. Unfortunately, the dancer doesn't want his help.
What Bastien does for a living doesn't mean he has no morals. He has to live, and his wages and tips don't always cover everything. He's glad he doesn't have anyone who relies on him because he can barely make ends meet working all the hours of the day. When a so-called friend turns on him, who does he have left?
Can they put their differences aside and realise what is right in front of them?
“Taylor! Walker! You’re up!” their chief yelled from the door of his office. “Homicide.”
Logan grimaced but shoved away from his desk, checking that his phone and keys were in his pockets, then grabbed his coat from the back of his chair. They jogged down the cubicles and out of the station into the drizzle, carrying on until they reached Logan’s car. He peeled out of the car park and headed towards the address that Ava had immediately brought up on her phone.
“There’s not much information on here. Woman, late twenties, found on her living room floor. The neighbour looked through the window after the victim hadn’t opened the door for their appointment and saw her.”
“Wonderful.” Logan clenched his hands around the steering wheel and dropped his neck to the side, a crack easing the tension before repeating on the other side.
They raced their way through the streets until they reached the relevant house, then pulled up at the kerb. Both exited quickly, showing their badges to the police officers on the scene before heading up the path through the well-maintained garden of the detached bungalow. It wasn’t a house he would’ve expected a woman in her late-twenties to own unless it had been an inheritance, but he knew better than to stereotype.
Ducking under the top of the front door—his six-foot-two height unable to fit through otherwise—he headed to the living room, mindful of the low wooden beams dotted around the house.
The living room was comfortable and homely, if old-fashioned, which gave more precedent to the place being inherited. The blonde, slender woman lying on the floor with her clothes askew looked out of place in the room. Several police officers were hanging around, talking, while one of the photographers took photos of the body, the intermittent flashes doing nothing to help Logan’s headache.
His gaze examined the scene, not moving any closer to the body. After several minutes, something out of place caught his eye. “What do you see, Ava?”
Ava stepped to his side and didn’t answer, but he knew she was scanning the room. Her breath caught, and he knew she’d seen it. “Why does she have a kitchen knife in the living room?”
“Good question. Simon,” he said, getting the photographer’s attention, “Could you ensure you get pictures of the knife on top of the mantelpiece, please?”
His eyes widened as he lifted his head. “I didn’t even see that. Good catch.”
“Just doing my job,” he muttered distractedly, still studying their surroundings. “Officer?” The group of police officers turned towards him. “Could one of you give us the rundown?”
The older of the three stepped forward, crossing his arms over his chest. “The neighbour called it in when she came to collect the lady for their usual morning appointment. Apparently, they always go jogging at eleven, so when the lady didn’t answer, the neighbour was worried and checked through the window when she didn’t hear her coming to the door.”
“Does the lady have a name?”
“Sure.” The police officer pulled out his notebook and flicked through several pages before saying, “Miss Winona Conrad.”
Logan frowned. “Why does that name sound familiar? We’ve not got any cases with that name, have we?” He glanced at Ava, who shook her head. Staring back at the deceased, he tried to figure out where he’d heard her name before because he didn’t recognise her face. Unable to figure it out, he brushed it off and continued asking the officer questions, noting down his responses in his own notebook.
When he had enough information, he stepped closer, continuing his questioning but with the forensic pathologist. She wasn’t able to give him many details but enough for him to start gathering facts. It seemed Miss Conrad had been dead for approximately twelve hours.
He returned to Ava, who had disappeared into the kitchen. “We need to speak with the neighbour.”
Ava nodded and followed Logan to the front door. “Simon, could you please photograph the back door and the knife block in the kitchen. Thanks.” Logan raised his eyebrows. “The knife was one from the kitchen. There was a missing spot in the block, and the handles match.”
“So, the killer came through the back door, maybe?”
“That’s my guess.”
“There was a scrape on the back door as if it had been forced open using something sharp,” she answered.
She beamed at him. “Thanks. You’ve taught me well.”
About the Author
I am Elouise East but feel free to call me Elli. I write sweet and steamy connections in gay romance. I also touch on taboo stories under the name Elouise R East.
Books that tell the stories where friendship and family are the focal point - be it blood family or chosen - is very important to me. That’s why I include a variety of personalities, talents, ages, situations and abilities as I believe a story needs, or a character needs. I want my characters to be real, to be relatable, to be free to have whatever views they tell me they have. And trust me, most of the time, I do not have any say in the matter!
My characters come to life on the page for me as well as my readers. Their stories unfold in front of me, and I have very little input into how they want to be shown. Just like real life, the lives of my characters change with every choice, every interaction and every conversation. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I write books that are emotionally realistic, even if liberties are taken with other aspects of my stories. I don’t know any other way to write. It comes from deep inside.
Who am I? A single parent to two children who make life worth living. An avid reader who still devours every book she can get her hands on. A student of learning about any subject that takes her fancy. An author of books she would read herself. And a romantic at heart who loves anything cheesy.
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Lawful Attraction by Elouise East follows Detective Logan Taylor as he deals with the conundrum of the attractive exotic dancer known as Black while investigating frustrating and fatal stalking cases. Each man has a painful past that threatens to derail their budding relationship, but their incandescent attraction is hard to deny.
This adult gay contemporary romance is part of the ‘Crush’ series but can be read as a stand-alone story. There is a formidable list of characters at the beginning of the story, but fortunately they are integrated in as cameos and pique one’s interests about their individual times in the spotlight during previous books in the series.
Logan’s initial encounter with Black (Bastien) is definitely unconventional, and their ensuing encounters continue the pattern. I love Logan’s close-knit family and his dedication to his profession and particularly his acceptance of Bastien as he is. The counterpoint between their sizzling attraction and the frightening cases that touch both their lives is mesmerizing, and made the story a page-turner. I enjoyed getting to know these men, and I’m definitely interested in reading the previous stories in this series, since I suspect they’ll be just as entertaining as this tale.
A copy of this story was provided for review