Review: Elizabeth Noble – A Barlow Lens (Circles #2)

barlowAuthor: Elizabeth Noble
Reviewer: Wendy
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Genre: M/M Mystery
ISBN: 9781632166784

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary:
While planning a future with his partner, Val, Wyatt’s past refuses to be forgotten. Wyatt’s old friend asks him to look into the mysterious death of her uncle in a fire back in 1927, when men were silent, tough, and did not love other men—except when they did. Working with Val, Wyatt digs up clues uncovering the truth behind the tragic school fire and the one responsible. The story of Tom and Philip slowly reveals itself, and Wyatt and Val realize nothing is as simple as they originally believed. As their trail heats up, an old enemy of Wyatt’s decides he’s waited long enough for revenge. If Wyatt can’t tie everything together, history might repeat itself.

Review:

You’ll get so much more than a good story in this second book of the Circles series. You’ll get wholly engrossed in the adrenaline rush of horse racing with the answer to the question of who won the Kentucky Derby from the last book as well as Triple Crown history in the making. You’ll also get to witness not just one, but two romances – a continuation of the love story between Wyatt and Val, and an introduction to Tom and Philip. You’ll have the satisfaction of seeing the puzzle pieces fit together to solve a decades’ old crime. And last, but not least, who doesn’t love a good wedding!

I think that because this story is about an established couple (Wyatt and Val), the focus is less on them as a couple and shifts to encompass a bit more of the mystery they are called on to help solve. It was really a pleasant surprise and bonus for me to experience a second love story in the making (Tom and Philip) – granted, it occurred back in the 1920’s but felt more like real time as the timeline shifted to give that illusion. I found it very intriguing to see how a gay man in the 20’s might go about having a relationship with another man in a time that was clearly not tolerant of such things.

Just because this book has a bit more mystery/suspense, don’t get me wrong. There’s also plenty of sweet hotness to go around (times two)! I’d definitely recommend reading this book in order as part of the series or you’ll be missing all the wonderful back story and buildup of Wyatt and Val’s relationship. And as much as I loved revisiting these two wonderful characters along with the very pleasant familiarity of being around horses, I’m looking forward to learning more about Griff and Clint in Circles 3!

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