Blog Tour: Adverse Conditions by Elle Keaton
Adverse Conditions | Elle Keaton
Reclaimed Hearts #1
Release Date: March 30th, 2023
Xavier swore he’d never move back to the flyspeck of a town he’d grown up in and he kept that promise for over twenty years. Now he’s back for good.
Vincent never left. After earning his teaching certificate, he stayed in town to be close to his elderly parents. These days he’s the single dad of a fifteen-year-old daughter and working two jobs to make ends meet. He’s perfectly happy with his life.
Xavier’s mission is to save Cooper Springs. But his efforts are being hindered by his stodgy, straight-laced, rule-following neighbor, Vincent Barone. Dark-eyed, broad-shouldered, and muscly Vincent, who Xav stealthily ogles when he toils in his yard sans shirt. For a high school shop teacher, Vincent is too sexy. And he has a kid. And he infuriates Xavier. And anyway, love is for suckers.
Vincent doesn’t have time to date. And he certainly wouldn’t date his flashy, arrogant, neighbor who he absolutely did not have a crush on in high school. Who did Xavier think he was, moving back to town and throwing his weight around, causing butterflies in Vincent’s stomach, and making his stupid heart beat faster every time he saw him?
Cooper Springs has changed since they were kids, and maybe two guys can move from hate to love. But are they ready? Will Vincent bend a few of his rules? Will Xavier reign in his chaotic tendencies? Is love in the air?
Then there’s the matter of the grisly discovery in the woods, murder is bad for business.
Welcome to Cooper Springs, home to UFO chasers, Sasquatch believers, conspiracy theorists, chainsaw artists, and regular folk just trying to make a living. And, quite possibly, a killer.
Adverse Conditions is the first in the Reclaimed Hearts series, set in the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, it is an opposites-attract, older lovers, enemies to lovers, small-town romance, with a little murder.
Xavier glanced out the window again. Across the street, Liam Wright’s most recent chainsaw sculpture was proudly displayed in his front yard. He couldn’t quite tell what it was supposed to be, he’d have to ask Liam when he saw him.
“Yeah—” Movement in the yard next to Liam’s caught Xav’s attention. He leaned closer to the windowpane for a better view of his hunky, muscly neighbor as he stomped out into the street. The man carried a long-handled yard tool slung over his shoulder like some character out of a Monty Python movie and was dragging a clean green bin behind him.
Halting at the corner, he hefted the cast iron grating off in one swift movement and began aggressively raking the leaves and other debris out of and away from the drain. Even though he was bundled up in a yellow rain slicker, Xavier would have recognized the Samaritan anywhere. “And also, you don’t have to deal with Vincent Barone.”
Vincent Barone. His nemesis.
All Xavier wanted to do was sell property and help Cooper Springs grow. But Vincent Barone had decided to get himself certified as a real estate appraiser and stymie Xavier at every fucking turn. Every damn i and every damn t that possibly needed dotting or crossing—and many that didn’t—were mentioned in every single one of Barone’s reports. Didn’t Barone understand that there needed to be room for negotiation? Maybe Mrs. Nelson’s estate didn’t want to fix the roof and would instead reduce the sale price for a potential buyer.
“It’s his literal job, Xavier,” Daisy reminded him with a laugh. Probably hoping to stop the rant she’d spotted from over a hundred miles away. “He is supposed to find things the seller should fix. No one wants the surprise of the AC failing the day after move-in.”
“He won’t listen to reason, Daisy,” Xavier grumbled. “He is literally the most aggravating person in all of Cooper Springs. There’s a guy coming all the way from Seattle today to look at the cabins and I know Vinny-boy is going to screw it up—if it gets as far as an offer.”
Barone was extremely thorough. Which was great when building bridges or, in Vincent’s case, teaching shop at the high school and needing to make sure the bored teenagers didn’t cut their extremities off. But Vincent’s part-time second job was home appraisal, and Xavier was tired of being surprised by what Barone wrote up in his official reports. At least give a guy a heads-up that the sump pump had backed up into the garage and caused water damage. Even if Barone had noted that the damage “appeared to be years old,” banks hated comments like that. Banks wanted to hear about new roofs and perfect sewer lines, not repairs that could reduce the value of their investment. And Xavier liked to be prepared with the bad news before he talked to his clients, not in the middle of meeting with them.
How fucking hard was that?
“Have you actually tried talking to him? Or do you just stand at your window and shoot dagger glares through the plate glass?”
Xavier moved away from the window so he wouldn’t be lying when he said, “No.”
About The Author
Elle Keaton writes MM romantic suspense set in the Pacific Northwest with some contemporary romance thrown in. She’s passionate about writing inclusive romances with complex characters and a unique sense of place.
Her characters start out broken, and maybe they’re still banged up by the end, but they find the other half of their hearts and ALWAYS get their happily ever after. In 2017 Elle hit the publish button for the first time and hasn’t looked back.
Being an author is the best job Elle has ever had and now she has over thirty books available for you to read or listen to! She loves cats and dogs, Star Wars and Star Trek, pineapple on pizza, and has a cribbage habit her husband encourages.
To celebrate the release of Adverse Conditions, we’re giving away three e-copies of the release
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