Review: As Sure As The Sun (Accidental Roots #4) by Elle Keaton

The universe is trying to tell Sacha Bolic something. A fire escape collapses under him, he lands in crap, and a killer barely misses his target... all in the same few seconds. That's on top of a long list of mishaps and job dissatisfaction. Not one to ignore signals when they're shoved in his face, Sacha retires and uses his savings to buy an old building in Skagit, Washington. With a little help from DIY videos, he’s going to bring it back to its former glory.  And, yeah, it’s a metaphor. If he makes one change, others will follow…

Seth Culver avoids entanglements, romantic or otherwise. Who needs them? He’s learned the hard way that people betray you or leave. Still, Seth finds people compelling. He kind of collects them, learning their secrets before letting them go their own way. His commitment to no commitments may have met its match in Sacha. Handsome and hot, Sacha seems to offer a permanence that scares Seth more than anything ever has. Seth will have to decide if he’s going to grab life by the balls or keep watching from the sidelines.

A box of inconsequential belongings hidden for decades in the old building hints at lives imagined but not lived, reminding them both there are no guarantees in love, or this thing called life.

As Sure as the Sun is quieter than it's predecessors but I found I didn't mind that aspect at all.  Sometimes it's nice to read a simple love story without all the murder and mayhem getting in the way.
I've been wanting to read Sacha's book ever since I met him in book two.  He intrigued me with his stoicism and curmudgeonly ways and I wanted to get to know the man underneath the scowl.  Turns out, he is a beautiful, lonely soul looking to make his life more complete.  He's led a rough life - born in a war torn eastern European country, growing up in foster care after emigrating to the states and putting his life on the line daily as a US Marshal while keeping himself in the closet.  He's tired and worn out and he's had enough so he decides it's time to retire and pursue what he really wants out of life.  He moves to Skagit, the town where he spent a couple of years deep undercover as a mob goon, and purchases an historic building, intent on restoring it.

Sparks fly when he meets Seth, another recent transplant to Skagit.  There is an instant attraction between the two that leads Seth to offer things he normally wouldn't to a complete stranger, namely a place to shower and launder Sacha's clothes since Sacha has done without due to living in the building while restoring it.  Both find they have quite a bit in common; their love of history and old buildings being among them.

Seth reminded me of a puppy, bouncing around and getting excited over the simplest things.  He put on a great face, that of a carefree life full of love and happiness.  But, it's just a face, a facade.  Underneath the smiles and laughter is a scared little boy who just wants to belong to someone.  

I enjoyed watching these two navigate through their blossoming relationship, first as friends, then as lovers.  I feel they stayed true to themselves throughout the story, even when they weren't sure who they were at all.  They had a lot to overcome and I felt their reactions and the decisions they made, even the bad ones, were realistic.  I could understand why Seth did what he did though it upset me.  And I'm glad Sacha was strong enough to put his insecurities aside and pursue his happiness.

And there was still a mystery here, just not prominent in the story.  It was a bit heartbreaking to read about the two men in the photograph Sacha found hidden behind a wall in the building he's restoring but it was also hauntingly beautiful.  It made me tear up a little bit.

This was a great addition to the Accidental Roots series and I can't wait to read the next book.  Elle Keaton has proven to be a talented author and, frankly, I just like how she writes.  The storyline is smooth and easy to follow.  Bits of humor interjected  here and there bring levity where it's needed to keep the story from becoming too maudlin.  And it's just plain interesting.  I want to know more.  

Recommended to, well, pretty much everyone.  If you haven't given this author a try I urge you to do so.  This, and her other stories, are worth the read.

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