Just Say When
By Aimee Nicole Walker
Someone wants Police Chief Emilio Mendoza dead. And if his unknown assailant doesn’t kill him, pining for Sheriff Abraham Beecham just might.
Abe and Lio’s thirty-year journey has taken them from heated rivals to best friends with countless labels and pit stops along the way. Romance is the only avenue left unexplored but not from lack of love or desire.
Abe pushes people away before they can get too close, and Lio doesn’t engage in situations he can’t control. They’ve reached an impasse, and neither are willing to risk their friendship until fate intervenes, forcing them to reassess their priorities.
But when an unhinged enemy targets Lio, will their gamble be too little too late, or will their love truly conquer all?
Just Say When is a standalone romantic suspense novel within the author’s Savannah universe. This book contains mature content and is attended for adults.
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need to hear this story,” Russ quipped, jerking me back to reality and saving me from breaking my own heart. I blinked away the fantasy, and Abe’s lips curled into a proud, wolfish smile. Unaware of the tension arcing between Abe and me, Russ continued chatting. “I knew you and Beecham went way back, Lio, but it sounds like there’s more to it than I realized.”
Few people knew the full story because I was stingy when it came to Abe. Our relationship had been fueled by variations of hate and love for three decades, but there had never been a right time
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Russ took a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll bite. What happened in 1992?”
“These two idiots met,” Alyssa said before I could respond. “It was at a similar tournament to the one Alex just played in. Multiple rounds to get to the championship game, which is where they met.”
“Yep,” I agreed. “It was hate at first sight.”
Abe scoffed. “Speak for yourself. You didn’t even register as a blip on my radar.”
“Until I hit a grand slam off you in the bottom of the last inning to win the game,” I countered.
“Yeah, that left an impression.”
I nudged him with my arm and returned my attention to Russ. “Our teams dueled it out during the annual classic for two more years.”
“Here?” Russ asked.
“Nah,” Alex said. “Abe is from Alamo.”
“The armpit of Georgia,” I supplied.
Abe snorted. “That’s rich coming from someone born in a town named after an onion. Bet you smelled like an armpit.”
Alex rolled his eyes at both of us. “And Dad is from Vidalia.”
“Got it,” Russ said. “You were rivals who hated each other, and we’re up to 1994 now.”
“Yep,” I agreed. “It’s a rematch of the 1992 tournament, and instead of throwing honest pitches or intentionally walking me, Big Abe here hit me with a pitch on purpose.”
“In the arm,” Abe said.
“That pitch came at me faster than most people drive their cars,” I countered.
Abe grinned proudly because humility was a stranger to him. I’d once asked how a person who’d come from such humble beginnings could have so much swagger. He’d told me it was because he’d clawed his way out of hell with nothing but determination and his bare hands. I couldn’t argue with his assessment. It was too bad Abe’s faith in himself didn’t extend to his romantic relationships because that’s where the cocky train derailed. “I had a wicked arm back in the day,” he said.
I raised my glass of soda, tipping it toward him. “Yes, you did.”
Russ’s gaze bounced between us for a few seconds before his patience wore out. “I take it Lio didn’t jog out to the mound to hug you.”
Abe snorted, I laughed, and then we shared a look that lingered longer than two friends would allow. I could get lost in his baby blues, and I probably did more than was healthy. In their depths, I saw decades of memories as we went from heated rivals to best friends with myriad labels and pit stops along the journey. I was the one who broke eye contact first, and I grinned over at Russ.
“If by a hug, you mean I charged the mound and tackled his big ass to the ground, then yes.” I glanced at Abe again and caught his crooked grin before he replaced it with a mock scowl.
“He broke my nose,” Abe said, pointing to a slight bump near the bridge.
“Gives you character,” I replied. “And you’re welcome.”
Just like Royce, I’ve been wanting to know more about Abe and Lio and we finally get their book!!! While it can be read as a standalone, I’d recommend reading the other books to enjoy this to the maximum.
Abe and Lio’s relationship is a slowburn that spans more than three decades and we get to see them get together in the present time. Personally, I wanted a little more about their past and the evolution of their friendship in the 30 years they’ve known each other but overall it’s good.
I also loved Alex (Lio’s son) and the other side characters, Alyssa and Russ. It was great to see the bond between all four of them. It’s sweet story with little angst and a bit of mystery. Overall I enjoyed it a lot!
*ARC provided by the author via Gay Romance Reviews in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
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About the Author
Ever since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day.
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