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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

Reverend Brian Lucas has a secret his congregation in the Nine Mile Methodist Church knows nothing about, and he'd really like to keep it that way. But even his Earth-shattering secret takes a backseat to what else is happening in his tiny hometown.

Murders usually do that.

Brian's "close friend", Sam, is urging a resolution to their little problem, but Brian's brother, Boyd, the County Sheriff, is more caught up in chasing down a homicidal maniac who is slaughtering little old ladies.

When Brian's secret and Boyd's mystery run into each other head on, and Boyd's 15-year-old son, Jesse, gets involved, all hell breaks loose. Then a fourth death comes to terrify the town, and it is Brian who begins to see what is taking place in their little corner of the Corn Belt. But even for a Methodist minister, it will take more than prayer to set it right.

©2015 John Inman (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

This is not a book to read if you are in a hurry, or are looking for a "quick" read. This is a book to read, or listen to as I did, when you are in the mood to indulge yourself for a while in the lives of a bunch of people in a small town, getting to know them as they live their daily lives and share both the ups and downs with you. It is a great book. The characters are entertaining, and I laughed out loud as I enjoyed listening. It is the story of love and loss. It makes you feel, it makes you think. I was very sad it ended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary gay fiction

This audiobook has RUINED me for all others. I've tried listening to at least six different audiobooks (some m/m, some m/f) since finishing this one, but I have not been able to complete them. They just don't add up to Mr. Inman's book, Sunset Lake.

I bought this audiobook because one of my friends on Goodreads was raving about it so, on a whim, I tried it. I made the mistake of starting it at 10 p.m. (who does that, right?) and at 3 a.m. I had to force myself to go to sleep.

I think the mark of a good book, in addition to being able to draw me into the characters' lives so their journey seems real and visceral, is its ability to make me think about aspects of my life that need to be addressed or acknowledged. This book did that for me with its layers of themes and messages. Having grown up in an ultra religious and conservative home, this book made so much sense. It was spot on. The church people were so familiar. Too familiar. Though not the gay minister. But the gay minister? Priceless. And the love between the two MCs? Wow. I ached for them. Every time they had to hide, I held back tears. Their love making was so tastefully done. It was hot, but not OTT. (Don't expect erotica here! It wasn't needed and it wasn't missed!) I don’t know how Mr. Inman was able to so effortlessly create characters so deserving of empathy, but he did and he did it well, but I welcomed the character growth in the reverend. What a journey. What a story!

I also was impressed by the author’s first person POV narration. Believe me, I’ve read/listened to some awkward first person POV stories, and this stands heads and shoulders above most! The pacing was also perfect and the language … The language! Poignant. Beautiful. Not one wasted word or expression or action.

As to the mystery! I did NOT see that coming. Even when the evidence was being examined with the perpetrator in the middle of it all, I kept thinking, “So who did it?” My mind refused to accept the truth simply because there was NOOOOOOOOOO forewarning that of the guilty person. Not one did the sleuth in me consider the killer as a possibility. There was NOTHING about the killer that gave the person away. NOTHING. I mean NOTHING. I’m serious. NO. THING. NOTHING! I still can’t get over it. It was believable but surprising AND sooooo unexpected.

And the resolution. Sad but it made sense TO ME. It also spoke to me about how to deal with those types of maniacs in my life, of course not literally, but symbolically. Sometimes you just have to let them GO. (Yeah, you have to listen to it to get this cryptic message! ☺)

All in all, this was EXCELLENT. If you’re tired of the crap that many M/M authors are trying to pass off as good writing by catering to readers' lust for mere sex (now don't get me wrong -- I love the hawt sex, but I need more than that!!), and you want to read/listen to something that is intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying, then listen to this. You won’t regret it.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. This is a 6-star read and narration. Maybe more than 6, actually. But definitely beyond 5. Makes me want to go back and re-evaluate some of the ‘good’ stuff I gave 5!

Kudos, Mr. Inman. I’ve now bought two more of your other audiobooks (Shy – which I’m listening to now, and Stanley) and, I’ve started to stalk your reading list on Goodreads. Based on your own writing, I believe I can trust your standards. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book, and thank you for inspiring readers like me to find and follow our true calling just as you did.

Cheers!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm speechless.... just wow

Why haven’t more people read this book??

Few books have left me truly and utterly speechless, have taken me that much by surprise or left me that much in need of processing what happened. At the moment only this book comes to mind.

That being said, Sunset Lake was just great, perfection really. I was drawn into this story immediately by Inman’s beautiful writing. There was just something about his words that captured me, and held me captive throughout this story.

Sunset Lake is told solely from Brian’s POV, a minister in Nine Mile. It follows the everyday life of his life how he goes about taking care of everyone in the town, preparing for the youth summer camp at Sunset Lake that he wants to start up. It’s a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone and nothing ever happens.
…until it does. Until old ladies are found horribly murdered and leaves the town searching for answers.

We follow Brian’s struggles hiding his sexuality from everyone, hiding the love of his life and never fully embrace that love. Brian and Sam have been in love and together since their late teens, their love is far from new and neither are their struggles. But it has come to a time where something needs to change; it’s time to live openly together or not at all. But taking that step is far from easy in a town where they’d be shunned and lynched for just holding hands.

Do not go into this book expecting a fast paced thriller novel, nothing could be further from the truth, It’s quiet and unassuming, just like the town is. Until it isn’t. Until that message; “Number 1” is left on the answering machine of a murdered old lady and causes mistrust and upheaval through the community.

I’m always wary picking up books with religious themes; they generally don’t hold much interest to me. And nothing turns me off faster than preaching (no matter what religion or topic). However, this book was done brilliantly. Religion was there in the background, it was a religious small town after all, but it wasn’t the important part of the book, it only provided depth and understanding to who these people were. It was never preachy or sprouted religious lines at you, it just provided the setting for the book.

Sunset Lake was the first book I listened to that was narrated by Randal Schaffer and I couldn't be happier. He was the perfect choice for this book. His voice and pacing fit the book to a T, a match made in the bookish heavens. He took you into the story and immersed you in the lives of Nine Mile, to share the lives of all the character, young to old.

This was an incredibly well written murder mystery set in a town full of secrets and lies. And I promise you, you will search for the killer along with everyone in town, look suspiciously at everyone and their neighbour and you will still come up blank. There are many possibilities that don’t quite fit. Until they do… Until it all makes so much horrible sense that you might wish you never knew. That you kept your nose out of it and stopped poking around.

And that ending… I have no words for that ending. I never in a million years would’ve seen that coming, and to be honest I’m still reeling from it! It’s not a cliffhanger in any way. Brian and Sam do get their happily ever after in the end, and we get a conclusion to the murders, but it’s also come at a price.

If you are a fan of great murder mysteries with a romantic subplot, you need to pick this book up, I promise that you won’t regret it.

Highly recommended!

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

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Another great John Inman

I bought this without even reading the blurb, knowing only that it was a John Inman. That's enough to know for me. And he certainly didn't let me down with this wonderful thriller. It reminded me, in a way, of the Ellery Queen mysteries set in Wrightsville. Here we have a small town, loads of small town folk with small town ideas and jargon, and suddenly we have a series of brutal, horrible murders. Inman kept me guessing so much that at one point or another I suspected nearly everyone...except the actual culprit! The ending is gut-wrenching and will stay with the reader for days.
Randal Schaffer did a pretty good job at the narration, I guess. He provided a great voice for Brian, and in his defense he had a heck of a lot of voices, but why oh why did he make Sam sound like Mortimer Snerd and Boyd sound like Johnny Carson's Aunt Blabby?

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • Yacolt, WA, United States
  • 02-24-16

Really disappointed

I began listening to this book when I went to bed last night. I was laughing out loud at the great writing and narration. When I woke up later it was to hear about the wonderful orgasm the minister was receiving from his long time male friend. Perhaps I should have seen that coming with the outline given of the story but I didn't. This has happened several times with books I've purchased here. Old and peculiar as I may be, it offends me to be led moment by moment through the sex act be it heterosexual or homosexual. When did it become necessary to provide a sex manual for the reader? What became of imagination, theater of the mind?? Could you please note "sexually explicit content" in your reviews of the books available.

2 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 04-01-16

Sleepless Summer

I've listened to a load of romance novels and this is the first one where I've actually gone, "Oh, that's so sweet, that's what love must be about!".

Brian and his boyfriend have to hide the fact they are gay as Brian is a minister and the town is very homophobic. Over the summer they are restoring a camp site for kids, but a murder happens threatening Brian's family.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful