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Publisher's Summary

After a recent case with a treacherous client, North and Shaw are ready to go back to work building Borealis Investigations. They’re also ready to go back to dodging their feelings for each other, with neither man ready to deal with the powerful emotions the Matty Fennmore case stirred up.

Everything is getting back to normal when their secretary asks for help: her girlfriend’s boss has gone missing. Shep Collins runs a halfway house for LGBTQ kids and is a prominent figure in St. Louis’s gay community. When he disappears, however, dark truths begin to emerge about Shep’s past: his string of failed relationships, a problem with disappearing money, and his work, years before, as one of the foremost proponents of conversion therapy.

When Shep’s body turns up at the halfway house, the search for a missing person becomes the search for a murderer. As North and Shaw probe for answers, they find that they are not the only ones who have come looking for the truth about Shep Collins.

Their investigation puts them at odds with the police who are working the same case, and in that conflict, North and Shaw find threads leading back to the West End Slasher - the serial killer who almost took Shaw’s life in an alley, seven years before. 

As the web of an ancient conspiracy comes to light, Shaw is driven to find answers, and North faces what might be his last chance to tell Shaw how he really feels.

©2019 Gregory Ashe (P)2020 Gregory Ashe

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow Burn not for the faint of heart

Gregory Ashe doesn't write warm fluffy hot chocolate cozies with romance. His work reminds me more of Marshall Thomas's Boystown Mystery series with a serious overlay of angst-ridden slow burn between its detectives . At least in Borealis, we get to see the two break through to an actual relationship at the end of book 2. He made us wait three books in Hazard and Somerset.

Gregory Ashe's detectives work on bloody, gritty, messy mysteries that touch the lives of its detectives in bloody, gritty, messy ways. They are, at times, pretty dark. Some of the recurring characters aren't especially likable (I appreciate Shaw's loyalty to her, but I can't find anything to like in Pari), but they do provide color. Others (hi, Jadon) are good people who do pretty consistently good things.

I found listening to the story hard because it was so edge of your seat on every plot strand we've had so far. Twice I took a break and listened to another book entirely. Both times I came back to the story because...

1. Shaw and North have some of the best banter among characters ever. it's clever and funny and lightens up otherwise confrontational scenes. The dialogue in general is really well written.
2. Shaw and North are both good people with great chemistry. They are stupid towards each other sometimes, but they have an 8 year history they're untangling. I wanted them together. Ashe made me care about that.
3. It's well read. Charlie David's voice works for both Shaw and North. He is a good story teller. I didn't ever have to work out who was talking. His voices are distinct.
4. Nevermind Pari and Chuck and Shep et al. I want to know who is involved in the Slasher and see them all get what's coming to them. That's the really hard part of this series. Ashe is hard on his main characters (Hazard and Somerset make a cameo here, and they're both still recovering from the end of their first series.), and I feel like if I don't show up, who knows what he'll put them through. Gregory Ashe probably bathes in the tears of his readers, but he still writes a truly compelling novel, and Charlie David reads it well.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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So emotional!

Now that wasn't nice.... I mean that cliffhanger... I might go bald from ripping out all of my hair waiting for the next book.. So… after finishing this book you might have guessed I'm not in the best of moods, and I blame it all on that bloody cliffhanger… But you know what, to save us all from insanity (and my major ranting), I think I'll just go away and write this review another day - when I've had the chance to calm down.

………..

It’s been a few days since finishing this book, and I’m still not happy about that ending. Calmer, but not happy. So I’m going to try to tell you about my feelings for the rest of the book. It did take me a while to get into this story, but once I did I couldn't stop listening. Before I knew it the book had ended, leaving me wanting, no needing, to know more. More about what happened next, but also more about Shaw and North.

There were many raw moments, charged ones in this book. To be honest they were stockpiled as if expecting a major sale somewhere. For me, Shaw especially touched me this time around. I don’t know why, but I had this idea that he was the stable one of the two. Sure he had hangups and issues, but with his past how could he not still be affected by it? But for some for some reason, in my mind, he’d found a way to deal with it, to function and not only on the surface. So it seems that I too fell for that act, that surface. My heart broke for him and I really wish he’d accept help to get better, because he really needs it. His facade is fraying at the edges and I fear what will happen to him when it crumbles.

Both North and Shaw are, for a lack of a better term, messed up. And majorly so. They have so many huge issues that sometimes I feel it was a wonder they even functioned. Then again, they didn’t really. They are both so good at hiding everything they feel. Hide it from each other but also from themselves.

Triangulation is not a book you pick up if you are looking for something pink and fluffy. Contrary to what the cover might suggest this book is mentally draining. It’s filled with emotions, angst and horrors and many that you’ll feel deeply. Wishing to know more at the same time you are wishing for it to stop.

The bath tub scene and the events leading up to it were the most raw moments I’ve come across in books for a long while. The feelings were just oozing from North and Shaw and Charlie David. In those moments there were so many emotions I don’t think I could name them all, the horror, despair and fear, the hopelessness, love, longing, want and need. It was all jumbled and Charlie David made you feel them all – and then some. He will have your head spinning in the best and worst ways.

After finishing this book you might want to look for something pink and fluffy to recover. Because this ride is insane.

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Slow Burn . . . so worth it!

Some listeners are put off by the slow burn that Shaw and North have going on throughout this book...typically I would be the same...cut to the chase...get on with it...but what I like was that their relationship wasn't filled with angst and longing (ok a bit of that) but really mutual respect...

Not going to tell you how that ends up...no spoilers here...but I will say that the length of the book scared me a bit (would it drag on) BUT it didn't... the story moved along (quicker than their relationship...lol).

I was given a copy of this book to review but it was on my list to purchase anyway...since I purchased the Audible the first Borealis Investigations Book and will also listen to the third one.

Shaw and North are moving up the ladder of favorite MM series...

Charles David did an excellent job especially with Shaw and North's "back and forth" I laughed out loud more than a few times!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AT
  • 02-06-20

4.5 stars- Great narrator who elevates the book

Triangulation is the second book in the Borealis Investigations series and is definitely one which should be read in order. I needed a bit of an adjustment period to warm up to Shaw and North when reading the first book, but the pair of friends and work partners really shown in Triangulation. I enjoyed their banter and silliness even ore this time and really loved the fast, fun pace that makes these books incredibly hard to put down.

I read the first book in the Borealis Investigations series and listened to the second, and I definitely think this narrator is a spot on choice for the series. In fact, I’d wager his performance played a big role in why I enjoyed the second book in the series even more than the first. His voice fit the characters, moments, and pace so very well, inputting emotion into the scenes without overplaying them.

The suspense element in Triangulation was well done with some good twists I didn’t anticipate at all. There’s still a bit of levity and luck involved with North and Shaw’s investigations, but the series is not lacking in suspense or action. I think what really won me over in Triangulation was the romance and character progression. I enjoyed getting to see more from both North and Shaw, including a good amount of insight into their past feelings and experiences, and I was incredibly happy that this book really furthered their relationship. Plus that ending…wow! I’m torn between wanting to dive into book three because I have to know what happens next and forcing myself to wait because I so enjoyed Mr. David’s narration. If you like some silliness with your suspense and mystery, I definitely would recommend giving this series a look or, better yet, a listen. I think many will develop just as much a soft spot in these two best friends turned PI partners as I have.

*Received ACX promo code via LesCourt Author Services. The author, narrator, and PA had no influence over this review*

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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spectacular

again, and again, and again. ashe continues to amaze me with the banter and the humor and above all the depth.

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Gregory Ashe is trying to kill me

Come on, Ashe! Can I not be happy for 5 freaking minutes before the next complication?? 😤 *grumbles* Even though it was worth it, in the end. Well, except for the very end.

I completely ignored real life to read this entire book yesterday. Except for work, as I can't slap headphones on there, unfortunately. *rude*

North & Shaw both broke my heart here, even while they frustrated me so badly I thought they'd break me. Shaw is suffering badly from PTSD relating to his attack by the West End slasher. For someone who is so damn smart and believes so strongly in therapy, Shaw is trying to force himself to "get over" his trauma instead of actually addressing it. His method, in my opinion, is actually the worst thing he could possibly do. And this has nothing *mostly* to do with the fact that I can't stand Jadon *more teeth-grinding* 😬. It's not reasonable on my part, as he really seems to care for Shaw. He's just not North.

For his part, I was so proud of North for staying resolute against Tucker, that bastard. Not that I'd expect anything else from him but in that situation, especially given his hopelessness over Shaw, many men would choose the familiar over loneliness, even if it didn't make them happy. However, the fact that he let Tucker get in his head about Shaw, that Shaw would never want him, just killed me.

It's no secret that Gregory Ashe's writing is capable of twisting your whole self into impossible, tortuous knots over his characters but his mystery can be equally harrowing. The case our guys are on here starts with a missing boss, and all they need to do is locate him. But of course, he turns up dead. The case spirals into several different directions, and one of those directions has Shaw increasingly convinced this somehow ties back to the slasher, who supposedly died in prison recently. The other main direction seems to point to dirty cops, and North and Shaw's investigation has put them into the direct path of those same cops. There were several places in the story that were honestly chilling and I was genuinely afraid for North and Shaw. As much as I love the times these guys are focused on each other, I'm usually just as wrapped up in the crime. That's a balancing act that's damn well done by GA.

And my God, thank you, finally. 🥰🥰 Finally North and Shaw admit to each other how they feel. But of course it's not as easy as that. I was so proud of Shaw for fighting for North, for saying (view spoiler)!! If you don't think I was absolutely gleeful at that, then you give me too much credit LOL! :) When they finally pull their heads out of their asses *I swear I love them BUT....* and talk to each other, it's everything I've wanted for them, and it's tender and sweet and I was completely melted. 😍

Only to have GA rudely yank me out of my happy relationship bliss for more threats to North and Shaw. And this evil cliffhanger sent me, again, directly to download Declination and thank all the gods I didn't read this until all (?) the books were available.

Charlie David once more did a great job with the narration and allowed me to get lost in the story.

Another stunningly emotional, excellently done story for two of my very favorite guys. *swoon* At this point, Gregory Ashe has definitely made it to my auto-buy list, I'll read anything he writes.

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Roller coaster

I loved this story with such realistic MC going through ups and downs. I wanted to help them that's how much I was drawn into their lives.

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Wow so many emotions!

Really enjoyed this book, loving the series so many emotions! I love how The author makes his characters so imperfectly perfect.

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Will they or won't they

Never sure if Ashe is going to give the reader what they've been waiting for or not. This book delivers with great big cliffhangers at the end. Narration is great, as always,

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I hate these books. I love these books.

(Audiobook review)
I'm impatient by nature, that's why insta-love stories generally don't bother me. But like anything quick easy and basically insubstantial, they do get old. Now, slow burns make me crazy. I like my characters to fall in love and get together with minimal drama before the last chapter of the book. But like anything you have to wait for, that builds a foundation and layers on tension and mystery, they're so worth it.

That's why I say I hate reading Gregory Ashe series but they're still some of my favorites. They make you worrrrrrk for the happy ending. And then the happy ending isn't so much of a happy ending as a real-life ending with some happiness, some heartache and a whole lot of satisfaction.

That said, you still don't get satisfaction in this book. Nope, They get so goddamn close but screw it up again. I can't stand angst for angst's sake. Stupid miscommunications make me want to light things on fire. This book got close the line for me, but didn't quite cross it. Real human failings that I can actually buy into screw it up, once again.

The good news is the mystery is good enough to distract you from the fact that THEY JUST WON'T FIGURE IT OUT, ALREADY! As always, Ashe writes complex characters, even the ones that aren't actually present in the story (dead, missing, etc). For example, you can't really decide if Shep is a good guy or a bad guy. And Pari is a detestable character IMO but everyone loves her (why?? she's the worst. Share your damn lemon cake)

Bonus points for a surprise appearance from Hazard and Somers! I wouldn't love to read more crossover. Love me some crossover.

Okay, so what to say about Charlie David's narration.... Well, he's not Tristan James.

Okay, I'm kidding, that's not fair. I have to admit, there is a quality to Charlie David's narration that is just a bit, uptight maybe? It almost borders on whiney at times. But this mostly comes out when he's play "narrator" not the actual voiced characters. It's really just splitting hairs, and once you get through a chapter or two it becomes less noticeable.

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  • choccygrl
  • 01-31-20

Not what I expected

DNF'D an hour plus into the audio. I can't listen to another 11 hours of this.
From the reviews I was expecting delicious UST but despite being alleged best friends I don't believe these two even like each other. They're unprofessional as PIs, breaking in the middle of questioning a witness to have a childish argument. And every other character was super high maintenance.
On a positive note the narrator was okay.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 12-28-20

Enjoyable but ridiculous

These stories are enjoyable but get more and more ridiculous as I go on. I honestly believe that in real life North and Shaw would be dead - not only for crossing dirty cops, but for their annoying banter at moments that are supposed to be serious or push the story arc along. My biggest bugbear with this story is that North and Shaw were asked to find a missing person. WHY were North and Shaw even investigating after the man was found dead? Rightly, they should have dropped the case, job done, man found, the end. How do these guys even have a business when they just go off on a tangent like they did in this book and investigate even though they don't have the jurisdiction or a legitimate client.

I know Gregory Ashe seems to like dragging out angst and then adding layers and layers of angst on top but there's a point where it gets too much and becomes too unbelievable. I don't believe that in 8 years of spending nearly every day together that neither North or Shaw made each other aware of their attraction and love for each other.

I became uncomfortable and angry with the sex scenes and the behaviour of both of Shaw's love interests in this book. They KNEW Shaw had suffered a serious assault and was emotionally messed up from that. THEN his lover in the first book tortures and tries to kill him. SO WTF were Jaden and North doing in separately trying to pressure a deeply traumatized Shaw into having sex... and with Jaden it was rough sex that involved choaking. That was really messed up.

The best bit about this for me was the cameo by Hazard and Somerset even though the narrator wasn't a patch on Tristan James.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 07-18-20

Good story

The concept is interesting and well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma Burbidge
  • 02-03-20

Best friends...still business partners?

So, this second book in the Borealis Investigations series by Gregory Ashe is quite gripping as narrated by Charlie David, who does an excellent job of bringing the guys and all the supporting characters to life. There is also an appearance by Hazard (from the author's Hazard & Somerset series), with his boyfriend, which I quite enjoyed, having listened to several books from that series previously.
There are issues which relate back to a trauma that Shaw went through about seven years prior to the events in this book involving a serial killer. There are also issues from their previous case that continue to haunt them.
This was another thrilling chapter in their saga as North and Shore try to figure out where they stand with each other as there are several ups and downs in their personal relationship which has a knock-on effect on their professional relationship/partnership.
Highly recommended if you have listened to the first book in the series as I have.

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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 02-02-20

Awesome

This was such an entertaining audiobook.
I was hooked from the beginning and I didn’t want to stop listening.
I can’t wait to listen to more of this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mari Cardenas
  • 02-02-20

Really great mystery thriller!

I haven't read/listened to book 1 in the series yet, but I have it in my queue, so I hope to make time for it soon. The author wove enough detail/background info into the story so that even if a reader jumped into book 2 first, they wouldn't be lost.

I really liked Shaw and North, even if there were several times in which I wanted to knock their heads together. OMG, but they could both be difficult sometimes! The banter and the out-of-this-world UST was more than enough to sell me into this pairing, despite all they had to go through in this book and what might be coming in the next installment for them.

This book ends in a cliffhanger, which I hate, and I wasn't aware of it, which somehow makes it worse, but at the same time, I could barely put down the audiobook until I finished it and I was completely riveted with the case and invested in Shaw and North's relationship, so there's that. Plus, Charlie David did such a great job with the narration and he was in a great measure the reason why I enjoyed the audiobook so much. Highly recommendable!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Trio
  • 02-01-20

Amazing Characters & Splendid Mystery, I loved it!

The depth of these characters just increases exponentially with each interchange. The true level of the how deep the damage goes, how desperately these two need each other, and the whole mystery surrounding the slasher comes out in Triangulation. Or maybe Gregory Ashe is just scratching the surface.

Mr. Ashe is building something incredibly intense along with the wonderful mysteries in the Borealis Investigations. Shaw and North have so much history. It’s everything they’ve brought along with them over the past eight years, plus everything (and everyone) getting caught in their wake… I don’t know if I can wait to find out what happens next in Declination!

But wait I will, because I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed listening to Charlie David read these books to me and it wouldn’t be the same without him. So *fingers crossed* the audio version of Declination comes out soon!

Fans of Charlie David know what he brings to his performances, and if you’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy him yet the Borealis Investigations series is a great place to start. He definitely gets these guys and I love how he handles their banter (as well as all the drama and tension between them).

An excellent mystery, interesting characters, and a hearty dose of delicious angst, Gregory Ashe’s Borealis Investigations series is amazing.


an audiobook copy of Triangulation was provided to me for the purpose of my honest review

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzanne Christie
  • 01-27-20

Fab mystery

Great mystery with the added suspense of a will they won’t they situation between the two main characters. This book had me hooked and I didn’t want to stop listening, I devoured this in a day!

This books is full of twists and turns, intriguing characters and an epic slow burn romance.

Charlie David provides a fantastic narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 01-27-20

Will they or won’t they?

At first glance, this book is a mystery. A detective agency, a missing person, mysterious surroundings, and all is not as it seems. North and Shaw own Borealis Investigations and although they’ve been through some tough times recently with their agency, they’re still open for business. When their receptionist comes to them asking for their help with a missing person, they’re intrigued. When they get the full history of the missing man, Shep Collins, things take a turn. Shep used to run a conversion camp and is now married and living with his husband. So, yeah, a complete one-eighty. Turns out he hurt a lot of young men during his time running the conversion camp, and although some have forgiven him, others are downright peeved.

Although this investigation is personal for the men – they do support their receptionist after all – the St. Louis police become involved and suddenly things are a lot more complicated. Several bodies later and it’s clear this has gone way beyond just a missing man.

And although the book centers around a mystery, it’s the relationship between North and Shaw that is the most interesting. The thing that kept me hanging on. Each man is involved with someone else. Shaw is in a relationship with a cop named Jadon. Their relationship is…interesting. North is married to Tucker and that relationship goes sideways. There’s a lot to unpack and the split might be a good thing, but these things are always messy. And since North was the one doing the leaving, he finds himself homeless. Shaw, of course, offers up his couch, but that creates a whole other pile of complications.

North and Shaw have history. They went to university together and there’s been a weird push and pull ever since. Will they or won’t they? Can they admit how they feel? Will the other reciprocate? How will it affect their work relationship? Add in Shaw’s obsession about the West End Slasher, and things become even murkier. Like I said, there’s a lot going on.

This book ends on a breathtaking cliff-hanger although the main story is resolved. Now, I didn’t get a chance to listen to book 1 and I fully intend to go back. Does this book stand on its own? Yes. Is it clearly the middle book of a structed trilogy? Yes to that as well. And I plan to jump on book 3 when it comes out on audio. Man, this was a good story with great characterization. I also want to quickly mention the dialogue. The banter back and forth between the two men had me laughing out loud. And Shaw’s obsession with food was also fodder for more laughter. The humor added more layers to the story which I appreciated.

I want to mention the narrator, Charlie David. He’s a fave of mine and I always enjoy his performances. He definitely did this story justice and I’m glad I listened. So, needless to say, I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the finale of this story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sabbath
  • 01-22-20

Interesting

Okay, I really enjoyed this story. The characters were thought provoking and made me slightly angsty with their level of love for each other. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat, and I truly didn't see it coming. This book can be a solid standalone, however it's better enjoyed when you have read/listed to the previous one. David is a new to me narrator, and I found it to be a slight struggle to listen for long stretches. Even though he did a good job, I did feel a bit of lacking emotional draw at times, but his narration grows on the listener.