Solstice (The Lake Prophet Mysteries Book 1)by Eli Easton & RJ Scott

A newly returned hometown boy sheriff and a secluded animal behaviorist brought together to investigate a small town murder. Gabriel had hoped he left criminal violence behind in Los Angeles, but as he leads a possible murder investigation he finds Tiber can help him with the only witness, the victim's dog. Tiber has an uncanny ability to read animals, and even people, and he wants to help the troubled sheriff but he has to make sure he doesn't open himself up too much to the mutual attraction they feel as they hunt a killer.

From the blurb for Solstice:

From the dramatic peaks of the Olympic mountain range to the small town of Prophet, murder is only a footstep away.

Gabriel is a former undercover cop haunted by the things he’s seen and done. He returns to his small
hometown of Prophet, taking on the role of sheriff, hoping to mend his fractured relationship with his estranged brother and rebuild his life. But when a chilling murder occurs at Sentinel Rocks, a sacred Makah site on Lake Prophet, Gabriel’s dreams of peace and reconciliation are shattered.

Gabriel navigates a web of intrigue, where suspects abound; from local tribal elders to fervent Solstice worshippers and even those hunting the elusive Big Foot. When the brutal murder leaves Duke, a loyal Labrador retriever, as the sole witness, Gabriel stumbles upon an unexpected ally—a local animal behaviorist named Tiber.

Tiber, a newcomer to Prophet, seeks refuge in this remote haven, attempting to escape his own inner demons. Armed with his extraordinary ability to communicate with animals, he offers his expertise through video consultations, helping pet owners with their beloved companions. While he attributes his skill to his academic background, his intuition and flashes of insight owe as much to his Navajo heritage as to science.

With the relentless rain washing away sins and good intentions alike, Gabriel and Tiber must begin to confront their own vulnerabilities and unravel the truth.

SNik's Review:

First in series (The Lake Prophet Mysteries). Slow burn/no burn. Dual POV. 

Being sheriff of his small hometown, Gabriel doesn’t expect to deal with a murder in his first year, he thought when he left the violent and dark world of undercover work behind he could start to heal. When Gabriel contacts Tiber, a local animal behaviorist, he doesn’t realize the victim’s dog might help with the investigation, and he certainly is not prepared for his attraction to the isolated Tiber. 

Both Gabriel and Tiber are interesting and likable characters, both having past histories that have hurt them; Gabriel is struggling with reconnecting with his family, and Tiber has sworn off any type of future romantic relationship. 

Gabriel works hard on the investigation and gets some help from Tiber along the way, and the story has a solid group of suspects while introducing a bunch of interesting secondary characters from the town. 

Really enjoyed Solstice and am looking forward to more, especially to see how the friendship between Gabriel and Tiber might grow into something more.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Solstice is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.