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Strange Medicine

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Maxwell Thornton isn’t really a people person, but that never mattered to him because he’d lived for his career. After losing a patient during a routine hysterectomy, he’s shaken and afraid to pick up the scalpel again. He resigns his position in the city and takes a job as sole GP in the isolated town of Rainy Dale, Texas, population 1001. Rainy Dale is populated with ecc Maxwell Thornton isn’t really a people person, but that never mattered to him because he’d lived for his career. After losing a patient during a routine hysterectomy, he’s shaken and afraid to pick up the scalpel again. He resigns his position in the city and takes a job as sole GP in the isolated town of Rainy Dale, Texas, population 1001. Rainy Dale is populated with eccentrics who test his patience and seem to think he’s not only there to treat their illnesses, but that he’s also there to hold their hand and be their therapist. When one of his most annoying patients ends up dead and floating in Maxwell’s pool, he has some explaining to do to the local sheriff. Sheriff Royce Callum is intelligent, determined and more attracted to the new doctor than he would like. He can’t imagine Maxwell is a murderer, but he also can’t exactly ignore a corpse in the sexy doctor’s pool.

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Maxwell Thornton isn’t really a people person, but that never mattered to him because he’d lived for his career. After losing a patient during a routine hysterectomy, he’s shaken and afraid to pick up the scalpel again. He resigns his position in the city and takes a job as sole GP in the isolated town of Rainy Dale, Texas, population 1001. Rainy Dale is populated with ecc Maxwell Thornton isn’t really a people person, but that never mattered to him because he’d lived for his career. After losing a patient during a routine hysterectomy, he’s shaken and afraid to pick up the scalpel again. He resigns his position in the city and takes a job as sole GP in the isolated town of Rainy Dale, Texas, population 1001. Rainy Dale is populated with eccentrics who test his patience and seem to think he’s not only there to treat their illnesses, but that he’s also there to hold their hand and be their therapist. When one of his most annoying patients ends up dead and floating in Maxwell’s pool, he has some explaining to do to the local sheriff. Sheriff Royce Callum is intelligent, determined and more attracted to the new doctor than he would like. He can’t imagine Maxwell is a murderer, but he also can’t exactly ignore a corpse in the sexy doctor’s pool.

30 review for Strange Medicine

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Emily

    Well, this book was delightful! I just loved the characters, the story and mystery, and, of course, Grumpy! Maxwell is a doctor who has left the big city for a fresh start in a small town. He's a bit standoffish, and when he first arrives, he is shocked at how laid back and lenient things are at his new office, and how nosy his new patients are. Royce is the town sheriff, and when the two meet there is definitely mutual interest from both. I loved the blend of romance as Maxwell and Royce try to Well, this book was delightful! I just loved the characters, the story and mystery, and, of course, Grumpy! Maxwell is a doctor who has left the big city for a fresh start in a small town. He's a bit standoffish, and when he first arrives, he is shocked at how laid back and lenient things are at his new office, and how nosy his new patients are. Royce is the town sheriff, and when the two meet there is definitely mutual interest from both. I loved the blend of romance as Maxwell and Royce try to figure out what they are to each other, and with the mystery of what's going on at Maxwell's home/office and the murder. It kept me entertained right from the start, fast paced but not overly so. I really look forward to seeing how Maxwell and Royce's relationship continues to grow in the next book! I hope to learn more about the both of them, their pasts, and especially more about Royce since I felt like we knew a lot more about Maxwell than we did Royce. Kinda ends on a cliffhanger, more with the situation, definitely not with our couple. Can't wait to read the next one! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristine (A Cozy Booknook)

    This is a great start to a new series, I couldn’t put the book down. The story is fast-paced, with interesting characters and an intriguing mystery. While I strongly suspected “whodunit,” it was enjoyable to see how the clues were uncovered and pieced together. I look forward to reading more in this series. I received a copy of this book from the author, my review has been voluntarily submitted.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aki | nose buried in books | ❤️ |

    3/4 ⭐ I liked this book. it is an easy reading, not too deep or with heavy feeling involvement. the setting is a small rural town, the mystery is nice, the characters likeable but not much characterized and the romance was ok, with an HFN ending, but this is only the first book in the series; the epilogue infact is more the beginning of the next book. so, in the end, I can say I liked this book and I'll read the next one, but I didn't overly enjoyed it. I recommend it for an easy reading, with a en 3/4 ⭐ I liked this book. it is an easy reading, not too deep or with heavy feeling involvement. the setting is a small rural town, the mystery is nice, the characters likeable but not much characterized and the romance was ok, with an HFN ending, but this is only the first book in the series; the epilogue infact is more the beginning of the next book. so, in the end, I can say I liked this book and I'll read the next one, but I didn't overly enjoyed it. I recommend it for an easy reading, with a enjoyable plot.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Misty M

    This felt like a MM cozy mystery, which is awesome. I love cozies and MM, so it was a great combo for me. A little more heat than your typical cozy, grittier, but still with that cozy feel. The mystery was partially telegraphed fairly early, but I’m ok with that when it’s this entertaining. Wonderful characters, that are quirky and fun, but still relatable. Maxwell was a really interesting character with his personality quirks and fitting him into a small town dynamic that he’s not use to. Royce This felt like a MM cozy mystery, which is awesome. I love cozies and MM, so it was a great combo for me. A little more heat than your typical cozy, grittier, but still with that cozy feel. The mystery was partially telegraphed fairly early, but I’m ok with that when it’s this entertaining. Wonderful characters, that are quirky and fun, but still relatable. Maxwell was a really interesting character with his personality quirks and fitting him into a small town dynamic that he’s not use to. Royce is a hot lawman, trying to do his job despite his attraction to Maxwell. Some great chemistry between these two, and i love that Royce accepts Maxwell just as he is. Overall I really enjoyed this. It looks as though the series will center around these two characters, which I’m hoping for. I wasn’t quite satisfied with where their relationship left off, so I’m looking forward to more in the next book. I personally think it’s a wonderful balance between a cozy mystery and a MM romance, and recommend for fans of either. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    What a great book!! From the start I was hooked on Maxwell and Royce, but the mystery was fun too. Throw in a small town where everybody is up in everybody’s business and you have a winner. Great start to a new series and I’m eagerly awaiting next next book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    DNF after 68%. I thought I'd be able to make it to the end, but then I decided I had suffered enough. The premise was cute - this is basically a cosy mystery set in a small Texan town, featuring city doctor Maxwell Thornton and town sherriff Royce Callum. After reading the preview, I was intrigued enough to buy it but what I initially thought was quirkiness was just plain bad or mediocre writing. I should really stop giving writers the benefit of the doubt - after 30 years as a reader I should j DNF after 68%. I thought I'd be able to make it to the end, but then I decided I had suffered enough. The premise was cute - this is basically a cosy mystery set in a small Texan town, featuring city doctor Maxwell Thornton and town sherriff Royce Callum. After reading the preview, I was intrigued enough to buy it but what I initially thought was quirkiness was just plain bad or mediocre writing. I should really stop giving writers the benefit of the doubt - after 30 years as a reader I should just trust my gut and screw all those other reviews. Anyway. Basically this was written like a mediocre fanfiction, including painfully awkward sex scenes and lots of glossing over details. The plot requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, especially Royce's behavior in the middle. The only reason I'm giving this two stars is because I really liked Maxwell, but not enough to make myself read any more of this. I think what angered me the most was how condescending Royce was toward Maxwell - and the fact that the author probably didn't intend it to come across this way makes it even worse. Well, other people seem to have liked this, but I really didn't.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mateo

    I really enjoy this one, the doctor character was good and funny, there is a little bit of spicy drama and sex to create a real alchemy here. And without spoiled the end , the final chapter push you to want to read the next mystery murder book. I waiting for !

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heather Martin

    Strange Medicine A good first book in a new mystery series! I’m not the biggest fan of Maxwell but I’m sure I’ll enjoy him the more I get to know him. Royce is a saint!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa The Novel Approach

    Dr. Maxwell Thornton is a salty sort of fellow with a horrible bedside manner. He’s running away from his old life, hiding in plain sight in Rainy Dale, Texas, after losing a patient during what should have been a routine operation, and though he's been exonerated of any wrong-doing, rightfully so, he’s having trouble reconciling with the outcome nonetheless. So, he has left Los Angeles and a once prestigious career behind to take on the role of General Practitioner in this sleepy little town wh Dr. Maxwell Thornton is a salty sort of fellow with a horrible bedside manner. He’s running away from his old life, hiding in plain sight in Rainy Dale, Texas, after losing a patient during what should have been a routine operation, and though he's been exonerated of any wrong-doing, rightfully so, he’s having trouble reconciling with the outcome nonetheless. So, he has left Los Angeles and a once prestigious career behind to take on the role of General Practitioner in this sleepy little town where everyone knows everyone else's business, and where he himself is now the current topic of all the gossip that's fit to whisper. Maxwell doesn't appreciate the way these strangers want to poke at the skeleton in his closet—which is a nice dichotomy considering he hails from a city that was built and thrives on gossip—but more than anything else, he just wants to be left alone. Sheriff Royce Callum is the one man who makes Rainy Dale a whole lot more interesting for Maxwell, though he couldn't be more the doctor's opposite if he tried. Royce is the salt-of-the-earth country mouse to Maxwell’s city-slicker mouse, friendly and as apt to use teaching moments as to take punitive measures when it comes to minor infractions. He’s the lawman with a good heart, and his natural kindness goes a long way in the townspeople's estimation of him. That kindness only goes so far, however, when a dead body shows up in Maxwell’s swimming pool, and all initial signs point to his guilt. I adored Royce from the moment he showed up on page, not only for his obvious intelligence but for his instincts and intuition as well, and I appreciated that Wynne didn’t use him as a simple caricature to contrast the differences between him and Maxwell. One of the many things I like about S.C. Wynne's mysteries is the skillful balance she achieves between the relationship and the criminal elements of a story. They pay great complement to one another, especially here when Royce must distance himself from the fragile connection he's made with Maxwell to maintain a semblance of professional objectivity when it appears, for all intents and purposes, that the town's newest resident might be a killer. Royce is measured and tenacious, and his getting to the bottom of the whodunit also allowed him to be plausibly imperfect in his inability to predict the killer’s motives and actions. While the criminal investigation imparts its share of friction between him and Maxwell, it's also cleared up quickly enough to waylay unnecessary angst. I love the way he and Maxwell worked together, but I didn’t find myself swooning over them as much as thinking, yeah, they fit. I also liked that Royce’s sexuality isn’t used as a story trope to paint Rainy Dale as a homophobic backwater. Apart from the murdery bits, it’s sort of an idyllic little place where, amongst its quirky inhabitants, some folks are behaving extra squirrely, and I liked the way the hints and clues were meted out in a way that allowed me to feel involved in the mystery rather than being a mere passive observer of it. Though Strange Medicine doesn't fit the strict definition of a cozy mystery, there's still a quaintness to the setting and a limited enough focus on its point-of-view characters that it all added a bit of coziness to the telling. With a promising start to another murder mystery already established for Royce and Maxwell at the end of Strange Medicine, I can't wait for book two in the series to drop. It's always great to find a new fave. Reviewed by Lisa for The Novel Approach

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nica

    This book narrates the story of Dr Maxwell Thornton, a successful and sophisticated surgeon, who abandons his practice in LA and moves to Rainy Dale,Texas, in a self-imposed exile, after losing a patient on his table. He knows he is way overqualified for the job, but his conscience forces him to atone for his sins by healing those in the boonies, as his guilt paralyzes him when thinking of being a surgeon again. Maxwell is a perfectionist to a fault when it comes to practicing medicine, but has This book narrates the story of Dr Maxwell Thornton, a successful and sophisticated surgeon, who abandons his practice in LA and moves to Rainy Dale,Texas, in a self-imposed exile, after losing a patient on his table. He knows he is way overqualified for the job, but his conscience forces him to atone for his sins by healing those in the boonies, as his guilt paralyzes him when thinking of being a surgeon again. Maxwell is a perfectionist to a fault when it comes to practicing medicine, but has very little patience for human interactions, and does not deal well with small town idiosyncrasies. He just wants to do his job, without the annoying chit chat and social obligations that comes with being a small town doctor. Maxwell does not get along with his patients and/or neighbors, making a horrible first impression with his brusqueness and lack of tact, and then he meets the town sheriff, Royce Callum. Sheriff Callum is a hunk! Handsome, confident, with a calm and friendly demeanor, he's charming enough to smooth over Maxwell's prickly attitude, and despite the apparent differences in personality, Maxwell and Royce hit it off, and act on their attraction. Everything is honky-dory, until Royce finds a dead man in Maxwell's pool, and the good doctor is holding the murder weapon. The story is very entertaining. Written from both Maxwell's and Royce's points of view, it is reminiscent of an old fashioned mystery sitcom, along with a dash of comedy a la Doc Martin, which was enjoyable and kept my attention. Both men are likable and relatable, and Royce is extra endearing, because he is a hunk with a soft spot for grumpies, two legged and canine. Their chemistry is believable and exciting, and I particularly liked that there was no complication or weirdness about their attraction for each other, no emotional games or misplaced reluctance, they are both adult men who like each other physically and act on that attraction with maturity and fun. Their intimate moments were super hot! My only issue is how Royce sometimes doesn't exactly follow police procedure when he's around Max (no spoilers) I found it a little hard to believe at times that an officer of the law would do that with someone involved in a murder, but luckily the mystery of the murder is solved, and the boys get a happy ending...or do they? I am looking forward to the next installment of Max's and Royce's adventures.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Strange Medicine is a fun mix of intrigue, passion, and annoyance. Maxwell Thornton has just arrived in Rainy Dale, Texas, and it is clear from the outset that he doesn’t want to be there. He is a world class surgeon transitioning to a general practitioner, and since he isn’t used to dealing with awake patients, it shows from his first word. He’s got a stick up his butt high enough to choke him, and I wanted to (several times). However, he’s running from something he cannot escape – his past. It Strange Medicine is a fun mix of intrigue, passion, and annoyance. Maxwell Thornton has just arrived in Rainy Dale, Texas, and it is clear from the outset that he doesn’t want to be there. He is a world class surgeon transitioning to a general practitioner, and since he isn’t used to dealing with awake patients, it shows from his first word. He’s got a stick up his butt high enough to choke him, and I wanted to (several times). However, he’s running from something he cannot escape – his past. It took me a lonnnnng time to warm up to this character, but as he began sharing tidbits of his previous life, not only did I warm to him, but my heart went out to him, and I fell hard for him. Royce is the local sheriff, a laid back, friendly sort, and he notices right away that Maxwell has a look Royce likes, even if he does seem like a snob. He decides to get to know the surly doctor, and it doesn’t take long for them to heat up the night. The chemistry was instant and thick between these two men. I really liked this story! The storyline was fascinating, the whodunit not at all a giveaway, and the characters interesting. The pacing was quick, and there were no spots that dragged at all, which my ADD self really appreciated. I read this book in a single go because I simply couldn’t put it down! The characters are many, but spaced enough that the reader can easily remember who is who and where they fit in the town. My favorite was Girdy, Maxwell’s assistant at the clinic. She was a super bright spot in what could have been one extremely particularly awkward scene, but generally smoothing things over and always willing to step up to help the socially inept doctor whenever she appeared. This book is a happy for now. However, it ends with a jumping off point for the next book that reads suspiciously like a cliffhanger. It took me a bit to decide that was the case and not to be annoyed by the abrupt ending. This is clearly going to be a serial, with individual stories resulting in resolution but more to come. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I’m anxiously awaiting the next in the series. I’m rating this at 3.5 stars, rounding up for sites that don’t take halves, and I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a good whodunit. I voluntarily read an ARC copy of this book for the author with hopes for but no obligation to provide a review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    3.5 Stars Cozy little mystery novel, I didn’t love nor hate it but it did keep me fully engrossed throughout the entire book. This was a HFN as it appears to be the start of a new series. I’d like to say I’ll continue with it but I am betting the next book will be predictable and bring in/focus on some ex or om drama... I can’t handle that kind of stuff lately. (I have had two sets of friends that once had beautiful family’s and marriages go through divorce this last year and my heart hurts with 3.5 Stars Cozy little mystery novel, I didn’t love nor hate it but it did keep me fully engrossed throughout the entire book. This was a HFN as it appears to be the start of a new series. I’d like to say I’ll continue with it but I am betting the next book will be predictable and bring in/focus on some ex or om drama... I can’t handle that kind of stuff lately. (I have had two sets of friends that once had beautiful family’s and marriages go through divorce this last year and my heart hurts with those kind of plot lines these days) Anywho, I may be jumping the gun on that one but I’d be surprised if I was wrong, it seems to be a common play these days in a book 2 of a series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Don Bradshaw

    I thoroughly enjoyed this fun mystery. The quirky residents of Rainy Dale kept me smiling and shaking my head. I like the way that Maxwell eased into small town life with Royce's help. The mystery itself was easy to read and see unravel. Can't wait to read the next book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ConM

    This was a pleasant cozy mystery, with a prominent romance. I loved Maxwell’s prickliness. I will read more of this series,

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tj

    If you are looking for a multi-layered mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, drive on. If you are looking for a romance with deep feelings and strong emotional connections, then this one will also disappoint you. If you are looking for an uncomplicated way to spend a lazy afternoon, then you are in luck. Strange Medicine is a lite whodunit /romance. Maxwell is a surgeon from the big city (L.A.). After loosing a patient on the operating table, he is rattled and has bad case of yips. If you are looking for a multi-layered mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, drive on. If you are looking for a romance with deep feelings and strong emotional connections, then this one will also disappoint you. If you are looking for an uncomplicated way to spend a lazy afternoon, then you are in luck. Strange Medicine is a lite whodunit /romance. Maxwell is a surgeon from the big city (L.A.). After loosing a patient on the operating table, he is rattled and has bad case of yips. Performance anxiety and surgery don't mix. Maxwell packs up and moves to small town Texas where the sun is hot, the sheriff is sexy, and the towns folks have elevated gossip and meddling into an Olympic sport. Maxwell was raised by hyper critical parents who have emotionally crippled him with their philosophy "feelings are a waste of time" style parenting. The folks of Rainy Dale are used to a laid back country doctor with cookies and drinks in the waiting are. They are slow to warm to Maxwell's just the facts no nonsense approach to medicine. Rainy Dale's confusion about Maxwell is nothing compared to how the local sheriff makes him feel. Royce is easy on the eyes, smart, and has a great way of policing. Despite his best efforts, Maxwell finds himself attracted and giving into the attraction. Never one to want a relationship or to let anyone close, it is a surprise that he might be open to having those things with Royce. - Be warned this is the first of a series and I Love You does not come into play. This book lays the foundation for a relationship between Maxwell and Royce. Bottom line this is a lighthearted entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tena

    Strange Medicine is the first in the new series Dr. Maxwell Thornton Murder Mysteries. Maxwell has moved to Rainey Dale, Texas, to start over after something horrible happened. He was a skilled surgeon who left that life behind in LA to become a small-town GP. The first thing we get a glimpse of is his personality. He is a buttoned up, polished, tight character who could not have chosen a more alien environment in which to lose himself. He is perplexed and horrified by small town life right from Strange Medicine is the first in the new series Dr. Maxwell Thornton Murder Mysteries. Maxwell has moved to Rainey Dale, Texas, to start over after something horrible happened. He was a skilled surgeon who left that life behind in LA to become a small-town GP. The first thing we get a glimpse of is his personality. He is a buttoned up, polished, tight character who could not have chosen a more alien environment in which to lose himself. He is perplexed and horrified by small town life right from the start. The townspeople are rather put off by him as well, except for his receptionist/office assistant Girdy who is sympathetic and Sherriff Royce Callum who finds him interesting. With the help of these two, Maxwell slowly starts to settle into his new town, his new practice, and his new house. Until he finds a dead body in his pool. Thus, the murder mystery begins, and the doctor, of course, becomes the most likely suspect. There is action and twists and turns while Royce tries to find the killer and keep Maxwell safe at the same time. It appears there’s something about Maxwell’s house that is drawing what criminal element there currently is in Rainey Dale. From the beginning, Maxwell and Royce notice they are attracted to each other and embark on a personal relationship that ends up complicated by several things. Royce’s interest in Maxwell, which includes his prickly demeanor, is one of my favorite things to see in a relationship. When some of the worst personality traits can be found endearing, it shows a depth of interest or eventually love that is touching. I enjoyed meeting Maxwell, Royce, and the other interesting characters in Rainey Dale, and I look forward to reading more of their adventures. This story did not end in a cliff hanger, but it did set up the next in the series. I was given a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    Let’s start: The only reason I stood in this smelly hellhole of a town was because I was running, fleeing something too horrible to contemplate: I was a murderer. Wait, what? Most murder mysteries don’t out the culprit right at the beginning, but it is a heck of a way to pique my interest. (Spoiler: it’s not the way it sounds.) I liked Maxwell from the get go: I think people need to be polite mostly to people who are polite in return, so I liked that Maxwell stood his ground in front of town’s unre Let’s start: The only reason I stood in this smelly hellhole of a town was because I was running, fleeing something too horrible to contemplate: I was a murderer. Wait, what? Most murder mysteries don’t out the culprit right at the beginning, but it is a heck of a way to pique my interest. (Spoiler: it’s not the way it sounds.) I liked Maxwell from the get go: I think people need to be polite mostly to people who are polite in return, so I liked that Maxwell stood his ground in front of town’s unrelenting curiosity. The story has an easy, friendly tone and I enjoyed reading it. And then: All I saw at first was a black Stetson and broad shoulders. But as the man entered the room farther, I noticed he was tall and lean with a square jaw and sharp gaze. A gold badge glimmered on his dark blue shirt, and blond hair poked out beneath his hat. Sign me up! I want one of those too! Dry humor and sparks of attraction mark interactions between two men. I wasn’t going to stop reading if someone paid me to do it. The story is told in first person POV switching between Maxwell and Royce. There is a noticeable difference between two voices, and the story has excellent flow. The plot seems shy to appear, waffling back and forth with strange clues paving their way to interesting mystery. There is no hurry: murder, when it happens, brings a neat little twist to the relationship between two men. It both brings them closer and forces them apart. They both struggle to reconcile what has happened and figure out way forward. Romance and mystery plot are well balanced and fed off on one another, developing naturally. It’s not a complicated mystery, but I wasn’t expecting the villain. The book finished with a lead in for another story: looking forward to it. I received copy of this book in exchange for review. The review is also posted on Gay Book Reviews

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mari Cardenas ~ Bayou Book Junkie

    4.5 Stars! Dr. Maxwell Thornton just moved to tiny Rainy Dale, Texas from LA after losing a patient during surgery. Going from surgeon to GP is difficult enough, but having to deal with all the town's people and their illnesses might prove to be more than he can deal with. Especially after one of his most annoying patients ends up dead floating in Maxwell's pool and he is the prime suspect. Frankly, I wasn't too sure what to make of Maxwell at first, he was very standoffish and awkward. It didn't 4.5 Stars! Dr. Maxwell Thornton just moved to tiny Rainy Dale, Texas from LA after losing a patient during surgery. Going from surgeon to GP is difficult enough, but having to deal with all the town's people and their illnesses might prove to be more than he can deal with. Especially after one of his most annoying patients ends up dead floating in Maxwell's pool and he is the prime suspect. Frankly, I wasn't too sure what to make of Maxwell at first, he was very standoffish and awkward. It didn't take me too long to start warming up to him, though, and I ended up loving his quirky personality. I loved that once he was aware that he needed to make a change if he wanted to make it in Rainy Dale, he gave it his all, even if he was still awkward and socially inept. I really liked Royce, although my opinion of him changed and I liked him less after seeing how he treated Maxwell when Ned was found in his pool. I get that he's the sheriff and all, but I would've liked to see him grovel a bit more after Maxwell was in the clear. The chemistry between Maxwell and Royce was amazing and they were very hot together. Even if they were opposites in almost every way, they complemented each other very nicely. The mystery portion of the book was very well done and while some of the culprits were easy to spot, Ms. Wynne had me guessing about the extent of it all until the big reveal. I loved the small town setting and how much the secondary characters enriched the story. Overall, this was a fantastic start to this new series and I'm already salivating for more, especially after the way this book ended. Very recommendable! *** Copy provided to the reviewer for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bo

    Believable Romantic Mystery We do start off this book with a question: How will author Wynne get us to be sympathetic to the main character, Dr. Maxwell Thornton, whose life has been shattered by an innocent mistake made during surgery in his highly acclaimed Los Angeles practice and now seemingly exiled to Rainy Dale, Texas, as a GP to a town of gossips. Like she has in other books of hers (e.g., "The Cowboy and the Pencil Pusher") she has given herself a tough task, but she manages to get around Believable Romantic Mystery We do start off this book with a question: How will author Wynne get us to be sympathetic to the main character, Dr. Maxwell Thornton, whose life has been shattered by an innocent mistake made during surgery in his highly acclaimed Los Angeles practice and now seemingly exiled to Rainy Dale, Texas, as a GP to a town of gossips. Like she has in other books of hers (e.g., "The Cowboy and the Pencil Pusher") she has given herself a tough task, but she manages to get around it in two ways: First, over time the nicer people of Rainy Dale come through and help him mellow his coarse, strictly business, way. Secondly, and most importantly, Sherriff Royce Callum takes an interest in him, and that sets up a narrative of alternating POV chapters which bring these two settled-in-their-ways late 30's gay men into intimate contact as well as deep conflict when a body winds up floating in Maxwell's pool. The mystery that you saw coming is indeed wrapped in the innuendoes that have already been established about the murder victim. But the conflict that ensues when Maxwell becomes, naturally, the murder suspect, sets our romance back a bit...but not disastrously. The interesting thing about this smoothly written and quite enjoyable little romp is that the end comes in the form of a preview of the second murder mystery in the series. The way it's previewed is both unusual and enticing enough that I'll wait around for that one to hit the shelves--and hope that Sherriff Royce is the cover boy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Missy~

    Probably 3.5 stars. This was an enjoyable book, although I feel it could have been so much more. Maxwell is a rigid prickly stand offish doctor, who quits his big city surgeon practice after his first patient death on the operating table. Even though his skills were not at fault, this apparently throws him into such a tailspin that he runs off to the country to be a rural doctor in a tiny town. This seems like a strange response until we get to know a little more about Max and his weird parental Probably 3.5 stars. This was an enjoyable book, although I feel it could have been so much more. Maxwell is a rigid prickly stand offish doctor, who quits his big city surgeon practice after his first patient death on the operating table. Even though his skills were not at fault, this apparently throws him into such a tailspin that he runs off to the country to be a rural doctor in a tiny town. This seems like a strange response until we get to know a little more about Max and his weird parental upbringing. Royce is a hometown boy, who is the town sheriff. Seemingly openly gay, and loved by all. A nice guy who determines that he would like to get to know the handsome uptight Max. There really isn't much angst, plot drauma or delay in the romance. Not insta love, but awfully close. This romance is weaved in between a light mystery where unknown bad guys are vandalizing Max's home/office and escalate into violence with the dead body of a local found floating in Max's swimming pool. The mystery had a few good intriguing whodunit moments. A light read and enjoyable enough that I will probably pick up next in series. There is a cliff-hanger at the end of the book for the segway into the next mystery. But a HFN for Max and Royce.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Enjoyable start to a new series (romance/mystery) I enjoyed the story, characters and the pacing of their relationship building. These characters, particularly the doctor needed the time to adapt to his new circumstances and the possibility that he had a chance at a real relationship and happiness. I would have given it a higher rating if it had a little better proofreading. While overall it is well done there is a passage ,or two, that need help. It is usually very clear whose viewpoint is being Enjoyable start to a new series (romance/mystery) I enjoyed the story, characters and the pacing of their relationship building. These characters, particularly the doctor needed the time to adapt to his new circumstances and the possibility that he had a chance at a real relationship and happiness. I would have given it a higher rating if it had a little better proofreading. While overall it is well done there is a passage ,or two, that need help. It is usually very clear whose viewpoint is being shown and who is speaking... It appears the author got confused briefly. It is isolated and quickly over, so don't let that stop you from reading this story. Oh, by the way it you are offended by same sex couples this might not be the story/author for you. I am looking forward to the next one . There had better be a next one too, because while this is a complete story the ending is both a epilogue and a prologue wrapped in one. Since *warning mild spoiler alert* ,let's just say, this not so sleepy town already has another case to solve.

  22. 5 out of 5

    JenCW

    3.5 stars Maxwell is a surgeon who moves to a small town after his confidence is shaken. He's clearly out of his depth in a town where everyone knows everybody else. Initially, I was worried that I wasn't going to like Maxwell, but he slowly grew on me as he loosens up. The sheriff, Royce, finds himself attracted to the prickly new doctor and helping Maxwell find his footing with the curious townfolk. Neither are really sure what the other man wants, but things get complicated when a dead body is 3.5 stars Maxwell is a surgeon who moves to a small town after his confidence is shaken. He's clearly out of his depth in a town where everyone knows everybody else. Initially, I was worried that I wasn't going to like Maxwell, but he slowly grew on me as he loosens up. The sheriff, Royce, finds himself attracted to the prickly new doctor and helping Maxwell find his footing with the curious townfolk. Neither are really sure what the other man wants, but things get complicated when a dead body is found in Maxwell's pool. I liked how Royce brought out a much more likeable side to Maxwell. His prickly demeanor hides a vulenerable man whose self-confidence was shaken to the core. Their relationship is still in the early stages when the murder occurs, but the things seem to be progressing by the end. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and seeing how their relationship continues to grow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review and that's what they'll get. As usual S.C. Wynne NAILED IT! This book was great. City doctor meets country sheriff. Insecurities, doubts, nosy-nellies and death...this book has it all. Maxwell and Royce take you on a journey of catching a killer while building their relationship (even if they did not know they were doing it). Prepare yourself, get comfy, you'll be sitting for a bit, it was a page turner. Love is in the air....or is it handcuffs ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review and that's what they'll get. As usual S.C. Wynne NAILED IT! This book was great. City doctor meets country sheriff. Insecurities, doubts, nosy-nellies and death...this book has it all. Maxwell and Royce take you on a journey of catching a killer while building their relationship (even if they did not know they were doing it). Prepare yourself, get comfy, you'll be sitting for a bit, it was a page turner. Love is in the air....or is it handcuffs? I can't wait for the next one in this series....WOW! What a ride. LOL Merged review: ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review and that's what they'll get. As usual S.C. Wynne NAILED IT! This book was great. City doctor meets country sheriff. Insecurities, doubts, nosy-nellies and death...this book has it all. Maxwell and Royce take you on a journey of catching a killer while building their relationship (even if they did not know they were doing it). Prepare yourself, get comfy, you'll be sitting for a bit, it was a page turner. Love is in the air....or is it handcuffs? I can't wait for the next one in this series....WOW! What a ride. LOL

  24. 4 out of 5

    Esther Alayeto

    This is a fantastic story and a great start for a new series. Maxwell is a surgeon who leaves LA after losing a patient, his first ever, and moves to the small town of Rainy Dale to become their new GP. When Royce, the sheriff, and Maxwell meet the chemistry is off the charts! As soon as they start getting together, a murder is committed which throws Maxwell right in the middle of the investigation. I have to say I really like how little by little Maxwell starts warming up to Rainy Dale and to i This is a fantastic story and a great start for a new series. Maxwell is a surgeon who leaves LA after losing a patient, his first ever, and moves to the small town of Rainy Dale to become their new GP. When Royce, the sheriff, and Maxwell meet the chemistry is off the charts! As soon as they start getting together, a murder is committed which throws Maxwell right in the middle of the investigation. I have to say I really like how little by little Maxwell starts warming up to Rainy Dale and to its people. Of course Royce had quite a bit to do with that! Overall, it's a well paced story with some angst, a mystery to solve, and great hot & sexy times. The ending leaves me wanting so much more and I am anxiously awaiting the next one! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Maxwell is a high profile surgeon that escapes to a small town after a tragedy occurs. He is trying not very successfully to fit into small town life. He is used to not having to interact with others and likes to keep to himself. When an intruder is in his yard he calls the sheriff to check it out. Royce has lived in the town his entire life. He is interested in the new doctor despite his prickly ways. Hot and sexy mystery. Maxwell is endearing in his awkwardness. I loved how he adapted to fit in Maxwell is a high profile surgeon that escapes to a small town after a tragedy occurs. He is trying not very successfully to fit into small town life. He is used to not having to interact with others and likes to keep to himself. When an intruder is in his yard he calls the sheriff to check it out. Royce has lived in the town his entire life. He is interested in the new doctor despite his prickly ways. Hot and sexy mystery. Maxwell is endearing in his awkwardness. I loved how he adapted to fit in, yet kept his personality. Royce is a sexy alpha. The mystery was interesting and the romance was sweet. Well paced and plotted. The next book is gloriously set up. This is a fantastic start to a new series!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Was OK. City dudes moving to small towns and trying to adjust is usually something I love because of the possibility of hilariously awkward culture shock situations. But most of the interactions here were just awkward. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry between Royce & Maxwell at all. And Royce’s behavior after the dead guy was found just pissed me off and confused me. And the mystery and the framing of Maxwell was not in the least bit believable or even all that interesting. Still, I liked it w Was OK. City dudes moving to small towns and trying to adjust is usually something I love because of the possibility of hilariously awkward culture shock situations. But most of the interactions here were just awkward. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry between Royce & Maxwell at all. And Royce’s behavior after the dead guy was found just pissed me off and confused me. And the mystery and the framing of Maxwell was not in the least bit believable or even all that interesting. Still, I liked it well enough and I’d actually try a second book in the series because I really liked Maxwell and I think Royce would probably not be such a dick should another murder go down in Rainy Dale. Plus, there was a grumpy puppy. Obviously, I need to read more about him.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Faye Kennedy

    4.5 stars.🌟 This one was a goodie. From the start to the finish of this I was glued. A great romance and mystery story. This had me guessing with the why's and who the baddies are. Brilliantly written with both POV's, including hot sexy scenes. Oops it ends with another murder to solve with the next book. I liked Maxwell straight off for his determination to stick it out and stay up to the challenge. 😂he has a lot to learn about small towns.. The story progresses with them getting to know each ot 4.5 stars.🌟 This one was a goodie. From the start to the finish of this I was glued. A great romance and mystery story. This had me guessing with the why's and who the baddies are. Brilliantly written with both POV's, including hot sexy scenes. Oops it ends with another murder to solve with the next book. I liked Maxwell straight off for his determination to stick it out and stay up to the challenge. 😂he has a lot to learn about small towns.. The story progresses with them getting to know each other but a major stoppage was when someone's found dead in Max's pool. Maxwell moved to a small town from LA to be there local GP Doctor. Sheriff, Royce 39 yrs hits it of with Max straight away.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sae

    Unnecessary cliffhanger ending (obviously introducing the next case after the current one is resolved) ruined what had been an okay read. As in, up until then, it was decent for light entertainment (which has its place and I do appreciate at times), with a comfortable premise, some sympathetic moments, and not too much sex... but cliffhangers only make me unhappy, not anticipatory--to put it mildly--especially when they're so obviously there as a gimmick, and I don't need that kind of negative e Unnecessary cliffhanger ending (obviously introducing the next case after the current one is resolved) ruined what had been an okay read. As in, up until then, it was decent for light entertainment (which has its place and I do appreciate at times), with a comfortable premise, some sympathetic moments, and not too much sex... but cliffhangers only make me unhappy, not anticipatory--to put it mildly--especially when they're so obviously there as a gimmick, and I don't need that kind of negative emotion in regard to my pleasure reading. So I definitely will not be buying any more in this series, and I'm probably going to be more wary of other books by this author going forward.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Riina Y.T.

    Someone recommended this book so I tried really really hard to like it.... I was ready to drop it after a handful of chapters, mainly because I had a very hard time liking Maxwell. He's rude and seemed constantly irritated, which might be understandable considering his past but it just doesn't make for a charming MC. And I'm all for charming MCs. I have to click or otherwise won't enjoy the story, no matter how fantastic. Maxwell and Royce met early on and started hanging out after a couple of pag Someone recommended this book so I tried really really hard to like it.... I was ready to drop it after a handful of chapters, mainly because I had a very hard time liking Maxwell. He's rude and seemed constantly irritated, which might be understandable considering his past but it just doesn't make for a charming MC. And I'm all for charming MCs. I have to click or otherwise won't enjoy the story, no matter how fantastic. Maxwell and Royce met early on and started hanging out after a couple of pages. It's all good but I just couldn't see any chemistry and wasn't invested in their romance, or the story :(

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dixiecowgirl

    Delightful characters and a murder to solve kept me reading and enjoying this wonderful story. Awesome writing, quirky and sexy MC's and a town full of well written characters. I loved the pace and the story just kinda rolled out at it's own pace that kept me reading far to late last night. Maxwell and Royce have a special connection and it is so much fun watching them work their way toward each other. I am so happy that this is the beginning of a new series with all kinds of possibilities! I wa Delightful characters and a murder to solve kept me reading and enjoying this wonderful story. Awesome writing, quirky and sexy MC's and a town full of well written characters. I loved the pace and the story just kinda rolled out at it's own pace that kept me reading far to late last night. Maxwell and Royce have a special connection and it is so much fun watching them work their way toward each other. I am so happy that this is the beginning of a new series with all kinds of possibilities! I was gifted this book from the author and i freely give my review

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