Mission: Without a Trace (Brantley Walker: Off the Books) – ARC Review

53413145._SY475_Mission: Without a Trace
by Nicole Edwards
Release Date:  June 23, 2020
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #2 in the Brantley Walker: Off the Books series
Number of Pages: approx.. 250
Kindle Edition
Source:  ARC from author
Contemporary Romance M/M
Rating:  XXX
Read  6/15/20 to 6/17/20


Their first official case as a task force doesn’t take Brantley Walker and Reese Tavoularis far from home.

Getting right down to business, the Off the Books task force prioritizes a case of a fifteen-year-old girl who went missing nine years earlier from the same small town they grew up in: Coyote Ridge, Texas. While it appears she vanished without a trace, they soon find themselves uncovering disturbing evidence that points directly to someone the town once trusted.

While Brantley and Reese set out to find closure for the girl’s family, they’re on a bumpy ride of their own. Not only are they embarking on new careers, they are also venturing into uncharted territory as far as their relationship goes.

The author promised not to keep us waiting between these stories, and she delivered. Thank you, Nicole Edwards! I absolutely adored Mission: All In so was beyond excited to learn the next installment of the Brantley Walker: Off the Books series would be released a month later. Now, I don’t expect the author to keep up this pace. After all, she has other series and stories to tell. But with this series being a bit different than a lot of her others (following the same couple throughout) I’m glad she gave us two in quick succession. (Note: I can think of one a couple other times she wrote about the same love interests in a series of books with them being the main characters throughout. The Unhinged series, which were written under the name Timberlyn Scott, and the first two stories in the Office Intrigue series. All books I highly recommend.)

Early on in this story, Reese did something to really tick me off. Part of me understood where he was coming from, but it was a real jerk move and I honestly didn’t know how much I’d enjoy this book if that was the way Reese was going to act throughout. I love the man, but he has a lot to work through. Again, I also understand this on a certain level. And thank goodness Brantley, for the most part, understands Reese’s motivation, too. He doesn’t like it and he doesn’t sit back and take it when he feels slighted. But he does understand.

I’m still feeling the connection between Brantley and Reese and really like that they are slowly opening up more and more about their pasts. I have a feeling we’re going to find out things about Reese’s time in the military that will be shocking and unexpected. In the grand scheme of things, neither of them care that they don’t know all of the nitty-gritty details of each other’s military service. They understand each other on a level that the details aren’t needed.

The team is coming together, and this is their first official case. They, of course, need more bodies to do an effective job. I think that aspect of this continuing story is going to be a lot of fun. As it is, we meet Baz, a detective on the Austin police force. I instantly was a fan and cannot wait to see if the obvious chemistry between Baz and JJ goes anywhere.

There’s a lot of lead up to the action in this story, but the story is not slow. It just goes into hyper-drive once the action part kicks in. There’s action, suspense, heartache, and joy. Boom, boom, boom. One after the other. There’s also humor as the team starts to realize they need an actual official name…and some specific gear. So fun!

Despite the problems Brantley and Reese go through as they are solving their first official case, they are navigating to the next level in their relationship. I’m fully invested in watching it unfold.

5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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