There was a time in Detective Eagle Woodard’s life that he would like to forget, but Eagle’s past catches up with him and it’s threatening to destroy everything and everyone he holds dear.
Dr. Adam Coulter is recovering from a cancer diagnosis and Adam and Eagle’s relationship is stronger than ever, but the continued disappearance of their son, Michael, overshadows their happiness. A new threat appears in the form of a man Detective Eagle Woodard thought dead. Sergeant Dean Kessler aka ‘The Viking’ is on a mission to destroy his old Black Ops team mate. Secrets held in silence by Eagle for over a decade come to the surface, threatening his relationship with Adam and with Eagle’s family.
Not only is The Viking after Eagle, but when Dean Kessler finds his younger brother is in Albuquerque, he becomes a target for his older brother’s revenge as well. Eagle wants to deal with Dean on his own, but the people who care for Eagle the most aren’t about to let him do this by himself.
The question is, will Eagle be able to keep the worst part of himself locked away or will he need ‘The Skinwalker’ to help him defeat ‘The Viking’?
Author’s Note: This book begins about six months after the end of Book 2 in the Coulter/Woodard series. This is the third planned book in the Coulter/Woodard series. No others are planned at this time, but who knows if the muse will strike. There are secondary characters who might need to have their stories told, but if they do, then the stories will be standalone novels.
PLEASE NOTE: This story contains some scenes of BDSM, drug abuse, and violent death. If these are triggers for you, this book may not be for you.
Book Title: Nightway Chant, Coulter & Woodard 3
Author: M.J. Calabrese
Cover Artist: Jessica Henshall
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense
Trope/s: Murder and mayhem
Themes: Detective and Criminal Profiler
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 60 000 words
This is a trilogy and should be read in order
“Oh, God, Eagle. I wasn’t ready. Grace told me I wasn’t ready, but I thought I was. Oh, God, Eagle! I wasn’t ready to hear those words.” A tearful Dr. Adam Jonathon Coulter-Woodard walked quickly away from the entrance of the LGBTQ Health Clinic. He had circled the desert landscaped courtyard in front of the building by the time Eagle Woodard placed his foot on the last step.
Detective Eagle Woodard stood silent, watching his husband freak out. He knew if he let Adam run off some of his nervous energy then they’d be able to talk. They’d prepared for this moment for six months… or so he thought. Adam saw his psychotherapist, Grace, twice a week, and once a month Eagle joined them for a co-session. After all the trauma his lover had suffered in his life and the revelations of the past few years, in Eagle’s opinion, his mercurial husband needed all the help he could get.
He watched as Adam flopped down on a concrete bench and he buried his shaking head in his hands. Eagle rolled his eyes at the dramatics. He’d married a diva. He’d known that from the start, but couldn’t the man, for once, be normal? Eagle sighed and turned as he heard footsteps on the walkway behind him. Rick Kessler’s face told him everything he needed to know and the large, white envelope in his hand confirmed it. It would contain test results and a referral to an outside physician. Rick made too much money for the Center’s programs. He could see the younger man trying to hold it together, but the closer he got to Eagle the more his face crumpled.
Eagle opened his arms and Rick walked into the embrace, burying his face against his partner’s shoulder as he started to cry. Eagle reached up, stroking Rick’s soft, blond hair, swaying side to side, trying to soothe him. Rick didn’t have to say the words, he knew his friend was HIV positive. The tears subsided and the younger man pulled back. “I swear, I haven’t been with that many guys in my life, but of course one of them had to be positive. Eagle…” His words failed him as he fell back into his former lover’s arms.
As Eagle held the younger man, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. It was an old warning. He hadn’t felt something this strong in a very long time. Raising his eyes, he checked the perimeter, but nothing seemed amiss. Only a lone coyote trotted across the street, turning for an instant to look at him before moving on. The feeling grew stronger and he knew they were being watched by a hostile. His time in Special Ops had helped him hone this sixth sense. Slowly, tilting his head, he glanced up at the parking garage across the street. For a fleeting instant, he thought he saw a ghost, a Ch’íindii, but then he blinked and there was nothing there. He had a sick feeling in his stomach. Something was here. Something formidable and this feeling was a harbinger, a warning to him to be very careful because death was close by.
Rick turned his head as he looked over at Adam then he snickered. “I knew he’d react like that when he got the news. He’s a fucking drama queen.” He looked up at Eagle, “And I knew you’d be a rock. You always are.” Again, he dropped his head. “My life is over, Eagle. I’ve fucked up one last time and my life is over.”
Eagle laughed, “Now who’s being a drama queen. Your doctor will get you started on meds if you need them. You’ll have a normal life span, Rick. It’s not like it used to be.”
He felt Rick’s shoulders droop a little further, “But the job…”
“You’d be surprised how many on the force are positive and a number of them aren’t gay, by the way. If you don’t tell anyone, all this information is confidential, and no one needs to know.”
Again, Rick stepped back, but this time he started to walk away. Eagle took a few hurried steps and caught up with him, grabbing his arm. Suddenly, Rick whirled around, bringing his hands up, he captured Eagle’s face between his palms and kissed him passionately. Eagle took hold of his former lover’s hands and brought them down between them as he broke the kiss. “I don’t want to be alone, Eagle, please….” Just then Eagle’s phone rang. The Detective snatched it from his pocket and was surprised to see the name of the caller on the screen. He took the call as he turned away from Rick.
“Detective Woodard, you’d better get to Presbyterian’s ER. Your son was just admitted, and his asshole boyfriend is trying to get him out of here. He’s in bad shape. Someone’s beaten him half to death. Hurry.”
Okay, I wasn’t ready for this one. I wasn’t ready for it to be over, because I liked these two men together, although they could be a total hot mess together. I wasn’t ready for some of the stuff that happened…but hey it’s been happening the previous two books, so this was nothing new. lol And I really wasn’t prepared for some of the new secrets that were revealed.
One of those secrets caused Eagle’s father to turn away from him, which was hard to read, because these two men really thought the world of each other. However, that’s real life…sometimes we have done things in our past, that people just cannot forgive or forget, at least not in the short term.
Once again, someone is after one of our two MC’s. This time, it’s Eagle, and he has a serial killer/former lover after him. Taking him down was not easy, and I have to give the author MAJOR props, because wow, it was pretty damn brilliant how it all happened. *small spoiler here* In fact, Adam had a plan that I naively didn’t even realize was happening. That man was wicked smart, and knew how to play his cards at both ends. I didn’t know until the very end. Damn.
Rick Kessler…I have a bone to pick about him a little. He’s best friends with the MC’s in this book now, having become Eagle’s partner. Rick and Adam go on spa dates, etc. And Rick realizes he can’t have Eagle, he’s fine with that. Then he kind of thinks he wants Adam, but he can’t have him, he’s fine with that. Then when they are dealing with Dean, Rick’s serial killer brother, Adam is away for his safety (and plan), and Eagle and Rick are basically living together, and Rick makes moves on Eagle again. It just wasn’t cool, and I didn’t see why that needed to even be a thing. It was basically “Adam’s away, he won’t know, let’s just have a little fun”. No, just no. You can’t be best friends, and do that.
There are still so many secrets between these guys even at the end. Some of them are revealed (yeah Michelle!), some are still not (Carlos and his “training”). I have a hard time figuring they might stay together with all those secrets, but hey, it’s fiction, so yeah for HFN! 🙂
Nice to see that we may get some follow up romances with the couples that were finding their way to each other during the book.
4 pieces of eye candy
My mother now regrets her fateful words she offered the day I came home from our small town library in Palm Springs, California (yes, I’m a Cali girl) complaining that there were no more books to read. “Then why don’t you write some.”
My father never saw his old Remington portable until I entered college and they gifted me an IBM Selectric. By then I had produced at least two dozen unpublishable novels which make me cringe when I read them today.
I found inspiration in innumerable odd jobs (from migrant work as a Date palm pollinator to the person who cleans the washing machines at the launderette to professional Dominatrix) for stories. After a stint in Rehab for Alcohol and Heroin abuse (so when I write those scenes, I know what I’m talking about), I cleaned up and have stayed that way for 29 years. (Me and Sir Elton, LOL). My gypsy lifestyle gave me a unique perspective on the different people who inhabited the Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico areas where I have lived.
After 3 very bad marriages to men, I finally figured out what was wrong and fell in love with a woman when I lived in Portland, OR 23 years ago. We’ve been married since 2008 (yes it was legal in California at that time). We now live in Asheville, NC and love the people in this liberal and accepting corner of the mountains of North Carolina.
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