Return to Cooter Crossing (Stories from Bennett Bay) by Stephen del Mar #mm #review @StephendelMar

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Aidan Quinn is having a good day, possibly the best day of his life, at least since moving to Dublin. He just received word that his degree committee approved his PhD and he’s on his way home, with lamb chops, chard, and a bottle of wine. Time to celebrate in the little cottage he shares with his mentor and lover, Dr. David Stokes. But, something is wrong when he gets home. Dr. Stokes has found a new student to “mentor.”

Like any good Irish-American lad, he gets drunk and heads home to his mother. He hopes to find himself and make plans for a new future in the quiet backwater town of Cooter Crossing. But, he forgot what it’s like being part of a large family in an extremely small town. He gets off the plane in Tampa and finds his little sister is pregnant and won’t tell anyone who the father is. His next two older brothers, Danny and Dillon, are keeping secrets, and the oldest, Rory, shows up with his son, Sean, expecting Aidan to help him navigate Sean’s coming out.

Just as Aidan thinks he’s finally getting ahead of the family drama, and settling back into life in a small Florida village, someone shoots him. And people start dying. Will he find a way to put all the pieces back together? Will he find a new direction for his life? And, what really happened to Mrs. DeWitt’s prize rooster?

“Return to Cooter Crossing” is a contemporary southern family drama with strong characterization and set in Stephen del Mar’s rich world of Bennett Bay and Big Cypress County, Florida. Although not a part of the paranormal series “The Live Oak Tales,” this story takes place after the events in “Hunter Moon and the Red Wolf” and includes a few familiar characters from that series, such as Innes Callahan and his sister Fi, Allen Clark, Deputy JJ Jackson, Max Crawford and Marcus Murphy, among others. addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16April's Showering Words

Aidan is crawling home heartbroken after 10 yrs, with his mentor/lover arranges for him to walk in on him with his new younger protégé.   Aidan finds his stuff packed up with his passport and plane ticket sitting on the table.  So he goes to a friend’s house for the night gets drunk and is still drunk the next day when he boards the plane for home.  In typical small town southern style his life just gets more interesting when he arrives back in Cooter Crossing.  His sister is pregnant, and refuses to say who the father is.  Three older brothers are having troubled family lives.  The oldest wants Aidan to help by walking his nephew through the pitfalls of being a gay teenager.

Through all of the family drama Aidan is trying to come to terms with his own life.  He goes out to find that people  he thought were his friends aren’t.  His first love was some kind of abuser to other people.   He meets s deputy, and feels such a physical and emotional draw that he is scared of what that means.  He is just out of a hurtful relationship.   Aidan is drawn in to a local dig site by family friends.  Shortly there after people start turning up dead.  Aidan gets shot, and nephew  Sean is almost killed by mistake.  As the body count rises to 4, Aidan is now having PTSD type reactions when he’s around to many people. Or he gets over stressed .

When he decides to take in twin boys, because their parents were both murdered,  Aidan has his doubts but feels it is the right was for him to go.  These are this first loves children after all.

Can his new love accept Aidan and the children? Will they find out why people are gunning fir Aidan.

I found this book very entertaining,  Aidan was a very complex character,  he went through the full range of emotions learning more and more about himself and a working family.   JJ is Aidan co-star he is younger and has his own issue’s to work through.  As the supportive family members help these two work out there issues.  A strong feeling of family just pulls you in.


4 stars

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