Thursday, March 28, 2024

Below Grade by Elle Keaton

Below Grade. Reclaimed Hearts Series. Elle Keaton.

A serious health scare forces Martin Purdy to rethink his life. He quits his job, sells his house, and buys a set of fixer-upper cabins on the coast. There’s just one teensy problem. Along with the property comes a very angry man.

Nicholas Waugh had his own scare, bad enough that he slunk back to the crappy town he grew up in. With no home to call his own, he finagles a security gig keeping an eye on a set of vacant cabins. The deal comes with a free one-year lease–and he’s not leaving a day sooner. Not even if the new owner gets down on his knees and begs him.

Okay… maybe if he got down on his knees.

Fifteen years of teaching college freshmen and patience is second nature to Martin. But Nick is giving Martin a run for his money. He’s one suggestive chainsaw sculpture away from justifiable homicide. If that wasn't enough, when he's not infuriated with Nick, Martin finds himself fighting an inappropriate and ridiculous attraction to the much younger man

Everyone in Cooper Springs thinks Nick is crying wolf, but creepy stuff is going on around town and he is the only one paying attention. Human remains found in the forest, and a body dumped on the property he’s in charge of, have Nick on high alert.

Meanwhile, all Martin wants to do is get started on the remodel. Instead, he’s fighting with Nick over things that go bump in the night and losing sleep worrying he’s made a disastrously wrong decision.

Failure is not an option.

What will it take for Nick to let his guard down? What will it take for Martin to admit that age is just a number and Nick is more than man enough for him?

Welcome to Cooper Springs, home to UFO chasers, Sasquatch believers, conspiracy theorists, chainsaw artists, and regular folk just trying to make a living. And, quite possibly, a killer.

Below Grade is second in the Reclaimed Hearts series, set in the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, it is an opposites-attract, age gap, only one bed, grumpy-sunshine, small-town romance, with a little murder.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Reclaimed Hearts series!
For book one, Adverse Conditions, click HERE.
For book three, Red Flagged, click HERE.


Add to Goodreads.


Below Grade by Elle Keaton

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Paperback (US)
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~



Professor Martin Purdy had evolved from an easy-on-the-eyes instructor to a hot silver fox.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second book in the series, and I would definitely recommend that you read them in order, as getting a sense of the place and the people is important in the overall story. By the end of the first book, we knew that the cabins had been sold to an out of towner, and the worry and excitement that the newcomer posed to the town.

Martin Purdy has taken his late aunt's advice and changed everything about his future, thanks to her inheritance, and also a scary heart attack. Now he finds himself in a cold, rather desolate place with a challenge to bring tourists back to town. The friendly locals, well except his lodger, Nick Waugh. We learn quite quickly why fate has been cruel to Nick, but it is amusing watching the whole story play out as Martin does not understand what he could have done to annoy the man.

After these two become housemates due to a freak storm, we get to watch them grow closer and recognise how well they work and play together. It is entertaining to see how Nick copes with his newly found feelings after a life of being considered inadequate by his parents.

As well as the men's romance, we have the ongoing investigations following the body on the bridge and... well, I should say no more! Suffice it to say that policing in this sleepy town is maybe not so easy as the new Chief had expected!



This was a standoff, like Wyatt Earp and his posse, except it was Nicholas Waugh and his chainsaw.


Author Bio

Elle Keaton. Author Imaginator.

ELLE KEATON writes M/M romantic suspense set in the Pacific Northwest with some contemporary romance thrown in. She's passionate about writing inclusive romances with complex characters and a unique sense of place. Her characters start out broken, and maybe they’re still banged up by the end, but they find the other half of their hearts and ALWAYS get their happily ever after.

In 2017 Elle hit the publish button for the first time and hasn't looked back. Being an author is the best job Elle has ever had and now she has over thirty books available for you to read or listen to!

She loves cats and dogs, Star Wars and Star Trek, pineapple on pizza, and has a cribbage habit her husband encourages.

Love always wins, thank you for supporting this indie author!

Connect with Elle Keaton!

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: The Highway to Elle



“Is he going to pay you with pornographic chainsaw art?”


ARC provided by

Gay Romance Reviews Tours & Promo.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Below Grade (Reclaimed Hearts #2) by Elle Keaton to read and review.

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