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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes, the most dangerous animals are the ones you let inside.

When a man hires Emery Hazard to track down a teenager who, he claims, robbed him, Hazard isn’t convinced. The story has holes in it, and the client seems eager—too eager—to keep the authorities from getting involved. But Hazard is willing to play along; he suspects something much darker is going on, and he wants to know what it is.

Then his husband, John-Henry Somerset, connects the boy in question to an ongoing suspicious death investigation, and both men realize they’ve stumbled upon something much more complicated. There are too many loose threads: missing money, stolen jewelry, a husband back from the dead, and a string of violent assaults on men paying for sex. And there are too many people with their own agendas.

After Hazard’s client turns up dead, though, the pressure is on. The killer isn’t done yet, and the closer Hazard and Somers come to unearthing the connection between the victims, the greater the danger. They find themselves in a race to uncover the truth before another victim is claimed—and, if Somers is really lucky, in time for him to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day.

©2022 Gregory Ashe (P)2022 Gregory Ashe

What listeners say about Domestic Animals

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm so involved with these characters.

So I have read these Hazard and Somerset stories from the beginning and I'm here for it. However, I'm the first to admit that it can be somewhat cringe worthy at times. Only because I could see this being someone's real life so I feel like I'm invested in a dramatic reality show. Which I'm not a fan of reality shows but I love these characters.

The mystery part of it is not always straight forward and I can't always say this or that person is the killer or guilty party. I think that is just part of what has me addicted to these stories.

Coming from my family I cannot relate to Colt's behavior at all. We would never be allowed to speak to our parents like that or behave the way he does or people would have been waking up looking at the roof of a church and people giving the family their condolences for the loss of our lives. But again this is a fictional story and apparently some kids do talk to their parents that way.

The bottom line is that these characters are so well written and so believable that even if I wanted to I could not stop reading or listening to these Hazard and Somerset stories. This book was no exception. It is an excellent addition to the series.
Great story and great narration.

2 people found this helpful

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I cannot get enough

I cannot get enough of Hazard and Somerset. First off. Hazard being the overprotective dad towards Cole and Evie makes my insides explode with feelings. I cannot handle it. Everything about this book was satisfying. The way Hazard and Somerset are maturing as adults and in their relationship is everything. Great mystery. I love all the twists and turns. Great ending.

Tristan James's voice is top notch as always. So deep and sexy. A+++

2 people found this helpful

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  • WW
  • 05-13-22

Will our boys be able to celebrate Valentine's Day

A man shows up at Astraea, claiming his wallet was stolen by a young man he hooked up with. Hazard believes the man is actually a sex-trafficker and takes the case, if only to expose his operation and shut it down. Nico is a mess, and Emery doesn’t know what to do.
On the home front, Colt is devastated. For some reason, Ashley won’t talk to him anymore, and poor John-Henry is stuck running interference between Hazard, and Mini-Hazard.
At the Wahredua Police Department, things for John-Henry haven’t gotten any better. Dulac is a train wreck waiting to happen. Keller is a racist bully. Palomo is a climber, who doesn’t care who she steps on to get ahead. And Yarmark follows the new Chief around like a duckling.
And, there is a murder to solve. Betty Ackerman was found dead at the foot of her stairs, but it was no accident.

Could Tristan James possible be better? He's an absolute gem! Love his work!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Somers-focused story

I thought this book was fine? There's a lot going on and things are reaching a boiling point for John-Henry as the new chief of police. We see what's going on from his point-of-view this book and how he's handling (or not handling) everything in his life. He's still getting used to his new job and the expectation that brings - including the fact that he can't be everyone's buddy anymore since he's the boss. He's got to deal with all his subordinates and the weird dynamic he has with them now. On top of that, Somers has to deal with his husband being a private investigator who does whatever it takes to solve a case - including breaking the law. Then there's his new teenage son they've recently taken in that comes with all its usual teenage angst and drama. Not to say we don't get Hazard's POV chapters or the usual tangle of mysteries for our favorite characters to solve, but this is a very Somers's focused book. I love Somers, so this is fine.

Content notes include homomisia, violence, attempted murder, alcoholism, mentions of emotional abuse, and death.

I waited until the audiobook came out for this before reading it and luckily it wasn’t a long wait at all! I've really enjoyed Tristan James’s narration throughout this series, and he really brings these characters to life (and maybe makes me hate some characters less than I would if I first read them in text).

So, the story starts out with Hazard getting a new client, but said client (Maurice Trapp) is LYING through his teeth, and obviously now Hazard has to know why.

Nico is working as Hazard’s admin assistant and I think it’s fun how much we’ve seen Nico grow throughout this series because now I do like him and can appreciate just how intelligent he really is. He might not have been a good romantic partner for Hazard, but he was never meant to be with Hazard anyways so that’s okay. Now, though, I do actually really want Nico to be happy and find his special someone. Nico is going THROUGH it this story arc, and obviously what happened between him and the incident with the Keeper of Bees messed with his head a lot, so I only wish him the best.

One relationship that does endlessly baffle me is Dulac and Darnell. What is their deal? I just don’t understand them at all, and whatever Dulac is suddenly going through in this book? Is his change of character here just to make Somers reflect on how he used to be in the old days before Hazard? I really just don’t get what’s going on with Dulac and why Darnell keeps putting up with him. If there was one relationship and a set of characters I just don’t understand out of all the books I’ve read from Gregory Ashe, I think Dulac and Darnell are on that same level of the confusion scale for me as Emmett and Jim (from the Hollow Folk/Flint and Tinder series). I don't know which is worse. I just don’t get it, and I am not sold.

Then there’s Colt. He’s still a bundle of teenage emotion and angst and he’s lost his best friend Ashley in this book due to unknown teenage reasons. We find out why later, but the whole thing is kind of weird because they were inseparable one moment, and then everything seemed to be over the next. But I guess this is the part of the story where Colt needed to befriend some other boys at school, where everything winds up coming full circle with Hazard’s lying client, and the dead body Somers winds up investigating with Dulac and Dulac's new detective partner, Yolanda Palomo. From a relationship standpoint between whatever Colt and Ashley have, I don’t think their breakup made all that much sense, but in this case it pushed Colt into befriending some boys Hazard CAN’T scare the bejeesus out of and somehow tying them all into a murder investigation…then it makes sense, I suppose.

Hazard and Somers’s relationship in this book is rocky. And like I said earlier, a bit of a boiling point. Obviously, Hazard is very particular and meticulous and this is something Somers loves about his husband. But from Somers’s POV too, he wants downtime from work and responsibility, but the thing is he hasn’t been able to find time to just relax and it’s messing him up. Hazard is maybe not the best guy for relaxation and downtime. The man is always working or thinking about work. He watches his documentaries with his thinking cap ON. But Somers's bad mood is putting Hazard into a bit of a mood too. I do like their A-HA moment where they finally talk things over and everything starts calming back down between them. I think it’s sweet to see Hazard be the one to talk Somers off that cliff this time, as it were, and we can see how great they are together even after reading about this for so many books. And now that I think about it, there’s…no sex scenes between Hazard and Somers in this book? Is that the first time since they’ve gotten together where NOTHING has happened? They really are married with children now.

The mystery itself has a lot of moving parts and a lot of characters, and figuring what the dead ends were and what are actually clues. Overall, I really enjoyed the mystery in this one and the twist that came with it at the end. It really had me guessing what went down because EVERYONE was acting so suspicious it was hard to narrow it down.

However, I do find this entire story arc to be confusing. Like, what is the endgame here? It’s such a turn from what we had in the last story arc where we KNEW that the end goal was catching whoever was the Keeper of Bees. We don’t have that here. Even the first story arc while we were getting to just know Hazard and watching him and Somers get together in the slowest of all slow burn romances, Hazard was still searching for the cause behind Jeff Langham’s death. Here, it’s a bit more muddled for me with no real overarching question to solve. Sure, there’s Hazard and Somers suddenly having to learn to be parents to a teenager, but there’s really nothing BIG on the mystery-front. And I think that's what I'm missing from this story arc right now that I really want back.

I’m really curious what the next two books are supposed to be about because I have no idea how this series really all ties together. I guess we'll see!

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love the series

Love Tristians s narration always on point. Love the series as always Gregory's great.

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The Vectors of Happiness

ARC received. Review follows.
Book three in this series gives the reader a new opportunity to measure the forces at play in the Hazard-Somerset relationship. The odds are not good. Colt is a boundless jerk, generically explained by him being a teen. His demons drag him in the weirdest corners, building almost unbelievable connections with people he hardly knows, and almost getting killed in the process. Somers is burnt out. The combination of job, parental pressure, love life, creates a dangerous force that drags him closer and closer to the brink, or at least to the old ways. What now? Hazard is there to pick him up and encourage him, quietly giving him space. But the question stands: for how long will this situation stand? Any disequilibrium, any brisk movement from Hazard (or from others) can make their world crumble. I don’t know — as a fan of the series, and of Hazard — what to believe towards the pilling on Hazard of all emotional labor. This is so close to the traps of a hetero relationship, it becomes a challenge to see how the author will decide to solve it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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My Hazard! What is happennig?

Audiobook - 4 stars

story - 3.35 stars

Going into this one with very low expectations really helped me. This series is really turning into something else, I hope GA will do a 180. We have come so far, Hazard and Somers deserve better.

Characters

Hazard!! Oh lawd! What happened? I know people change but Hazard is just ugh! he is becoming an angry cringe hulk character. The Hazard I used to know, is a sweet grumpy loving kind man. He is constantly angry, can't even hold a descent conversation without turning into a hulk. And he has become so mean.

Somers! Oh boy, he is another one who has changed. Somers has been reduced to a referee, just a person who is there to calm Hazard down and intervene between him and Colt. It feels like he is just there to please the two. Which I think is unfair to him. The smiling, annoying lovable Somers is gone. His work life is exhausting and instead of finding peace at home he comes back to hulk and an annoying teenager. I feel sorry for him.

Colt - what an annoying, entitled teenager. Why is he even here? I feel like his character is stuck, no growth at all. He is also taking up so much space in these books.

Dulac - Should have been killed off.

Theo and Auggiiieee!! Awww. I hope GA doesn't ruin you guys. You are my only hope.

Evie - she needs more page, I guess Colt is taking up the pages but she deserves more.

Mystery
The mystery kept me glued till the end. It was very interesting and kept me glued until the end. Loved the little twists and turns. I was looking forward to this more than the home lives.

Overall! I wish I liked it more but I can't ignore all the annoying things.

A copy of the Audiobook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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My favorite in this series!!

This was my favorite in this series! I absolutely loved how much Hazard and Somers have grown as a couple. I don’t think I’ve read another series with one couple were they grow so much and so believable. Neither really changed they just matured. It’s done so good! I just love this author’s writing! The case was great too which again is another reason why this author is one of the best! The narrator did great as always!! Can’t wait for the next book!

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Read & Listen

I love to read these stories. I can't wait to see the new mystery, the growth in the characters, and the all around mess that is Hazard. I seriously love Hazard! But to listen to Tristan James give live to Hazard - le sigh! It's such a great thing. I grab each of these stories as they come out. I was just thinking should I start from the beginning again. They are just that good! You won't be disappointed.

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Fantastic continuation to this series

absolutely love these characters, the author brings them alive with each book. thank you.

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 06-20-22

Enjoyable Story

A well written story with and interesting  concept.  The characters are likeable and the narration is very good.

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  • L.D.
  • 05-11-22

Love It!

Hazard and John Henry never fail to completely and utterly grab my attention and keep me hooked until the very end of the book. Domestic Animals is full of deadly intrigue mixed with greed, lies, and a mystery full of twists and turns. While solving the case, Hazard and Somerset have to also work on their own relationship and keeping their son safe. There’s so much raw emotion and human fallacies - Hazard and Somerset have to work for all their happiness. Gregory Ashe does such a fantastic job of balancing angst and grit with tenderness and humor. I loved this book so much.

The audiobook was well done and I could hardly put it down. I highly recommend it.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 04-01-22

Another mystery

I’m never quite sure where each Hazard and Somerset book will take me. Dark places? Sure. Morally repugnant characters? Pretty much guaranteed. Shocked? Well, yeah, that too.

Hazard’s upstart detective agency is always in need of clients, so when one comes along whose story is dubious, Hazard takes the job, but has his suspicions. Those suspicions are confirmed when the guy turns up dead. On Hazard’s turf. The more he digs, the more he discovers things are not as they seem. But when are they ever?

Somerset, meanwhile, is dealing with disgruntlement in his ranks. He’s the chief, but his authority is forever being contested and Dulac’s drinking problem isn’t helping matters. Can John-Henry be both a friend and a boss to his former partner? And of course Somers’ father is making a pest of himself. Every time the man shows up, my hackles rise. I must insert a note that Tristan James’s portrayal of the man is perfect. His voice for the loathsome creature puts me on edge. As it should.

When it becomes clear Hazard and Somerset are looking for the same person (or persons), they team up again. People around them are in danger. I was never quite sure who was a good guy and who was a bad guy. Motives were suspect as well. And, finally, their foster son Colt became entangled with new kids while on the outs with his ‘friend’ Ashley. That hurt my heart because I know Colt and Ashley are so good together. Even if just as friends.

Eventually things wrapped up. I didn’t see the killer coming, Or killers. I didn’t foresee this dénouement. And, of course, I got a satisfactory ending, although even that was in question. Somers was definitely off his game. But the men are happy. Apparently there are at least two more books in the series, so I’ll keep enjoying them.. And, another plug for Tristan James – he’s made for these books and I adore his narration of them. Worth a listen.

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  • WallE
  • 03-27-22

Hazard and Somerset rock

I was given this audiobook as an advanced listener.

We have a complex murder mystery to tangle with; one in which I get changing my mind as to who did what and wondering if I should feel sympathetic towards any of the main suspects. Once again you wonder why people have children and also how they don't understand that belittling others, and acquiring more and more material things won't make you any happier.

So, that storyline alone would have kept me interested but we also get the backdrop of Hazard and Somerset's everyday life, which it can be argued is still messy but I would argue not as painful as the other books in the series. We see growth for Somerset, Hazard and Colt, both as a family but also as individuals. Best of all you can't miss out on Hazard giving advice on how to maintain relationships. You may laugh but you see him demonstrate this in how he supports Somerset as he works out if he has what it takes to be police chief or is he going to continue being other people's puppet of punchbag.

Chapter 22 and the final chapter have been added to my list of comfort reads as they contain some of hardest but most beautiful moments in the book. Aah, the power of love. Gregory Ashe I salute you and Tristan James' you nailed the narration as always.