• The Same End

  • The Lamb and the Lion, Book 3
  • By: Gregory Ashe
  • Narrated by: J.F. Harding
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (93 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Teancum Leon is pretty sure that if he plays his cards right, he can have it all: his childhood friend and former lover, Ammon Young; his best friend (although Tean is loath to admit it), Jem Berger; and his family. A boyfriend might even be in his future, although he’s having a heck of a time getting a second date with the guys he meets on Prowler. 

Then the key suspect in a murder investigation asks to speak with Jem, overturning the precarious balance Tean has worked to maintain. A girl Jem knew in childhood is dead, and the man believed to have killed her was one of Jem’s tormentors at Decker Lake Juvenile Detention Center. Antonio Hidalgo insists he is innocent, and he begs Jem to find the real killer, a man Jem knows very well, the man who masterminded his torture at Decker: Tanner Kimball. 

When Jem decides to check out Antonio’s story, Tean insists on helping. Their search takes them into Utah’s high desert, a land of redrock cliffs and hoodoo stones. But everything changes when they find a dead man in a remote canyon. He carries Tanner’s wallet, but the body has been disfigured, making identification difficult - if not impossible. Jem is convinced that the scene has been staged, and he’s determined to find Tanner and make him pay for the bodies in his wake. 

Warnings begin piling up from the chief of police, the sheriff, a Bureau of Land Management special agent, even a Utah Highway Patrol trooper. Everyone wants Tean and Jem to understand that it’s in their best interest to go back to Salt Lake before they dig any deeper. A shipment of illegal drugs - several million dollars’ worth - might be the motive. But Tean and Jem begin to suspect that something else is driving events: a motive darker and stronger than money. Learning the truth, though, will take both men on a collision course with the past.

©2021 Gregory Ashe (P)2021 Gregory Ashe

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Squeee!

FINALLY. FINALLY. FINALLY. That's really all I have to say.

Although, I still have such a bad feeling about. Ammon. I love Tean and Jem. They are one of my all-time favorite couples. Their banter makes me actually laugh out loud. I cannot wait for the next series!

JF Harding is my favorite narrator. His voice is sooooooooooo good. If you haven't listened to JF before, get on that right away.

3 people found this helpful

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What A ride!!

Audiobook and Story - 4.5 stars

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other. - Ecclesiastes 3:19"

Book 3 - Adventures of Amateur Sleuths, Tean and Jem and it delivered.

The Character

Like all the other Greg books, we have complex characters. Tean- I love this Vet. He is so loyal, lovable and everythin in between. I love how his mind works and the way he just blurts out thing that can go on and on and ooon! I can never get bored when it comes to Tean. In this book we get to see Tean find himself. Letting go off things that he held dearly that keeps him from experiencing life to the fullest. I loved this soooo much.

Jem- Oh boy! I didn't expect that!! Jem my beautiful, kindhearted, loyal drifter. I really didn't need to read all that. His past broke my tiny peanut heart. I am so happy the way it was handled. It wouldn't be Greg's writing without the grit. Jem has grown so much as a character. I love Tean's influence on him. Together they make the best hilarous combo.

"Sighing, Jem took Tean by the shoulders, turned him back toward the lobby, and gave him a gentle push. “Go home, please. Give Scipio extra treats for me.”
“I’m not going home. I’m going to wait here until I know they’re not trying to do something to you.”
“Like probe me anally,” Jem said.
“Like—no, not like that. What in the world is wrong with you?"

Love these two.

Scipio - Best supporting character ever.

The Mystery
Woooo! This was intense. It had something to do with Jems past. GAAAHH!! I wanted to jump into the book and strangle everyone except Tean and Jem, ooh and Scipio. The rest can go to the depths of purgatory. I enjoyed the way the inestigation was done. So many twists that kept me glued and looking for clues. Kudos Greg. Jem got his revenge. Me lovey so much.

The Relationship
Dear Lawd!! The freaking wait was worth it. Good thing they were already best friends/normal friends according to Tean. Thes two fit together.

Ammon! He doesn't desrve anything. UGGHH!! Go away!

Overall, I had a good time wlistening to this book. JF Harding owns the narration and took me to places I've never been.

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


3 people found this helpful

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Epic conclusion

From my original review: Here it is—the conclusion to the absolutely fabulous, heart-wrenching, fast-paced, both hilarious and solemn, The Lamb and the Lion mystery series by Gregory Ashe.

J.F. Harding continues to deliver on this beautiful mystery trilogy and his interpretation of the main and supporting cast of characters elevates this from a great audiobook to a remarkable production. Well done, Harding!

1 person found this helpful

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  • jj
  • 01-08-22

Did you know there is this newfangled contraption called the cell phone and it has a record feature?

I'm not yet done with the final installment of the series, And don't get me wrong, I really love it. But I feel compelled to pause and write this mini review just to ask a question that I've asked myself over and over and over again from the very beginning of the series. Why oh why oh why has Jem not recorded Any of Ammon's horrible bullying verbal attacks on him when Tean is not around? I pretty much scream that question to the heavens every time 10 bus out with that other horse shit that goes a little something like, "trust me, you don't know him. he means well. he's a good guy... Because I'm no expert, but Ammon is NOT a good guy in any sense of the word. Get him the EFF out of here post haste, Before I fly into a psychotic rage and eat my phone.

1 person found this helpful

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LOVED

I felt like with each book this series just got better and better. I hope there will be more.

This book in particular just drove the point home how great Tean and Jem were together. I adore them!

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Clever, witty, delightful

Ash is the best mystery writer (with gay characters) I have come across and Harding is the perfect reader for this series. I wish the adventures of this fascinating couple would continue for many more volumes.

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Great story. Great narration.

There were so many feelings in this book. So many. I wanted to give Jem a big hug for learning to read, overcoming trauma that no one should have to experience, and getting back up every time he gets knocked down.

This was an amazing story with excellent narration.

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The best of the series!

This book did me in. This book does end with an uplifting enough HFN where it doesn't seem like a cliffhanger, but at the same time it was like the joy got sucked out of me. This story goes to some very, very dark places and this might be THE Gregory Ashe book that had me sobbing the most? And that's saying something since the likes of the Hollow Folk series and the DuPage Parish Mysteries are also what I would consider very, very dark reads. I mean, all of his books contain a certain level of angst, but remember how I felt about the despair of the first book in this series - The Same Breath? This is that times 100. I was thankfully reminded that there IS a short story that takes place after this book in a short story book collection, which I will definitely check out because I definitely need to see Jem and Tean be happy and feasting on McDonalds or something to make up for this ending.

Content notes include sexual harassment, mentions and graphic description of rapes, assault, emotional abuse, manipulation, ableism, mutilation, mentions of animal cruelty, violence, PTSD, police corruption, homomisia, death, and depression.

This book is about people from Jem's past who comes back to haunt him. He met these guys back when he was in Decker, a group home. There have been small mentions about the likes of Tanner, Blake, and Antonio in the previous books, enough for readers to guess what they did to Jem. But in this book, it gets very, very graphic. So, do take care when reading this book and put it down if it gets to be too much. Because this is a LOT.

The mystery aspect of this book is confusing, because there's so many moving parts and people, and lies. And when you're trying to balance all that out with the love triangle (but not really because we knew the entire time who's the endgame here), then there's a lot going on at the same time. Even though I got confused between all the cops and detectives (or whoever) was getting tangled up in this mess, the climactic scene at the end is INTENSE. Very dark, very frightning for Jem and Tean, and just...a lot. This book has a lot of violence and death in it.

You might think, "hey, maybe Ammon wises up and is less evil now that he's come out." BUT NO. He's still awful to Jem and quite manipulative towards Tean. Sure, he's their contact with the cops when it comes to solving these mysteries (and quite frankly, doing Ammon's job for him every single time). But Ammon hiding behind JUST being diagnosed as a "sex addict" isn't the full story and until he gets help from a therapist that can unpack his anger management and abusive nature, I'm going to need him to back off and stay away. Ammon has been so awful this entire series, but seeing him manipulate Tean's family into thinking he's some great guy is THE WORST. The absolute breaking point for me (and thankfully Tean as well) is when Ammon wouldn't take no as an answer until Tean literally ran from him because of commotion with Jem, and then Ammon not letting Tean have his glasses back and proceeding TO BREAK THEM? That was the LAST STRAW. It was so heartbreaking because who breaks someone else's glasses except a complete and utter menace? I thought Tucker from the Borealis Investigations books was the most abusive person ever, but NOPE. Here I present Ammon. They would be friends.

This puts into perspective that anytime there's a sexual scene (even if it's just a kiss), Jem ALWAYS asks Tean for consent. Which is growth from the uncomfortable hugs Jem was always pulling Tean into in the last book. It's been interesting how this book and the relationship between these two men is somewhat backwards than how most romance books play out. There were probably more sex scenes in the first book? And then Jem and Tean became best friends (or JUST normal friends as Tean would say), and then they FINALLY learned to love one another for real.

Tean might've come out to his friends and family many years ago, but he's never really had the support of his family and his closest friend was always Ammon, who used him for his own gain without any consideration for Tean's feelings. So, obviously Tean had a lot of baggage and self-doubt to unpack, but I'm just glad we finally get to see him choosing Jem and realizing what a piece of work Ammon really is. Every time Tean yelled at Jem for something Jem didn't even DO made me sad. But at least Tean finally found out the truth and apologized to Jem.

This is even more reason for me to read the short story that follows after this book! It's unknown at this moment whether we'll really get a sequel series with these two since I know the author is constantly juggling a lot of books and a lot of series at the same time, but I hope we DO get to see more of Jem and Tean. I just want them to be crime solving sleuths and fully in love and in a relationship (and whatever angst that means between them because Gregory Ashe always knows how to work in some angst in an established relationship).

I think it's super cute how we see Jem warm up to Scipio (Tean's dog) throughout the series. We know that animals have a very keen sense in detecting people who are pure in heart (Jem) versus people who mean harm (Ammon). Scipio always growls when Ammon is at the door, but flies towards Jem and almost knocks him down for pats on the head or belly scratches whenever Jem walks through the door. In this series, Scipio is the smartest one of all.

I really hadn't listened to J.F. Harding as a narrator too much before starting this series, but I really like him? It's been awhile since I listened to anything by him because he just doesn't really narrate audiobooks I was interested in reading. But he does do the First Quarto books by Gregory Ashe, so I'll definitely be listening to those. There ARE some instances where I think the voices J.F. Harding does winds up getting confused between the narration of the characters and who's actually speaking, but it's probably not too noticeable? It's just here and there throughout the audiobooks but doesn't last very long before the voice is correct to the person speaking or thinking again.

Kind of off-topic, but I think this series should be sponsored by McDonald's due to all the free advertisement they're getting from Jem here. Makes me crave some fries!

Overall, I think this book is sad, and this series is sad. There are great moments between Jem and Tean, and I'm just happy that they finally realized how fantastic they are together and admitted their feelings for one another. I would be delighted if we get a sequel series, because I would love to see more of them!

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Your Killing Me Smalls

So yeah, I don’t think this is the last book in this series. At least I hope not as the ending seems to indicate there will be others. I loved and hated this book at the same time. No surprise there as GA frequently elicits that reaction from me. He is so adept at weaving a narrative that you can’t put down, even though it is like being on a roller coaster – a slow moving roller coaster. And then he leaves you hanging, wanting more. Thus is the journey of Tean and Jem. YES!! They finally admit their feelings for each other. But then OF COURSE it get “complicated.” UGGGGGHHHHH!!!\

In this installment, Jem’s past at the detention center comes back fast and dark. We learn of the horrors he faced there and wonder how he is still sane. His tormenter come back into his life in a surprising way. And Tean FINALLY faces his feelings for Ammon, the s**thead. It’s a wild and at times uncomfortable story. And, of course, has a surprise twist in the mystery that ONCE AGAIN I didn’t see coming. J.F. Harding once again knocks it out of the park with his performance. There is a series of short stories published after this book and as I read them, I hear his voice in my head. That is the mark of an amazing performance.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review

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Great mystery with amazing characters

I really just want to melt over these characters. Tean and Jem are so devastatingly real and relatable, and they make me feel so much. Tean is something special. At first when I started this series, I thought of him as quirky and not necessarily the best decision maker. Tean’s relationship with the married cop was wrong in so many ways, and then he brought a pretty shady Jem into his life. As much as I came to love Jem, he was definitely a risk to the neat and orderly Tean, who worries about the many ways life can end; for him and the whole world. Over the course of the these three books though we came to see how loyal and helpful he was to people, even when they didn’t deserve it. His family didn’t accept his homosexuality and however bad they treated him, he still helped them out financially. His lover made him feel unworthy physically and mentally. I can’t help to see how good he still remained after all he’d been through. He tries so hard in the beginning of this book, to find a love he deserves, but also to have healthy friendships with Jem and his ex, Ammon.

Jem has also made so many changes in his life from the beginning of this book. After revealing that he was dyslexic, he slowly tries to improve himself. He works on reading, and he tries a few legitimate forms of work, but still relies on his ability to con people. Something that really comes in handy when solving crimes as well. He is a fast thinker who can weasel things out of people and himself out of some sticky situations. Learning about his past was the real devastation. The foster mother who taught him in the art of trickery, also used to abuse him. His credit was ruined by someone who should have put him first. And now we learn of the atrocities he suffered while in juvenile detention. His past has affected his life much more significantly than Tean’s did, but the way that he can project confidence in himself and keep a mostly positive attitude is amazing.

Together, I just love them. Though their relationship has been a real slow burn so far, most of it safely locked in the friend zone. Jem would say “best friend zone,” while Tean would insist they’re more like associates. (Their banter had me smiling more often than not.) Friendship intact, Jem starts this book still sleeping wherever is most convenient, empty apartments or with whichever guy who takes him home from the bar or club. Tean worries about Jem and does all he can to help him better his life, and Jem does really want to try. It’s just not that easy, and it only gets worse when someone Jem knew at juvie contacts him to clear his name from murder. At first Jem is fine if the guy goes down for the crime, seeing as how he hurt and humiliated Jem. But if it means that a far worse foe goes free, Jem reluctantly agrees to help.

The mystery in this book was crazy. At first it seemed simple with a couple of former juvenile delinquents who hadn’t quite changed their ways. Then there was a pending drug deal, an entire force of corrupt police officers, and a pair of vigilantes who wanted to see a man named Tanner get his due (just like Jem.) The players in this game of murder and drugs were many, and Tean was forced to do something he never wanted to. It was crazy but they got out, only it wasn’t the happy ending they wanted. Not right away. While Jem got the closure he needed, Tean was not himself. Yet. In this book, Jem really steps up and shows he is the person who is right for Tean. He gives Tean what he needs instead of worrying about his own needs. Jem is the only one to put Tean first. Tean’s family appears in this book again, and they seem like they want to be bettter to Tean, but they have a long way to go. At this point I don’t know if things will be right with them, but finally, finally, Jem and Tean are on the same page and things are looking up for them.

My goodness, I know my review is quite lengthy, but there is only a little bit more. I am not sure if this is the finale of a trilogy or if there will be more to come of this pair. I would gladly read more and I hope there is more, but there was a sense of finality in this book. I really loved the growth of the two characters. Tean grew more of a backbone, and Jem is definitely going to try to stop breaking the law, as much anyway. They aren’t perfect, but they are real and I love them. I definitely recommend the whole series. The audiobooks narrated by J.F. Harding were brought to life with his narrations and I thought he did a great job.

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 06-25-22

Enjoyable Story

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

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  • Helen Cartledge
  • 06-05-22

The best book by far

Not the best mystery, but the character growth was incredible. Tian and Gem are such a perfect couple of idiots and I've completely fallen in love with their story. I'm so sad we won't see the rest of their lives together.

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  • BevS
  • 05-11-22

Terrific finale to this series...

Well, just one word is needed really , both for the story and Mr Harding's narration...MAGNIFICENT!! 🥳🥳🥳

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 12-11-21

A fitting conclusion to a unique trilogy

From the start, I had my doubts. A wildlife veterinarian and a grifter solving murders didn’t seem plausible to me, and yet Mr. Ashe made it work. Several times over. These books are engaging, funny, and have mysteries that hold up.

Part of what works is the central couple. Tean is just a guy trying to live his life. He puts up with psychological abuse from his family – mostly around his sexuality – and has been held hostage to the financial demands of his parents. His lover, Ammon, was married to a woman and yet kept stringing Tean along, claiming he was *just* about to leave his wife. And yet never quite did. Tean has found a friend in Jem, and although the grifter is an interesting character, he’s up to his old tricks. Finally, Tean has decided to try dating – and has signed up for Prowler. What happens? He meets great guys, but none ever want a second date. Annoying.

I’m still in love with Jem. He’s trying. In every conceivable way. He’s taking the reading lessons, even though he doesn’t want to. He’s attempting to stay on the straight and narrow, even though society keeps pushing him back to the grift. Finally, he’s annoying to poor Tean who worries about the man and can’t quite seem to get rid of him.

Then another murder takes place. The accused killer demands to see Jem, and Jem is suddenly pulled into a tangled web where he’s forced to face past trauma. Of course, Tean is not just going to let him investigate without helping. They join forces again to solve the mystery.

I admit, I did not see the perpetrator coming. Did not predict the twisted plot. Did not think certain characters would ever get their comeuppance. But everything made sense by the end of the book and the killer(s) got their due. Jem and Tean also found a way to move forward, despite their respective traumas. The ending was brilliant. Oh, and Skippio. Can’t forget the awesome dog.

So the trilogy has come to an end. I’ll miss these two, but I feel they’ve come full circle and the conclusion was perfect. Unlike some of Ashe’s other couples, I feel these guys are good and retirement from crime solving works. Finally, I’ll mention JF Harding. I enjoy his narration style, and I think he did a great job with these books. Definitely worth a listen.

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  • L.D.
  • 11-27-21

Enthralling and Intriguing

The Same End is the third book in the The Lamb and the Lion series, and although the book is absolutely fantastic, this series should be read in order for full enjoyment.

Once again, trouble finds Tean and Jem as ugly demons from Jem's past return. Swept up in a mystery that becomes more and more personal, Tean and Jem must also navigate the rocky waters of their friendship and attraction. Nothing is simple and the consequences for a wrong choice on either front can be devastating for both their physical and emotional well being. Like all the books Gregory Ashe writes, The Same End is full of complex characters with hidden depths. I was completely swept up in both the drama of the mystery and the drama of Tean and Jem's relationship. This series has quickly become one of my all-time favorite series, and I'm hopeful there will be another book.

J.F. Harding narrates the audiobook and does a fabulous job. I love his smooth voice that he modifies perfectly for each character. The audiobook production was also well done which made for a great listening experience.

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  • WallE
  • 11-21-21

Keep going

I was given this audiobook as an advanced listener.
It is to be expected that Gregory Ashe has written another excellent instalment to this series and that the fabulous Jeff Harding does great work with the material. However, you must be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that Jem ,Tean and Ammon continue to ride and the hardcore crime story with some rather unpleasant characters.
The crime story is clever and intriguing and just as you think you are getting there Gregory Ashe takes you off on another road.
You must have read/listen to the previous books in the series to appreciate the complexity of the main characters. I really like how Ashe makes them multidimensional. Also, vivid description of places make you feel that you are in the story.
The whole thing is a riveting listen and would be good place to end the series, (Gregory, Tean and Jem need some down time); or to have some further short stories so we can see how Jem, Tean and Ammon are doing.

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  • Mary
  • 11-14-21

Outstanding

This beautifully written book kept me hooked. It was an angsty, intriguing, thrilling, frustrating ride. As expected, the narration was perfection.