Haven Investigations, #3
What happens when everything you thought you knew about your past is wrong?
With Kade missing, Ollie enlists the help of Jacob to find Kade. Except Jacob is temporarily deaf, and Ollie is suffering from debilitating migraines, which make them less than a dynamic duo. Both are surprised when it actually works, leading them to Kade’s manipulative family.
A little broken, Kade is no longer whole, and plagued with PTSD nightmares where he has a hard time parsing reality from fiction. Ollie knows the horrific accusations of Kade’s family aren’t true, and he’s determined to prove Kade innocent, even when Kade himself isn’t sure.
Ollie clings to the hope of putting Kade back together and returning them to the peaceful path they’d had before it all erupted. Only something more is wrong than toxic families and misremembered history, and it might just kill Ollie before he can discover the truth.
This MM romance features an ex-Marine with tattoos, a former model with a passion for solving mysteries, a snarky rock star, and lots of family drama mixed with a little murder. Second edition.
- 3 To Be Read lists
- 3 Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Demisexual, Gay, Genderfluid
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Hurt / Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Rescue
Word Count: 90,371
Setting: San Francisco, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
It all happened so fast. Everyone said that sort of thing after a traumatizing event, but it was true. It had all happened so fast. Levi hit me in the head and disarmed me. Jacob was bound. Kade was then shot with my Taser, then his own gun.
Kade, the love of my life, bleeding.
A gun pointed at my head with an order to drive. Kade trying to reassure me while he bled out fifteen feet away. The cops chasing us first with sirens blaring and then just in a silent flash of red and blue. Everything else was lost in soundless bursts of memories until the blockade.
A police car in the road, and Kade shouting my name as Levi came at me. I swerved and slammed on the brakes. Then we were spinning, and my already pounding head hit the steering wheel, dropping me into darkness.
The steady beep of a machine woke me from the reoccurring nightmare. I couldn’t remember ever being so tired, groggy, and light-headed. The hospital was familiar, but I expected to wake up to find Kade by my side, only it was Jacob, my ex-lover, a rock star, and perpetual pain in my ass, not Kade, who sat dozing in the chair next to the bed. My heart raced as I remembered the blood pouring from Kade and the sound of his pained scream.
Jacob jerked awake like he’d ripped himself out of his own nightmare. Maybe about the very same event. He glanced at me and sat up. His headphones were back on. Jacob’s hearing had been damaged by a bomb planted in an amp before a show. If he was wearing the headphones, he was still experiencing pain from a burst eardrum. He held up a finger and bolted to the door. Hope filled me. Maybe Kade had just stepped out a minute to get something to eat or some air. Maybe it had all been a nightmare. Maybe he wasn’t hurt and it hadn’t been his blood I kept seeing creep across the floor of the tour bus toward me.
Only it was Will, San Francisco Police Officer and my elder brother’s best friend, who appeared in the doorway a few seconds later. His handsome face set in a serious frown and his salt-and-pepper hair askew like he’d been running his hands through it.
“Where’s Kade?” I couldn’t stop myself from asking even though my voice sounded like I hadn’t spoken in weeks.
“You should rest,” Will told me.
My blood turned icy. “Will…”
He shifted Jacob’s chair away so he could hold my hand and still be at eye level if I turned my head. “You really should rest more first. One too many hits to the head.”
He was trying to be funny to distract me and failing miserably. There was no tube in my nose or throat. No catheter. Just the IV in my arm. So I couldn’t have been that badly hurt. Even if my head still hurt, I could see okay, ignoring the little sparkles of light on the edges of my vision, and while I ached a little, it seemed to only be bruising. “Tell me,” I demanded.
Jacob returned and stood at the end of the bed, notepad in hand. He’s gone, he wrote.
I frowned and shook my head, at first thinking the worst but knowing it couldn’t be true. “He’s not dead…”
“No. Not dead,” Will assured me, holding my hand tightly and glaring at Jacob. “Missing.”
“Missing? We were all on the same bus, Jacob’s tour bus, how can he be missing? Levi shot him through the leg. His injured leg!” Kade’s right leg had been badly damaged in a roadside bomb over a year ago. He had trouble with it ever since. The sound of the shot and Kade’s pain made my gut churn, and it was only a fading memory. Then the gun had been pointed at me, and I couldn’t do anything. Didn’t do anything. Just did as I was told and drove. I could have hit Levi, lunged for the gun, tried to shield Kade. Something…
“It wasn’t your fault,” Will whispered like he could somehow see inside my head. “You were in shock. In fact, I think you’re still in shock. Why don’t you rest some more, and then we’ll talk about this?”
“No,” I snapped at him, coming back into the present, though a panic attack was beginning to make my lungs heavy and my chest ache. “Tell me.”
Will let me go and sat down in the chair Jacob had vacated, making it creak under his weight. “He was already gone by the time I arrived. When I started asking about both of you, the hospital staff got all bitchy. Apparently the closest place to the crash was some tiny Catholic hospital. Shouldn’t have been an issue, but when I brought up that you were each other’s emergency contact, they got stony. I ended up calling Ty in. They wouldn’t even answer any questions about you.” He let out a long sigh. Will must have been desperate if he’d gone to Tyler for help. He and Tyler didn’t get along on a good day. But Tyler was another one of my ex-boyfriends, only he also happened to be a powerful attorney. “By the time I got in to see you, made sure you were okay, Kade was gone. The hospital claims they released him to his family.”
“I’m his family,” I growled, struggling to sit up. I was so going to hurt someone for taking him away from me. “We’re his family. We have all the documents in place and tied so tightly together we might as well be married. And he was shot. How can a hospital release a badly injured man to anyone?”
Jacob held up both his hands and waved at me to indicate I shouldn’t get up and shook his head.
Will just put a heavy hand on my shoulder and shoved me back onto the bed, which actually really hurt. I sucked in several deep gulps of air as the room spun. The left side of my temple began to ache with a rising dull throb.
“You’re not going anywhere yet. Concussion and a couple broken ribs. Your doctor is most worried about the concussion. There will be tests. Lots of tests,” Will assured me.
“I can’t just sit here. Do you have any idea what his family did to him the last time?” Just the idea of them putting him in another mental institution and loading him with drugs to convince him he was crazy made me nauseous. I had to get to him before it was too late.
“Probably better than you do,” Will said quietly. He had been the one to save Kade the last time. No one should have to be rescued from their biological family. “We’re looking, Ollie. I promise we’re looking. Britney and I, Ty and Tomas, even Jacob’s got people searching.” He glanced up at the rock star, who still lingered at the end of the bed.
“They won’t use his name,” I told Will. “They’re smarter than that.”
“You’ll have to search by other factors. I have everything on file. His DNA, blood type, medical records, dental records, everything. Hell, even the serial numbers for the pieces in his leg and hip.” Kade had been amused by my need to know so much, but he’d complied. “I have everything on my computer.” Which had been in my car. I hoped they’d recovered it from the scene.
Will patted the back of my hand. “We’re looking. We’ll find him.”
“I should get up and help.” It was just a bump on the head and a few broken ribs. I could function with those. Maybe, probably.
“You are going down for a head scan in a little bit,” Will told me. “Jacob is your escort.” He glanced out the open door to several men dressed in suits with their backs to the door. “And his guards.”
“You’re going to look for Kade?”
“Of course,” Will said like I was slow. “I’m sure by the time you’re ready to get out of here, we’ll have him back.”
But my heart hurt, and fear lodged itself in my throat. Kade had been badly injured. I remembered the mess of bone and tissue that had been his damaged right leg. The horrible stink of burned flesh. Apparently the Taser and his replacement pieces didn’t mesh well. How would he recover if his family was too busy fucking with his head?COLLAPSE
Maryann on The Novel Approach wrote:
Today Sammy and Jay are doing a Buddy Review for Model Investigator, the third book in Lissa Kasey’s Haven Investigation series. We have both been following the series so we decided to once again do a joint review so we can both share our thoughts.
Please note that these books follow each other closely and this third story will have a major spoiler for the ending of the second book, Model Bodyguard.
Rating: 4.25 stars
Ollie woke up after a bus crash that seriously injured both him and his boyfriend Kade, only to learn that Kade had been kidnapped right out of the hospital by his parents. They have been holding him for weeks and no one can figure out where Kade has been taken, or even prove that it was his family behind it. Ollie is falling apart with fear for his boyfriend, and he knows how terribly Kade’s family treated him growing up, including multiple attempts at “conversion therapy.” Ollie is not going to rest until he finds Kade and brings him home. He has the help of his friends, including his ex-boyfriend Jacob, but it is not easy, especially with Ollie suffering severe migraines from his own injuries. But finally Ollie manages to track Kade down and rescue him from his family’s clutches.
Even when Kade is home, things aren’t easy. Kade has permanent injuries from the accident, ones that will take significant recovery time. Kade was badly drugged and doesn’t remember much of the past weeks. And Ollie is still stressed and fearful after Kade’s disappearance. Ollie also learns that Kade’s family has leveled a host of horrible accusations against him, things he supposedly did as a child that justify the way they treated him and the fact that they once again locked Kade up. Kade wants to keep the past behind him, but Ollie is determined to find out what really happened all those years ago and clear Kade’s name. But not everyone wants Ollie to learn the truth, and the two men find once again their lives at in danger, just as they have found their way back to one another.
I have been really enjoying this series and, after the cliffhanger ending of the second book, I was really eager to read this latest installment. As the book opens, we see Ollie’s devastation as he wakes up to learn that Kade has been taken, then catch up weeks later as we see him increasingly frustrated and despondent that Kade is still gone. I really enjoyed seeing Ollie fighting for Kade here, willing to do whatever is needed to help his boyfriend. They finally track Kade down and the rescue portion happens fairly early in the story. I kind of wish we saw more of the rescue first hand, as we are in Ollie’s POV and he isn’t there for the actual rescue, but I liked that this part of the story resolves fairly early on, leaving us time for other developments.
The rest of the book focuses on Kade’s return home and the aftermath. Things happen pretty quickly as the whole book seems to take about a week from the time Kade is rescued, which seems a bit hard to imagine given the bad shape both these guys are in. But Ollie needs to know what really happened in Kade’s past as he knows that it is impossible Kade is guilty of all the horrible things his family alleges. We get to learn a lot more about Kade’s family and his background here, which I enjoyed as the other books focus more on Ollie. I liked following along as Ollie digs into Kade’s family and the town where he grew up and works to clear his name.
I do think Ollie pushes way too much here, pretty much ignoring the fact that Kade really doesn’t want any of this dug up. I don’t think Ollie is particularly respectful of the fact that Kade isn’t emotionally ready to share all of this stuff, and instead decides he is just going to take off and investigate regardless of Kade’s wishes, or the fact that he just got Kade back safely. So I’ll admit that bugged me. But I did like that finally Ollie recognizes that everyone treats him like he is incapable of handling himself (something I have noted in both my previous book reviews) and starts taking some action to assert himself and stand up on his own.
I did enjoy the suspense end of things here, and it is nicely developed with a reveal that works without being too obvious. I did find that after the story was over, I felt like there were some holes and things that were left unresolved. For example, I never quite fully understood just what Kade’s dad’s issue is with him. At times it seems like it is that he is gay, but others that doesn’t appear to be the case (especially given what we learn about another character). Also, we learn many of Kade’s siblings are, in fact, on his side, or at least don’t agree with his dad, and yet I never understand why none of them do or say anything on his behalf. Some of the questions I have I can’t really get into in detail here or it will spoil things, but for example, we learn that something major happens when Kade is 15 that appears to involve some of his siblings and where he is drugged. We never actually get any resolution to this in terms of who was involved, what their purpose was, etc. So I thought the investigation was interesting, but there were some spots I think needed more development.
Overall however, I think this was another really enjoyable installment to the series. I love Ollie and Kade together and I like the way they are growing as a couple, as well as individually. I also like their growing family of friends and the way they are all there for one another. For some reason, I thought this was the last book in the series, but the ending here definitely leads into more (or at least it had better), since while it is not a cliffhanger, we do get a major reveal that isn’t resolved in this book. I am hoping we have at least one more story that will tie up these loose ends with Ollie’s brother Nathan, many of which have been hanging since book one. So if you are a fan of the series, definitely pick this one up. And for new folks, if you like a good private investigator series with the added twist of a genderqueer, cross dressing model in the mix, definitely check this one out.
Rating: 4.5 stars
There was much to enjoy about this third installment in Lissa Kasey’s Haven Investigations series. As always, the beautiful romance between Ollie and Kade takes center stage, this time diving right into Kade’s recovery after being essentially kidnapped by his father at the end of the second novel. I have only good things to say about the realistic way in which Kasey has her characters deal with trauma—both physical and mental. No quick fixes should be expected here, but rather a journey toward a more stable life and way of handling the horrible aftereffects of the lies and drugs Kade’s father filled him full of during his two-month absence from Ollie. While it felt sometimes that the story was more centered on how Ollie dealt with Kade’s past rather then Kade’s future recovery, it all did balance in the end and I felt we got a much deeper sense of who these two men are and how they feel about each other. Theirs is not a transient or shallow love, but one that begged to be allowed to grow. In order for that to happen, Kade would have to share his past with Ollie—unfortunately much of that is lost in the shadowy recesses of Kade’s damaged memories and in conflicting stories that cast Kade as somewhat of a psychopath.
It was this revelation that I felt Ollie dealt with the least successfully. Giving in to his own fears about not being independent or strong enough to really help Kade, he instead almost carelessly casts Kade aside to go off and dig into his boyfriend’s past to find the truth. While Ollie tells himself that it is to ultimately clear Kade’s name and finally free him from the threat of another potential kidnapping and torture by his insane father, it sometimes felt very self-serving—almost childish in it’s reactionary feel. I found myself rather shocked at how Ollie could leave Kade so soon and so abruptly after finally getting him back. Shutting Kade out seemed almost like punishing him for not revealing more to Ollie about his past or what he discussed thus far in therapy. Instead, this actually served as a great reminder of how excellent a writer author Lissa Kasey actually is. You see, this twist in the plot—Ollie’s seeming abandonment of Kade and what could have been construed as a major rift in their relationship—actually opened the door for deeper understanding and communication between the two men. Instead of Ollie going off in a huff and Kade silently fuming, we got the two men joining forces of a sort and opening up about their fears, the past, and how important they were to each other, while we also got most important resolutions to the story’s many mysterious threads.
Still there were a few revelations that came up about Kade’s past that I felt he took in stride a bit too easily and Ollie as well. But these two men and their love for each other was more than solidified in this third novel and the door remains open for a fourth with a rather startling revelation coming to light about Ollie’s deceased brother, Nathan. I will be interested in seeing if Kasey takes this immensely enjoyable couple out for another spin—I, for one, would love another story about Ollie and Kade and the wealth of side characters that interact with them at Haven Investigations. For me, Model Investigator was a solid win and a worthy third installment.
Alisa on Goodreads wrote:
Olivier “Ollie” Petroskovic is going crazy. It’s been two months since his boyfriend, Kade Alme, was taken from the hospital without a word. He’s also still recovering from a tragic event surrounding his rock star ex, Jacob Elias, who’s becoming a thorn in Ollie’s side. But, Ollie has good friends and resources on his side. With help from Will, Ty, and even Jacob’s security people, they locate and rescue Kade, who was being drugged and kept as a prisoner by his own father. Now that Ollie has Kade back, and Kade seems to be handling the trauma well, their relationship and life are getting back to normal.
Kade and Ollie go back to work at Haven Investigations, but then Ollie starts to feel like he’s being pushed out and overly protected, and he blames himself. Most of the men in his circle have tried to protect him at one time or another, and Ollie doesn’t want that anymore. He’s worked hard to get his PI license, and he wants to be part of Haven Investigations. When Kade starts leaving Ollie out of his recovery process and excludes him from the cases he’s working, Ollie fears that Kade may be cheating. After uncovering some information about Kade, Ollie leaves to undertake his own investigation.
Ollie heads back to Kade’s hometown of Carlsbad—which, as it turns out, is under the thumb of Kade’s father—to investigate accusations that don’t seem to fit Kade. Ollie neglects to take care of himself, and he has to be careful, not just for himself but for Kade too. When all is said and done, there still seems to be a mystery surrounding Ollie’s brother, Nathan; his death, and the woman in the wedding picture, raise more questions about the connection to Kade’s father.
Model Investigator is a really great installment in the Haven Investigation series. Lissa Kasey puts Ollie and Kade in a tangle of a mystery with suspense, danger, deceit, as well as tackling bipolar disorder and physical impairment. Ms. Kasey certainly knows how to keep the guilty party a secret, and how to dole out the cliffhangers. Ollie’s character starts to grow more independent, and he gets to show his expert skill in investigation and going after the truth.
I’m so looking forward to the next installment in this series. Kade and Ollie have such a special relationship, and they help each other through thick and thin, also taking time to repair their misunderstandings along the way. Ollie is such a unique character, and I recommend reading this series in order, to get to know him.
Christy Duke on Rainbow Book Reviews wrote:
This book picks up a little over a month down the road from when the last book ended. Kade is still gone and Ollie is doing horribly. He's having physical problems from his injuries and he's barely functioning emotionally. His friends have stepped up and are helping in every way they can but Ollie knows something has to give soon. As the story goes on they get Kade back but things are still really bad for both men and they have some serious struggles ahead of them.
One of my favorite things about this book was how well Kade and Ollie communicate and how they work through their problems together. I think this author does a great job of showing people being in a healthy relationship. They each have some issues but they work together to solve them and they are a true partnership.
I enjoyed the plot for the most part but I found myself a little confused in places in regards to the plot with Kade's family. It took a whole lot of suspension of reality to follow it. (like soap opera levels of reality suspension) There were some big reveals in regards to that and while some plotlines were wrapped up but one major one still to go. This one ends with a mild cliffhanger (not a big one like last book).
This book does not work as a standalone. You would need to be caught up on the series to understand what was going on here. Overall, I enjoyed this and I definitely recommend it to fans of this series.
Belen on Gay Book Reviews wrote:
After the author left me on pins and needles at the end of ‘Model Bodyguard’, book two in the series, I was eagerly anticipating this novel. I mean, Ollie out cold after driving Jacob’s tour bus on a high-speed chase with a gun pointed at his head, Kade shot with Ollie’s taser and with a gun, bleeding out… oh what could possibly happen next? Everyone who has ever been in love’s single worst nightmare happens next. Ollie wakes up in the hospital only to discover that Kade is missing, stolen out of the hospital by his family, and Ollie has to do everything possible to get Kade back.
“What was I going to do? Walk up to Kade’s parents’ front door and demand to see him? They’d probably arrest me. But I was running out of options. There was no trace of him anywhere, and even Ty’s legal battle to get Kade’s family to give him up was dragging on longer than he had expected it to.”
I really hate Kade’s family. Probably as much as Ollie does, which is why when he gets Kade back, mostly in one piece, Ollie decides it's time to investigate all these things his family members accused him of, things which precipitated his father putting him in mental institutions more than once as a child, beginning when he was just eleven. Ollie knows there's no way Kade would have ever abused a dog or raped a woman, certainly nothing that would have ever precipitated the need for such extreme action. Being gay was about the worst thing, according to his dad, and Kade paid for that multiple times with trips to gay conversion therapy.
This seems like an easy, run-of-the-mill plot line, but this author isn't really known for those. The basics of Ollie looking into Kade’s past is easy, however, there is so much emotional friction, tension, and eventual resolution, that nothing is simple. Ollie is still suffering from headaches he received from the last blow to his head, and looking into his lover’s background is made more difficult by Ollie’s own exhaustion and, sometimes, doubts. Kade is struggling to deal with this last kidnapping by his family, including all the mind-altering drugs he was given, not to mention years of “shock therapy” as a kid, has him missing memories. It was tough to watch these two men struggle to get back to where they used to be before taking Jacob’s case. Interestingly, it's Jacob, believe it or not, who helps them to get there.
“I was suddenly angry at everyone and everything. Kade for making me doubt him. Jacob for always judging me. Ty and Will for treating me like a child…. And Kade for not needing me. He’d come home after experiencing things that would have had me crying in a corner, only to roll back into life like it had been nothing but a vacation to the beach. It made me feel weak and angry.”
Whoa. I love the way I never can guess who the bad guy (or girl) is in this series of books. It was wonderful to get clarity in regards to Kade’s family and all of the stuff from his childhood, but something tells me he's not done dealing with his own demons. Ollie was fabulous, as always, and seeing them even more in love than ever, was wonderful. Oh, I can't wait for the next installment because there are still questions to be answered.
Model Investigator picks up in the aftermath of what went down at the end of Model Bodyguard (which had a complete WHAT?! cliffhanger ending).
I love this series. Seriously, Lissa Kasey gets better with each installment.
Let me tell you what I loved:
There's communication here, people! REAL, HONEST, COMMUNICATION! Can I get an Amen?
Ollie and Kade talk to one another. Even when one is stubborn and goes off on his own, sooner, rather than later, they talk about it. It's delightful. Open communication, being real with one another...it all makes my heart go pitty-pat.
I absolutely love that there's a realistic timeframe for when someone gets hurt. One of my biggest pet peeves when I'm reading a book is when a character gets shot, or has a concussion, or broken bones, but is running around and having sex the next day. That's completely unrealistic. But here, Kasey gives her characters time to heal. Time to actually get better before throwing them back into the fray. Or throwing them back into the fray, but with them realistically hurt and damaged, and almost dying too.
I love how Kasey incorporates the side characters. Enough to help the story along, but not enough to take the focus off the main characters. Even though the story is told exclusively through Ollie's POV, the reader still gets a good picture of what's happening around him.
Really, this was almost perfect for me. The hurt/comfort here was SO good, the pacing of this story was on point, I couldn't put it down from the first moment I actually started reading...I read straight through. I had a terrific time reading this.
Now, for what you need to know. It's all about Ollie finding Kade, and then finding out what the hell is going on with Kade's seriously messed up family. There's a beginning, middle and ending here to the main story arc: the story picks up after the events of Model Bodyguard and focuses on Ollie figuring out what is happening with Kade and his family, and has a satisfactory conclusion.
Which brings me to the only thing I didn't like: The story ends on a slight cliffhanger again (like the one in Model Citizen) with further questions being unanswered about Nathan, his death, and his involvement with Kade. You're killing me, Kasey. Killing me. I need answers!
In the end though, I loved this. I cannot wait for the next book; I will be among the first in line to get my hands on it.