The Finder by J.E. Lorin

Book #1

At the age of sixteen, August Goodson developed a strange and mysterious power overnight: he can find people. Victims of murder, suicide, kidnapping, accidents, and rape; August can find them all, usually dead, but sometimes still alive. Nine years later finds August volunteering his services to the police. He's still smarting from the loss of his long-time love Dante, who cheated on him with his best friend, and harbors a deep crush on the incredibly handsome, and oh-so-straight, Detective Luke Williams. But there are bigger concerns on August's mind: a serial killer is loose in the city, one whose victims are a little too much like him for comfort. When August finds a living victim who may be one of the serial killer's, he's drawn even deeper into the case. Will he make it out alive, or will he soon be the one in need of finding?

"When you tell a person who likes to read that you don’t, you might as well be saying you no longer speak the same language. Williams frowned at me like I’d just admitted to clubbing baby seals for sport."

It was a delight to blend mystery, police procedural, psychological thriller, and the paranormal with romance. Recommended.

Both lead men are well-written. The protagonist Finn is fun because he’s flawed, focused, gifted with an unusual talent that’s as much a curse as it is a blessing, and awkward/stumbling at the right, endearing times. Mark’s protectiveness at the beginning was downright sweet, and I ended up loving the guy too – everything from his comforting home and his loyal dog and his worried sister, to his loyal dedicated and charming look at romance.

My favorite romance is when it slowly unravels where the reader can actually sense and live in palpable build-up that makes more sense than instant lightning bolts (Unless it’s a fated-to-be-mated, since those can be fun for a different reason). This one rocked with that – you had pre-existing friendship that mean more, but they’re only now revealing their actual feelings to each other. A sweet relationship that endured in my mind because it was genuine enough to be convincing. More on the charm than the steam in this case, but it all goes together as a satisfying package. If I could describe the romance in this book, it’s “comforting.”

The storyline was actually good with genuine suspense, trauma, and violence. The mystery isn’t an easy solve, although I was starting to suspect the villain at the end. I liked how realistic the author kept the guilt so many characters would feel with all this stuff, since this is something that would likely happen off-page if it happened in actual life too. I also dug that the author provided an extended view of what happened after the main mystery, showing how it affected the character and his relationships. Throw in a great supportive best friend, a neat brotherly bond that develops, and you have a sure winner here.