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Publisher's Summary

Two closeted men in one rumor-hungry small town have no chance of keeping their love a secret. 

Chief of Police Windsor Elkhart is a master deceiver. Not a single person in Jasper has a clue he’s gay, which explains the endless suitors all vying for his attention. Happily married to his job, he’s convinced life is good enough. Twenty years of abstinence is the price he chose to pay, all because of a secret he’s too ashamed to reveal. 

Until Tomi Lee returns to town after a two-decade-long absence. 

Shame and self-loathing have kept Tomi away from his home town, but can a simple message from a lonely police officer bring him back for good? 

The people of Jasper prey on gossip. Everyone is watching everyone. No one is exempt. Falling in love is easy, but do two closeted men have any chance of building a sustainable relationship when they’re always trying to hide?

Concealed Hearts is a low/medium angst MM romance novel with two severely closeted main characters. It is part of the Hometown Jasper Series but can be listened to as a stand-alone.

©2020 Nicky James (P)2021 Nicky James

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  • Zell Oakley
  • 13-05-2021

Utterly captivating

I read the kindle version of this book with some trepidation when it first came out; it pushes all my buttons (closeted characters, a sheriff, a small town), but as much as I enjoy Nicky James's writing, I wasn't a fan of the series. The first book was ok, but I didn't like the second (I don't do GFY books if I can help it), and the two main characters from the third book annoyed me to no end. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fourth time, in this case, was the charm.

Concealed Hearts was my favorite audiobook this year (so far), which is saying a lot because I listen to a LOT of audiobooks. It's one of three excellent books featuring characters who are in the closet that I read around the same time (the others being "The Jock" by Tal Bauer and "The Endgame" by Riley Hart), and my favorite of the three.

Nicky James tends to write books with a lot more angst; the Hometown Jasper series is, comparatively, a pretty easy read. Windsor (what the heck is this name) and Tomi are both gay men in middle age who have been closeted most of their lives who come together, and that's pretty much the plot. Well, more happens, mostly related to a struggling teenager Windsor is dealing with as sheriff of the Canadian town of Jasper, and Tomi dealing with issues having to do with his family, but the core of the novel is the romance between these two. It's rare to read a book where BOTH characters are in the closet, so the issues they face are similar to those in other novels dealing with this subject, but there are enough differences to keep it fresh. It's actually nice to have a book where a closeted character (Windsor in this case) is ACTUALLY closeted, and literally nobody--not his friends, not the women of the town, and not even other gay men--suspects he might actually be gay. Nothing says "stereotypes!" like a character in the closet and everyone in his life is like "I wish he would finally just come out already!" None of that here with Windsor, though Tomi slipped up in his youth and probably isn't as subtle as he would like to be.

Of the two characters, Tomi is smarter, but Windsor is braver, kinder, more likable (and more well liked), and has a better reason to stay in the closet. I was sort of afraid I wouldn't like Tomi because he was sort of a minor villain in the third book and I hated his brother, the protagonist of that book, but Tomi comes across as someone trying to do the best he can with the issues he has. But Windsor is the hero of this one, and is just one of the most wonderful characters I can remember coming across in m/m fiction. You never have any doubt that he'll do the right thing.

Nick J. Russo is an excellent narrator, always. Masculine sounding, never dull, never awkwardly over-excited during sex scenes, and perfectly well suited to narrating a book from two points of view because of the different personalities he can evoke with his voice, he's really one of the best narrators who consistently narrates in the m/m genre.

Anyway I can't recommend this highly enough. I loved the kindle version and I love the audiobook version.

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  • Amor Leer
  • 25-05-2021

Great conclusion to the series

THE STORY:
This is the final book in Mrs James's Hometown Jasper series, and I will miss this town.

Concealed Hearts is Windsor and Tomi's story. Chief Windsor cameoed in previous books and I was delighted when book 3 hinted that he would get his own story.
Tomi is Shay's older brother. While I did not warm to him in Forgetful Hearts, I was curious to read his story and understand why he felt he had to hide his sexuality, when his family was so understanding of Shay's sexuality and already suspected he wasn't as straight as he let on.

I was intrigued to read how Mrs James would keep two closeted men out of the gossip mill in small-town Jasper. She can tell a story!! She draws you in and makes you feel that you are there living side by side with her characters.
I loved how the relationship between Windsor and Tomi developed. Their coming together was more than just two closeted men hiding. It was two men learning to love and finding their true selves. It was two men putting it all on the line to help another person.

If you want a series with all the feels, all the banter, all the love... you can't go wrong with Hometown Jasper series!!

THE NARRATION:
Nick J Russo hit this series out of the park!! I absolutely loved his narration. His Windsor voice is exactly how he sounded in my head.
Nick's accents for the various character in this small town was outstanding!

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  • Aerielle
  • 19-05-2021

Great audio

I honestly wasn’t sure if I would be able to get into this audiobook when I first started it. I really did not like Tomi but I adored Windsor so I kept going and I’m glad I did!!! Nicky did not disappoint. This was a fantastic story. I especially loved the ending!
Narration was great. Nick always brings stories to life!

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  • H. Spanarella
  • 19-05-2021

Wonderful Story!

I’ve been loving this Hometown Hearts series by Nicky James! Nick Russo has done a wonderful job bringing these men to life for me. He’s pulled me right into the story and made it feel new with his narrations. I loved Windsor and Tomi’s story. Nicky James has such a way of pulling you into a story and making you fall for her characters. I loved Tomi, complete with his perceived gruff and grumpy exterior. I even appreciated his OCD behaviors and need for order. I felt for him in his need to deny who he was to everyone, including his family. I also adored Windsor. He had such a kind heart. I loved how kind he was to the women who would fawn over him unsuccessfully. I also admired his patience with his staff and best friend who needled him about his love life endlessly. I understood why he felt he also needed to hide his sexuality and who he really was. Windsor just had the biggest heart for anyone who crossed his path. I really loved that about him. Tomi and Windsor were an unlikely match on the surface, but they each carried their own hurts and reasons for staying closeted for so long. I loved how they brought out the best in each other. My heart felt so much for these two as they tried to have it all - each other and keeping their sexuality to themselves. I loved the way their relationship unfolded and it made me love Windsor’s big heart even more. I love how their story wrapped up, as well as the glimpses of other amazing characters we met along the way with this series. Another fantastic series by this author!

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  • Samantha T
  • 17-05-2021

So good

I don't know why to say except this story is fantastic. I love when great books come to life in audio and this is no exception. Nicky wrote a fabulous series and Nick Russo did a great job bringing them to audio

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  • Lisa L Teetz
  • 15-05-2021

Great Conclusion to the Series!

What a fabulous end to a fabulous series! I adored this book, Nicky James just sucks me in with everything she writes. I was right back in Jasper and felt like I was visiting old friends.  She just writes books in a way that just emmerse me into the story.  The details, the dialogue, the way the story unfolds...its just so so good!

This was Windsor and Tomi's story and I have been waiting for it since we felt their spark in book 3.  It did not disappoint.  Their connection was so strong, the way they came together was so sweet, and so heartbreaking at the same time since they were both hiding their true selves.  Their first times together were very intimate and very touching.  But this book was about so much more than their romance...it was about finding your true self, finding courage, taking chances and finding love that is all around you.  There was a secondary story here that melted my heart too and just added such a wonderful layer of depth to the entire series.  The town of Jasper, and many of the residents we have grown to know and love, are front and center and it was just perfect.  While I am sad it is over, it was a perfect end to this splendid and enjoyable series!!!!

Nick J Russo was the perfect choice to bring all the men of Jasper to life! He did such a good job with separate and distinct voices for everyone, fabulous accents, and bringing all the emotion!
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  • Abe Fan
  • 17-09-2021

Angsty with a HEA

Nicky James is a story teller who entertains the heck out of her audience. This story was too short! I loved the MCs and would’ve loved to read some more about their life together. I recommend this series.

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  • Jay
  • 29-08-2021

Unconcerned Hearts

a little bit of a slow read and I am not a fan of the Dom type.

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  • Aethena Drake
  • 01-07-2021

Good story. Good narration.

This was yet another sweet story from Nicky James. I am impressed by how much angst can be stuffed into a story that still has such a charming feel. Maybe the small town setting is the key, but I suspect that the writer just has a knack for showing empathy which is a trait I value highly.

I am enjoying catching glimpses of characters from earlier books in the series. Percy's antics are a treat to read about.

As usual Nick j Russo's narration is well suited to the story. I am sure I will be listening again the next time I need a pick me up.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 22-06-2021

When coming out sets you free

Tomi Lee left his hometown Jasper, Alberta with dust flying as he headed to British Columbia after high school to start a new life. Despite pleadings from his younger brother Shay, and their parents, he never finds the time to come home. He does when Shay is badly injured, but he barely sticks around. Well, he meets Sheriff Windsor, but that’s about it. Tomi was accidentally outed in high school. He denied it vehemently, even shoving his best friend/secret boyfriend under the bus. That boyfriend ends up falling in love with Shay, further complicating things. If Tomi wants a relationship with his brother, he’s got some atoning to do.

He’s obsessed with small town gossip. He’s convinced everyone is still talking about him, even twenty years after he left town. He dreads coming back because he’s sure the old gossip will be revived. I found the obsession bordering on manic. Things are far more progressive than they were twenty years ago. His younger brother is out, and their parents love him. But those fears are so deep-rooted, it’s doubtful he’ll ever come out.

Then there’s Windsor. He tried coming out before going to the RCMP academy. Things were not progressive there either, and he quickly learned it was safer hide his authentic self. His desire to be a cop overrode his desire to live out of the closet. So he’s stayed there all this time – alone. Everyone in town wants him to hook up with some nice woman, but he’s adamant he’s better off alone. No one knows why as he shares this secret with no one – until he meets Tomi and everything changes.

So how is this supposed to work? One lives in BC, one lives in Alberta. Both are in the closet. Not exactly the recipe for a successful relationship. Except they do find a way to be together – for the present time, anyway. But as summer passes and the crunch of September looms, the men are facing some tough decisions.

Underlying this angst is a young man who is constantly getting into scrapes. I suspected the reason for this, and it was quickly made clear. Of course, his life runs parallel to Tomi’s and while Windsor winds up getting involved, there don’t appear to be easy solutions there either. Seems not all of Jasper is progressive. Homophobia runs deep, and it’s going to take something pretty important to convince the men to expose themselves.

Now, this is a Nicky James book, so I knew there’d be a happy ending and I suspected it involved the men stepping out of those deep closets - being true to themselves and to others. I also knew they’d find a way to bridge the distance of a thousand miles – which they did. I got my happy ending.

I’m sorry to see the series end – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all four books. And Nick J. Russo has been a great narrator for all of them. I recommend this series!

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  • MrsOls
  • 01-06-2021

Can I move to Jasper?

Ok, I say it again, I love this series! All the characters, main and side are so authentic and fits so well. This story has made me feel warm inside, angry and frustrated, sad, but also laugh out loud.

I was a bit hesitant about this book. I respect people’s privacy, absolutely, but I also am an open book myself most of the time. So closeted grownups... I simply don’t understand! But Nicky managed to explain both mens reasons why in a way that made me believe it. Eyerollingly frustrating sometimes, absolutely, when the fear of getting seen overshadows the feeling of being together. But I understand! What they really need is a hard kick in the butt.

Nick as usual did an excellent job!

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  • Mandy
  • 25-05-2021

Absolutely Brilliant 💞💞

Amazed by this hometown Jasper series by Nicky James loving all of them and this the last one about Windsor & Tomi is no different two closeted men who struggle with their sexuality hiding, lonely the fear and pain these two go through just to be together is so emotional & beautiful but they do and help each other to heal and move forward. If you loved the books like me I highly recommend the audio's to all the series Nick J. Russo has done a fantastic job of bringing them to life the voice for Windsor so sexy... sent tingles down my spine this pulls you in to there world as though you are with them so captivating and moving Loved........It..... 💞💞

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  • loveQhuay
  • 25-05-2021

Two closeted gay men, one epic love story

Oh, how much I enjoyed this audio! And look at that, when I read the ebook, I only gave it 4 stars, but now, now, they deserve all the stars. 


Tomi and Windsor on audio is everything. I really loved how the narrator brought them to life, I enjoyed being with them and listening to their story. 


Two closeted gay men, one epic love story and an ending of a great series. I loved this series and Tomi and Windsor are my second favorite pair after Josiah and Shay (okay, mostly Josiah is my favorite, but shhh!) 


I loved everything about this audio. Highly recommend it.


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  • Amelia
  • 20-05-2021

An amazing conclusion to this series

I was so mad at Tomi in the previous Jasper Hearts book that I thought there was no way anything could change my mind about him. I should have known that Nicky would do his and Windsor's story justice.

While I didn't agree with either man's choice to stay closeted, I could understand the circumstances and emotions that led them to hide, and that's about all I could ask for in a story like this. In some ways, them being closeted made their romance more exciting. I've never seen someone get so nervous about sending a simple email, and when Windsor and Tomi talked on the phone for the first time I just about melted from all the adorable rambling.

What made this story so special to me wasn't how unexpectedly thrilling all the sneaking around was, but how wonderful it was to see Windsor and Tomi grow comfortable being their true selves. Even if at first they could only be open in private, the trust it took for them to keep coming back day after day gave me hope that one day they'd be comfortable enough to stop hiding. For two men who've had very few partners, their sexual compatibility was off the charts! I wasn't sure how steamy this book could be with two secretive people, but the things they did in that cabin were unbelievably hot.

When Felix was first introduced in this story, he was a tiny blip on my radar, and I figured I'd never see him again. Little did I know that he'd be responsible for one of the most heart-wrenchingly lovely moments in this entire series. I was seriously bawling when he and Windsor had their moment on the roof, and everything that came after made me love Windsor and Tomi even more. I'm trying really hard not to spoil any surprises, but I just couldn't review this story without mentioning this amazing side character.

Though I'm sad there won't be any more stories from Jasper, I also know that all the drama and struggles are over. Each couple in this series has found their way to a happier place, and all that's left is for them to live their best lives together.

**I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions. 

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  • Katie townsend
  • 19-05-2021

beautiful writing and beautiful performance

listening nick j russo bring Windsor and tomi to love was beautiful

I felt every emotion and every light hearted moment took my breath away it was just a perfect performance and how I imagined Windsor and tomi would sound and tell their story

I loved every moment

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  • Macbandit
  • 17-05-2021

So emotional

Listening to it brought it so much to life. The narrator, Nick Russo made the characters come across as the people I’d meet everyday. He is able to bring all the emotion to the audio. I’ve been leaning more toward audio’s and this is proof that I actually enjoy them more than the book. This is the first book I’ve read in this series. A little different than other books I’ve read by her but I have to go back and listen to the rest of this series now its just that good. This is such a heartwarming story. Tomi and Windsor live in so much fear. Being gay has been instilled in then as worse than a disease. Yet when they get together they find out it isn’t what each expected. The author did such a good job of handling how these two each had a established life and their fear, yet how they handled it. I like the contrast between these two men and the two afraid boys, Felix and Grant. I appreciate how the story ended but could have had maybe an extended epilogue about a year later or so.

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