Review: Unstable Connections (Valor and Doyle (Book 3) by Nicky James

Rating: 5🌈

Nicky James has written an extraordinary story with Unstable Connections, the third novel in the amazing Valor and Doyle series.

Usually there’s one element that’s lacking when you have a couple and series with such serious storylines and a myriad of emotional issues. Most of which, like past domestic abuse , alcoholism, and deep loss, thread through the couple’s new shaky relationship and the main mystery that involves both missing children and a presumed kidnapped sister from decades past.

But Unstable Connections has no flaws.

The relationship that slowly being established between MPU Detective Detective Quaid Valor and that of Homicide Detective Aslan Doyle is so beautifully written, full of emotional nuances and realistic complications that it brings the men even more vividly to life as they struggle with every aspect of their lives.

It’s Quaid fighting constantly with the demons and fears and damage the domestic abuse of his last relationship has inflicted on him that continues into his current romance with Aslan.

It’s the now sober Aslan’s past as a out of control drunk that threatens his present day relationships, both work and romantic. It’s the tough lifting he’s with Quaid to counteract the deepest wounds done by Quaid’s ex. And now the stress and pain of the latest information that’s been recovered from the missing girls case that’s got both Quaid and his father riding an emotional edge.

The plotting and narrative is perfection. We are carried along with the characters on a horrifying set of mysteries that twists and turns with a subtle swiftness on its way to a poignant , deeply layered closure to a story element that had its beginnings at the first novel and with issues embedded in our characters at a cellular level.

While the mystery is solved, the relationship between Aslan and Quaid is still moving slowly forward with all the issues the latest events have brought up.

The supporting cast is as outstanding and fully realized as any I’ve read. I’m so in love with them as well.

I can’t wait for the next story to be released.

If you’re not familiar with this series and couple, you’re missing out. Start at the beginning and work your way through as they must be read in the order they are written.

I’m highly recommending one and all.

Valor and Doyle Mysteries:

✓ Department Rivals #0.5

✓ Temporary Partner #1

✓ Elusive Relations #2

✓ Unstable Connections #3

Goodreads › showUnstable Connections (Valor and Doyle #3) by Nicky James


Missing children are reappearing, and ties to a thirty-year-old cold case can’t be ignored.

Between his shaky, brand-new relationship with reformed office playboy Detective Aslan Doyle, his sister’s case going from cold to hot overnight, his father insisting on being involved, and his boss breathing down his neck, Detective Quaid Valor is on edge.

The stress of the case is impacting Quaid’s whole life. He isn’t eating or sleeping, and every time he and Aslan are together, he is overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, which threaten to ruin the one good thing he has. Aslan’s patience seems unending until something happens to turn his life upside down too.

Can their relationship survive the personal and professional pressures they’re facing, or will it crash and burn?

Between media rumors and unstable connections, Quaid and his team need to work quickly to piece together a complicated case before more children fall victim to their unknown serial kidnapper. Maybe once everything is solved, Aslan and Quaid will have time to work on their rocky relationship and find stable ground once again.

** Unstable Connections is the third book in the Valor and Doyle Mystery Series. It is a same-couple series that should be read in order. Although each book has a self-contained mystery with no cliff-hangers, the romance is overarching and progressive throughout the series. **


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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