I am always up for a new ghost story, and this one by a new-to-me author was a fun combination of paranormal adventure and sweet m/m romance!
Title: Dead Man and the Restless Spirits
Author: Lou Harper
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Dying sucks hairy monkey balls, even when you’re not the stiff.
Denton Mills has a secret: he can see dead people. Or rather, how they died. It’s quite a drag in a city like Chicago, teeming with the echoes of the no-longer living. Rather than whine about it, Denton has learned to live with his troublesome talent. His adaptability comes in handy when he meets his enigmatic new neighbor.
Bran Maurell catches Denton’s eye right away, but unfortunately Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious is as standoffish as he is alluring. However, after an unexpected introduction from Bran’s cat brings the two men together, Denton discovers they have a mutual interest in the spirit world. Herbalist by day, Bran moonlights as a witch, performing house cleansings for a fee.
From Bran, Denton learns that his knack for interacting with the dead qualifies him as a necromancer. It makes good business sense for them to team up and rid Chicago of its pesky spirits one grateful client at a time. Amongst ghostly adventures the attraction between the men is impossible to ignore. They seem like perfect partners—unless Bran’s not-so-little secret comes between them.
Warning: men loving men, ghosts with attitudes, and a portly feline with hidden talents.
Note: Denton also plays a small but important role in Spirit Sanguine.
Denton Mills is a website designer who happens to have the ability to see and communicate with the dead. Though these experiences are unsettling, he tries to ignore them as much as he can – until he meets his dark and broody new neighbor, Bran Maurell. Bran is an herbalist and a part-time witch who sees a gift in the reluctant Denton and suggests they work together to banish spirits dwelling in the city of Chicago. As the partnership grows, so does the attraction. However, a witch and a necromancer attempting to balance a personal and professional relationship may be rather “tricky,” especially when Bran’s mysterious nature is fully revealed.
I liked this fun, quirky romp into the paranormal, mainly due to the fact that the characters were a perfect example of the attraction of opposites. Denton is upbeat, humorous, and outgoing. Despite the small inconvenience of seeing dead people, he is a positive force and is an amusing conversationalist. Bran, on the other hand, is shrouded in dark mystery and a man of few words. Aloof to the point of rudeness, he is best described, as Denton puts it, as “an enigma smothered in gravy.” I was just as enthralled by Bran as Denton, however, and understanding and sympathy for Bran grew as revelations about him slowly emerged. These two are quite adorable together as Bran works to help Denton hone his necromancy skills and Denton pulls the complex Bran out of his shell.
Something else I liked about Dead Man and the Restless Spirits was the fact that it is broken up into three distinct parts, focusing on different cases that the main characters work to solve (Unwilling Spirit, Hungry Spirit, and Desolate Spirit). This makes it read almost like three episodes in a series, each providing its own unique story line while the main characters continue to build a tentative relationship. It helps provide consistency within the story yet allows the reader to go on another “ghost-busting” adventure with Denton and Bran.
Although the story and characters were enjoyable, I did have a few issues with the editing. There were several instances of wrong word usage or missing words, which were unfortunate and distracting. The flow of the writing was also a bit choppy in places, and I would have liked more development of the emotional connection between the main characters. That being said, I would definitely pick up other works by this author, particularly Spirit Sanguine, as the main characters from that book make a significant and intriguing appearance in this story. There is also a short sequel available, Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit, which I plan to read, as well.
Overall, Dead Man and the Restless Spirits is a light, entertaining read with a few interesting surprises thrown in. The characters are solid and likable, and they work quite well together both as ghost wranglers and as a cute, sexy couple. I recommend it as an engaging, relatively quick paranormal adventure and m/m romance.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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