Author: C.S. Poe
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/30/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance
It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.
He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.
In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive and live happily ever after with Calvin.
I am torn on this one. On the one hand I really liked the premise of this story. The murder mystery being linked to Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, the mysterious book, the instant attraction between Sebastian and Calvin that promised to be so much more! I loved learning about Poe’s history and I loved seeing inside Sebastian’s very creative head as he stuck his nose where it did not belong. I loved seeing Calvin react to Sebastian as Seb frustrated him to no end! I loved seeing Calvin treat Seb as a human being and care for him and the ending was so awesome!
But I felt like this was an outline and was missing the real meat. I mean, I never understood the motivation for the murders. I mean I understood some of it, but why turn to murder? Why not just steal the book and be done with it. And why the stalking? I was left with many questions even after the mystery was solved. (I know this is vague but I don’t want to give away spoilers!)
I was also very confused as to why Sebastian was not arrested for poking his nose where he did. Is police procedure really this way in New York? Where a suspect can just go free and do whatever he wants and butt into the case however he sees fit? I questioned a bit of the procedural aspects of this mystery.
I also felt very confused over the romance. I mean I got the initial attraction. I got the hero worship and the respect. But I never got the emotional connection other than Sebastian was out of an abusive relationship and jumped at the least bit of affection. And maybe some of this was because Calvin’s POV was not readily available so I never understood him as a character. I never knew why he acted as he did or why he fell for Sebastian. I loved the result and I loved the way these men were together, but I never felt like it was explained very well to me.
Overall, did I enjoy this book? You bet I did and I will definitely be on the look out for book 2 in this series because Sebastian and Calvin have a lot of story left. I loved the mystery and loved the romance. But there was so much potential there for this one to be great and it just fell short for me. I would have gladly read something twice the length if the author would have given me more about the murders and the culprit and would have given me more about Calvin so that I could understand him better.
I would like to thank the publisher 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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