Author: Stephen Osborne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/23/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller
Michael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.
Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.
Raven’s Rest is the first book I’ve read from Stephen Osborne and I was quite pleased. Raven’s Rest was filled with the spooky atmosphere you would expect from a haunted inn with the ghosts and the mystery far more present than the romance.
The romance was low key and the only briefly described sex scenes (not between our two MC’s) were not erotic at all. That doesn’t mean the emotions didn’t come through though; they did. I liked Trey’s attempt at a badboy persona and thought Michael was adorable in his slightly geeky way. While I liked both characters, I would have liked to know more about them.
I really liked the supporting characters, especially the town witch and Trey’s mother. There was a great small town atmosphere throughout the story.
I will definitely check out more of his work.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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