Rating: 5 stars of 5 ★★★★★
For the last six months, Detective James Ralston has worked the nightshift as security for the Pacific Blue Hotel, and every night at 2 a.m. his rounds lead him to the radio room where the handsome and mysterious Franklin Fairchild sits listening to waltzes as old as the hotel itself. James is drawn to Franklin, but Franklin is a man at the end of his rope, and James has no intention of getting caught up in whatever trouble Franklin is in. A heated encounter late one night sends James down a disturbing path and has him questioning everything around him, including his very sanity.
I was enthralled with this story from beginning to end. I read it straight through and forgot it was a novella. I wanted so much more. This had a noir feeling to it, but was in a modern setting. I personally think Charlie’s writing skills have elevated. That is what it seems to me. I mean this was 60 pages of goodness. Imagine a full length novel. It had an American Horror Story feel towards it, less gruesome more romance, but still the tone of the story was set and carried out perfectly.
I figured out things very early on, but I was giddy with joy that I’m actually getting a story about this topic. Franklin and James are awesome. James has this aura about him that screams old soul. He’s working at Pacific Blue Hotel for part-time work. He’s a veteran of the military and police force, but in the way he carried himself in the story you wouldn’t guess it. I loved the way Franklin spoke. He was a total gentleman. He was kind, and gallant something we do not see in most M/M guys lately. I truly did enjoy this mystery novella, and I hope Charlie continues on writing stories like this.
Cover Art by Garrett Leigh: I really enjoyed the cover of the story. It sets the tone of the mystery. The chair is important in the story and I think it’s nicely done.
Published October 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleBetween the Devil and the Pacific Blue