Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When ghost enthusiast Dr. Sabine Brusilov plucks a weathered skull from the mud and debris at the bottom of the Mississippi River, he gets more than he bargained for. The skull comes with a moody, petulant, sexy ghost who is not shy about his attraction to Sabine. Along with proof that ghosts really do exist, Sabine finds a treasure beyond compare.
Love is everything to long dead Barton Montoire. He’s lived for it, faced dishonor for it…killed for it. Now that he’s found it again, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep Sabine at his side for eternity. Even if that means more blood on his hands.
With the darkness that circles Sabine growing stronger, and his lover’s actions becoming more erratic and unpredictable, Bart is challenged to protect his love from some unknown danger.
Ghosts and humans exist on two separate planes, and there’s only one way for them to be together.
But betrayal lurks in the shadows…
Of all of the 4 interconnected series of the Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States collection, this series and main couple are the most problematic for me. And that my somewhat dubious affection is for characters that comes from Lee Brazil? Even more of a surprise and the cause of much questioning on my part. That is never more true than for Lee Brazil’s story in Round Three, Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) (Pulp Friction 2015 #9).
After I finish reading each story, the first question that pops up is why don’t I like these characters more. Or more accurately one character more? That would be Dr. Sabine Brusilov. From the beginning he has come across as cold, unfeeling and harsh in his approach to his lover, the delectable ghost Barton Montoire. Theirs is a long relationship that has always seemed very one sided and prone to the potential for abuse. Yes, definitely not a fan of Sabine’s.
It has come up along the way that other characters in the series see their relationship the way I do and the explanations have been that Sabine is shocked over the manner in which his and Barton’s relationship is viewed. But have these scenes and clarifications made any adjustments in my feelings towards Sabine? Not really. For me, the one closest to my heart with this couple is Barton. His treatment at the hands of Sabine both push Barton further into my affection while continuing to alienate Sabine more throughly from it.
But the more I think about it, I wonder if that isn’t part of Brazil’s plan all along. That you must pull one of the characters down so far that he seems unredeemable. Until he isn’t. That his salvation becomes part of the “Holy Grail” of the story, something that must be achieved at all cost. Because Sabine is certainly on his way to hell given his actions here.
Parts of this story hurt so bad that I can still feel it. Brazil’s writing leaves no emotion unturned or unchurned as I should say. The pain is spread far and even across the characters. The darkness is here and feels unstoppable as well as unknown. Its brunt is borne by Barton, at least on the surface. That Sabine is wrapped up in something out of his control is obvious but his actions? How far back did the influence start? This becomes more of a psychological mystery as well as a supernatural suspense story. I love that. Because as much as I dislike what Sabine is doing, Brazil makes me question the impetus for his actions and what the man must be feeling underneath it all. Will I come to love Sabine as I do Barton? The answer lies in stories 4 and 5 and I can’t wait to find out.
All the stories and series in the Pulp Friction 2015 collection are convoluted and full of shocking revelations. Somehow, though, I get the feeling that Lee Brazil’s Jack of Spade might just supply the biggest surprise of them all. Stay tuned!
Cover art by Laura Harner is dark and perfect for this story. The covers for the series were originally too light but as the plot got nasty and murderous the covers have changed with the tone. Love it and them.
Sales Links: All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here
Kindle Edition, 46 pages
Published June 15th 2015 by Lime Time Press
series 2015 Pulp Friction – Altered States Collection
About Pulp Friction 2015
Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner
The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
One supernatural finale.
Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.
Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner
Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows