Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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.
I enjoyed this spooky tale that is both mystery and love story. Two loves stories actually. As stated in the blurb Michael ends up staying in a hotel that has a reputation for being haunted. Almost immediately Michael begins seeing things and something that feels like a cold hand brushes his face. The townspeople all talk about the place being haunted and they also mention the previous owner’s son and his best friend both disappearing within a short time of each other. As the ghost keeps appearing Michael realizes it’s drawn to him because he looks like one of the missing boys. When a woman who calls herself the “town witch” gets involved this escalate quickly.
I had never read this author before and this was a good start for me. I really liked the ghost part of the story and the mystery from the past. It was a bit creepy but not too scary (even for people easily scared). I had figured out who the bad guy was early on but that didn’t distract from my enjoyment of the story. My only reservation was that I felt Michael and Trey fell for each other too quickly. It was almost immediately and it didn’t really make sense to me considering Michael was days out of an abusive relationship. I could have skipped the entire part with the ex to be honest. I would have rather just focused on the ghost story and the two guys getting to know each other.
Overall though, I thought this was a really enjoyable read. The characters were well done and the plot was very entertaining. The steamy scenes are mostly off page which is a nice change of pace from many other romance stories. This is just creepy enough to make this a great read for the Halloween season.
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska. I like the cover a lot and I feel like it is both well done and pertinent to the story.
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: September 23rd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777018 (ISBN13: 9781634777018)