Release Day Review: Lost Souls Found (Requiem Inc. #2) by Kris T. Bethke

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lost-souls-found-by-kris-t-bethke-9484-b

Blurb

Dying is all in a day’s work. Love is more dangerous.

Ghostwalker Sam Jones has been half in love with Michael King since he started working at Requiem Inc. But Michael is his boss and a Guardian, to boot. Sam thinks they could make it work anyway, but Michael uses his position and his age to keep Sam at arm’s length.

When Sam continues to volunteer for the most dangerous cases, Michael has to intervene. He tells himself he’s just doing his job, but he’s always seen Sam as more than another operative, and he can’t bear the thought of not taking his chance. The connection between them has been strong from the beginning, and Michael’s telepathy adds unexpected depth and an edge to their new romance, but working together while they try to build their relationship might be the hardest part of their job if they don’t make some sacrifices.

Review

It’s hard to be a sequel. I know this. I absolutely ADORED book 1 in this series and I had SUPER high hopes for this because Michael (and Sam) seemed like really intriguing characters with awesome powers and a lot of sexual chemistry.

Most of that proved true. However…. I was so frustrated with Michael and his (abuse, neglect) avoidance of Sam that he definitely lost some of his luster. Ditto with Sam and his willingness to bend so much without standing up for himself.

The paranormal stuff wasn’t as captivating as it was in book 1 but it’s still great!

I think you need to have read book 1 to really like this – so I’m not going to call it a standalone – but it might be ok.

If you loved book 1 you’ll really enjoy this.

Recommended!

4 of 5 stars

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Recent Release: Bad Seed by Gareth Vaughn

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38901778-bad-seed?from_search=true

Blurb
Dane’s a Decrypter down on his luck — after accidentally dispatching the wrong creature, he’s sent to a small town where the cryptids he hunts are sparse. Crypt Coffee becomes his business front, but instead of a thrilling new mission on the side, he’s stuck sending ghosts back to where they came from. Dane can annoy customers, at least, and tries to scare off Professor Sean Sanderson when he starts poking around too much. But Sean isn’t about to stay away. Not when he hears about the murder of a former student, and definitely not if young, exciting Dane has information about it. But the more he allows himself to get dragged into this supernatural world of monsters and ghosts, the more the danger escalates. And if Sean and Dane aren’t careful, tracking down a murderer who can use magic might just get them killed

Review
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea of a kind of supernatural enforcer keeping rogue elements in line. But this book just didn’t settle with me. Both Dane and Sean start with an antagonist type relationship and it pretty much stays that way. Dane is very prickly, bitchy and short tempered. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to be in bleu falls (he was sent there as a Decrypter) or he is always that way. Sean keeps coming back. If this is a start of a series featuring them that might explain it, they’ll have time to grow. There were also a few loose ends. Sean was initially looking into a student death by what he thought was a werewolf. This is never mentioned again. The investigation diverted on to another who it turns out was poisoned. Another is the all powerful Order Dane works for. We are left wondering if they do come to wipe Sean’s mind because he’s seen to much or not. Is this the start of an investigative/ supernatural peacekeeping partnership? I don’t know but this book hasn’t gripped me enough to want to know.

2.5 of stars out of 5

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Audiobook: The Supers by Sean Michael Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview
Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-supers-by-sean-michael-9498-b

Blurb
Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building, an abandoned hospital, together. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real

Review

Book reviewed here previously:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/spooky-the-supers-the-supers-1-by-sean-michael/

There were a couple of surprises when I started this audiobook. The first was that this is not a usual Sean Michael style of story and the second was the way it picked up pace and changed direction half way through. For the first couple of hours I thought ok this is a gentle romance about ghost hunters. The characters are all lovely and I can see each of them getting their own book. Then it changes and I sat up, took more notice. Ghosts haunt Blane. And don’t get me started on the yucky bite on Blaine’s neck. Sean Michael throws everything into this plot line. Possession, reincarnations, wronged gay lovers and crime mystery. What more is left for future books. Sean Michael didn’t disappoint on the sexy times either in this half.

This is only the second book I’ve listened to narrated by Kenneth Obi. He does quite a good job with the characterisations. Each one has a distinct voice which fits well with how they are portrayed in the story. All of them except for Flynn have a young carefree hippie vibe about them (am I showing my age by that remark?). Which is distinctly different from the other book I listened to narrated by him.

Number of stars 4 out of 5

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Audiobook: The Ghost Slept Over by M. Thornton narrated by Jason Frazier

audiobookreview

Audible Link: https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Ghost-Slept-Over-Audiobook/B079H35TVJ?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=M4AEX5HFFF1CJP6D62DM&

Blurb:
When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner, he discovers something he wasn’t expecting – the ghost of his ex! And, worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. Now.

As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means, he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate. Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship, or will he be seduced into the ever after?

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/spooky-the-ghost-slept-over-by-marshall-thornton/

I had really enjoyed the story, so I jumped at the chance to listen to the audiobook. I really liked the narration.
Jason Frazier did a good job, especially with the range of voices from Cal, Dewey and the females in the story. He made an already humourous story very entertaining. I’ll be looking for more of his narrations.

4 stars out of 5

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Recent Release: Agent Bayne (PsyCop #9) by Jordan Castillo Price

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37802034-agent-bayne?from_search=true

Blurb

Victor Bayne is through with the Chicago PD. Can he handle the FPMP?
After years of frustration as a PsyCop, Victor Bayne reports for duty at the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program. As a fledgeling agent, he’s ready to smoke out a few ghosts and be home each night in time for dinner. But is he prepared to add a professional dimension to his romantic partnership with Jacob Marks?
Jacob has already established his territory in the Program—he’s competent, he’s respected, and he’s pretty much fearless. The last thing Vic wants to do is screw up in front of him.
When fellow agents start turning up dead, Vic is expected to do more than just lay their ghosts to rest. But what if his psychic talent isn’t quite enough? As the death toll rises, he and Jacob scramble to determine who’s in danger, and who’s a killer.
Using all the resources at their disposal, they close in on their suspect. But as they do, their past comes back to haunt them…and even Jacob worries they’ve tampered with forces they should have left alone. Are their combined talents enough to protect them from enemies both living and dead?

Review

This book made me ridiculously happy!

First, it gives us more Jacob and Vic and even some Crash! We get to solve another mystery and just when we think we know all there is to know about Vic’s talent… there’s more to know!

Aaaand – it seems like there could be many of these with Vic as FPMP. I wouldn’t be sad if these went on for – I don’t know – EVER!

Aaaand – I love his new phone! So funny and realistic!

Aaaand- Jacob and Vic are still rock solid. They are such a great couple and I love watching their relationship evolve over time.

If you’re a fan, you’ve already read this and if you haven’t started this series – go do it!

 

I cannot wait for the audio!

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

 

 

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All The World’s An Undead Stage (Offbeat Crimes #6) by Angel Martinez

GoodReads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36195265-all-the-world-s-an-undead-stage

Blurb

Old actors never die shouldn’t be literally true.

Carrington Loveless III, skim-blood vampire and senior officer of Philly’s paranormal police department, has long suspected that someone’s targeting his squad. The increasingly bizarre and dangerous entities invading their city can’t be a coincidence. So when a walking corpse spouting Oscar Wilde attacks one of his officers, Carrington’s determined to uncover the evil mind behind it all.

As a rare books librarian, Erasmus Graham thought he understood some of the stranger things in life. Sharing a life with Carrington’s shown him he didn’t know the half of it. They’ve survived attack books and deadly dust bunnies together and got through mostly unscathed.

Now his world and his vampire’s appear ready to collide again. Books are missing from the rare books’ collection—old tomes of magic containing dangerous summonings and necromancy. He’s certain whoever’s been stalking the Seventy-Seventh is composing their end game.

It’s going to take a consolidated effort from paranormal police, librarians, and some not-quite-authorized civilians to head off the impending catastrophe.

Review

Unfortunately I think this is a book best read as part of the series and I haven’t done that L

 

What I see sounds intriguing and definitely unique and funny, but I was kinda lost and never really got immersed in this story.

 

I was intrigued by the librarian and didn’t read far enough to realize that I probably should have been reading the other books first… so.

 

I’m not going to rate this as that’s not a fair representation, but I’d go ahead and recommend it to fans of the author/series – so long as they’ve been reading along in order. This seems like a funny, unique series and I’m going to be going back to book one to look at it closer!

 

*no rating

 

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Audiobook: Love Wanted By: John Inman Narrated by: Ezekiel Robison

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-wanted-by-john-inman-8578-b

Blurb

When it rains, it pours. Not only has Larry Walls been evicted from his apartment, but his hours have also been cut at the department store where he works, leaving him facing homelessness.
Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.
Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.
When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.
Greed.
With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?

Review

I admit I was leery of this when I read the blurb. I really don’t like love triangles and I was worried about 3 men involved but not in a ménage. Well… yeah. So it is a bit of a love triangle and I didn’t really like it… but…

There are many great things about this:
John Inman is a great descriptive and creative writer and if you like stories with a unique twist and a bit of humor and some quirky characters – this is for you!

Ezekiel Robison – the reason I chose this to review – is amazing! He’s near the top of my short list of favorite narrators. He’s great at giving everyone unique voices, he moves the story along with his ability to portray emotion and comedic timing and he’s easy on the ears!

If you’re in the mood for something a little – diferent – I’d read some reviews and consider this one. It’s not your typical love story!

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars

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Ghost of a Chance (Requiem Inc. #1) by Kris T. Bethke

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ghost-of-a-chance-by-kris-t-bethke-9213-b

Blurb

Only love makes life worth living—over and over again.

Ghostwalker Blake Jones dies every day. It’s his job and how he helps trapped souls cross over. But to return to life, he needs an anchor. His new partner, Derek Scott, is a surprise. Not only is he male, but his appearance belies a caring and gentle heart. Despite attraction and a strengthening relationship, they know they shouldn’t take things further.

But there’s a big difference between knowing and doing.

Their growing love presents a problem, though not the one they expect. Blake and Derek have to decide if they should take their relationship to the most permanent level—an unbreakable metaphysical bond. Doing so offers both risk and unimaginable reward. Can Blake let go of his fears and put his complete trust in Derek in order to have the happily ever after he’s always craved?

Review

This is going on my list as one of the best books I read in 2017! I was captivated right from the start! I’d never encountered a set up like this and was immediately enthralled in the intimacy and horror and immediate connection shared by our two MCs.

Not only was this a wonderfully sweet and sensual romance, but the actual story of Ghost Walking and the ghosts they encounter were fascinating!

I really hope to see more from this world in the future!

6 of 5 stars

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The King’s Courage (North Pole City Tales #6) by Charlie Cochet

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-kings-courage-by-charlie-cochet-9168-b

Blurb

With the wedding of Jack Frost and Rudy Rein Dear only three weeks away, everyone travels to Jack’s palace in Svalbard, Norway, where the happy couple will exchange vows beneath the northern lights. Festivities have been planned leading up to the wedding, and Dasher eagerly anticipates not just the fun, but staying under the same roof as the blustering winter spirit who’s caught his eye—the King of Frost, Jack’s father.

A long-ago tragedy has left Eirik fearing to ever love again. As the King of Frost, Eirik maintains his distance from everyone, especially the young Christmas elf who insists on intruding on Eirik’s solitude. But Dasher is determined to find a way to show the lonely king that his heart still beats and he shouldn’t fear allowing it to beat for another.

Review

I have such a soft spot for this series! I absolutely adore the holiday themed curses and the totally unique take on all the old holiday figures and of course Charlie Cochet is the master at giving us romantic stories with humor, excitement and heat!

While you don’t have to read this series in order to fully understand each book, they do absolutely build on one another so those of us who have read them all are re-visiting old friends and finding out how they’re doing in the future, as well as having a bit more background on some of the secondary characters.

I think Eirik (I have no idea how that’s pronounced!) is adorably grumpy and while I get frustrated at his pining for millennia, he doesn’t spend much on page time pining. YAY! I think Dasher was a bit naïve and amazingly brave to approach mr. grumpypants, he was also sweet and the perfect match!

This particular book in the series was a bit more steamy than the others and it was awesome! 😉

I can’t recommend this series (and this book) enough!

5 of 5 stars

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Audiobook: The Charlatan’s Conquest by Vivien Dean Narrated by Simon Ferra

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-charlatans-conquest-by-vivien-dean-8592-

Blurb
With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together

Review
From the title I wasn’t sure about this story but seriously I should not judge. This a lovely paranormal story. Cruz reluctantly agrees to stand in for his friend, who is a genuine ghost hunter, on a seemingly easy job. I liked how Brody whilst suspicious of Cruz as a ghost hunter was still willing, for his father’s sake, to see the eviction through. Especially as Brody’s relationship with his father is already tense. The flow of the story is really good and kept me interested. I wanted to know if Cruz would tell Brody he was not a real ghost hunter, if there really was a ghost and who was it. I do like a mystery and if it’s a real ghost story so much the better. This story took a great unexpected turn about halfway through which brought Cruz and Brody even closer together. As the story progresses I got more into it, it did feel a bit slow at the start. I really liked Etienne, the real ghost hunter and his sister. I liked the little surprises the story has. Overall an enjoyable story with a satisfying ending.
Simon Ferra is a new Narrator to me and I really liked his style. I loved Etienne’s southern accent with just the right a of snark. Cruz’s forthright and honest manner came through clearly as did Brody’s weariness. Very good characterisation and story telling.

4 of stars out of 5

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