More importantly...they won't shut up and leave me alone!!!
I'm pretty sure that thought is frequently in Rain Christiansen's mind. As on of the FBI's golden boys Rain is at the top of his game until a tiny little paranormal incident crashes his world and then he's not. Rain's boss gives him one last shot at redemption when he sends him to Brickell Bay to help solve a cold case...it's the last place he wants to be. Brickell Bay use to be home for Rain, but he's tried hard to leave all that behind.
Not only is Brickell Bay his family home it's the home of the man he once loved and if he's honest about things...he still loves Danny. Daniel McKenna works as a cold case detective and his current case just keeps getting colder and colder until some much needed help arrives in the form of Rain Christiansen, Danny's ex, who shows up in town with his own personal ghost in tow, a ghost named Ethan.
Ethan's dead and he knows this but he needs Rain to get a message to his family before he can move on and he's willing to do anything to get Rain's help with delivering it. If he hast to haunt Rain or follow him to Brickell Bay, help him solve his latest assignment or even find and bring him other ghost to help him solve things...he'll do it.
More often than not the interactions between Ethan and Rain were laced with sarcasm and humor as we those between Danny and Rain. Although there was a lot of frustration, anger, and sexual tension between these two men as well.
"P.S. I Spook You' is a solid blend of romance and mystery with both plotlines sharing center stage from start to finish. The story flowed at a steady pace that was easy to follow and consistently held my interest not allowing me time to become bored or for my mind to wander off to other things.
I love a book that makes me laugh...this one did that.
I love a good romantic thriller...this one was that.
I love a book that has me liking both MCs...this one did that.
I love a book that has an interesting and varied collection of secondary characters...this one had those.
I love a good mystery...this one had that.
I also love a well narrated audio book...and this one also had this, with Noah Michael Levine as the narrator.
It's been a while since I've enjoyed a series narrated by Mr. Levine. His voices gave me distinct and expressive voices that carried me smoothly through the story from start to finish adding to my enjoyment of an already very enjoyable reading/listening experience.
While 'P.S. I Spook You' was not my first book by S.E. Harmon it was definitely different and unique to the other stories by this author and I very much enjoyed this foray into the world of the paranormal. While it was definitely a serious story but it was tinged with a solid dose of humor that enhanced added levity and simply made things more interesting and fun.
I look forward to enjoying more from both this author and this narrator and would definitely recommend this one to fans of romance, murder mysteries, the paranormal or simply a good story they can enjoy.
An audio book of 'P.S. I Spook You' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
It's probably best to do that before jumping into this one. Could you read 'A Deeper Blue' without reading 'The Blueprint' possibly but I don't think it would be as enjoyable and possibly you'd read it feeling like you missed something...so lets go with no...you need to read 'The Blueprint' first.
Ironically for me one of the things that bothered me the most about 'The Blueprint' is actually dealt with here in 'A Deeper Blue' and that was the ending, as I said in my review for 'The Blueprint'...
Without going into a lot of details there was one thing that totally kept this from being a 5 star read for me and that was the ending. I just didn't understand some of the choices that were made...especially by Kelly and while I would have at least liked a Happy For Now with a strong promise of a happily ever after what I feel like I got was more like a 'this'll probably all be good'. It just felt like after every thing that Blue and Kelly went through and put each other through things should have been more solid.
and mainly it turns out that was because where we were left in 'The Blueprint' wasn't the end...it was more of a pause in the story.
So here's the thing in 'A Deeper Blue' we basically pick up where 'The Blueprint' leaves off and Kelly and Blue are solidly planted in their relationship...no it's not happily ever after time and things aren't perfect but for both of these men...'this is it.'
Other than to say that at times I found things to be moving a little slower than I would have liked there were a lot of things that worked well for me in this one. First off lets talk about the relationship...
The thing that made the strongest connection for me with these two men was their focus in the relationship. For Kelly it wasn't that being with Blue meant being in the closet it was Blue's safety. He got it. He got the fact that Blue having the career he did couldn't just be out and proud. Not that he liked it or was complacent with it but he understood and for Kelly the priority was Blue being safe and he already stressed about the potential injuries that Blue faced ever time he stepped out onto the field without adding the increased potential of being a gay and out football player and the increase risk that it would mean to him...homophobia in sports...sadly, it's still a thing. In Kelly's eyes the risk to Blue outweighed the benefits of him being out about their relationship. It's what you do when you love someone...you put their well being and happiness above the things you want...which leads to Blue...
Blue was probably every bit as miserable as Kelly maybe even more so about keeping their relationship in the closet. But in his heart it wasn't what he wanted. All he wanted was Kelly...yes, he still loves football and wants to play but for Blue his priorities are changing and he's starting to realize that footballs not all he wants and maybe it's not the most important thing that he wants.
The road to happily ever after is neither easy or clear for Kelly or Blue. Both men are going to find that in order to get what they want it's going to take faith, trust, compromise, patience and a lot of determination.
There were some surprises with some of the secondary characters that I liked...like Blue's agent, it turned out he was one of the good guys and then there was Blue's brother. Ian may not have been the perfect supportive brother but his response to finding out about Blue was real and for him it wasn't about understanding or approval but it was about the fact that Blue was his brother...his family and you don't turn your back on family.
Then there was Blue's father...yep, he's still a-bag-o-dicks, sorry but for me this man did not deserve the sons he'd been given and add in a blast from the past that was heading Blue's way and it's only with Kelly's love and support that he's able to man-up and deal with things and as always with these two men there's laughter and smiles.
'A Deeper Blue' was the ending that I needed and was looking for in the first book and that's ok because anything worth having, is worth waiting for.
An ARC of 'A Deeper Blue' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I just had to buy thus one after the downloaded free sample hooked me.
Fooled me. I kept wavering on whether or not to DNF. There kept being pieces where it would start to get good, the world start to be interesting ... so uneven. Nothing really wrong with the editing like the books I can really rant about. It just seemed like couldn't make up its mind what story it wanted to tell.
I should have DNF'ed and won't be continuing the series. It wouldn't surprise me to find out the book was a collaboration with authors far apart in age. Equally the inconsistency could be just a newbie author not quite pulling it together. "Done with the series" doesn't mean I'd never give this author another chance.
One thing I really disliked in main character was how there was an implied judgment tIhat only she was a good, moral person -- sometimes her attitudes and decisions read like author was a mom creating perfect Stepford daughter. Then again, I'm getting to where I loathe stories where the moral choice is whatever main character does but same choice made by other character is immoral.
Not only is Poppy Harmon grieving the death of her husband, she learns he has gambled all of their money and left her penniless.
Poppy, a former 80's television actress on a detective show is now in her early sixties and doesn't have a clue where to start looking for a job to support herself. After throwing herself a pity party her sexagenarian best friends, Iris and Violet suggests she open a detective agency because she loves to solve mysteries on screen and in books. At first she thinks the idea is ridiculous, however seeing a picture in your mind of being homeless and hungry will change a thought process. Just because she had a role on a tv detective show will she have the skills to be a detective in real life?
I enjoyed the idea of the author writing this cozy mystery with a "seasoned" protagonist however, that's where my enjoyment stops. The mystery happened fifty percent into the story. I felt Poppy should have let her voice be heard more and not be so laid back. I didn't feel any connections with the remaining characters and didn't agree with the role of one of the characters.
Once the story's pace gets moving, all the suspicions and suspects come into play. Although there were multiple story lines which added more twists and turns they did connect and were easy to follow. The ending was a total surprise.
Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis is the first in the Desert Flowers Mystery. I hope to see the future releases in this series to have stronger character development and a less lingering of the plot.
Thank you Netgalley and Kensington for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.