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Over a century ago Illusionist David Berkeley committed suicide in his mansion by the sea, thus dooming his restless spirit to wander forever. Or so the local legend goes…
Professor Rhys Davies, a part-time parapsychologist, is writing a book on California hauntings and he believes the crumbling ruins of Berkeley House will make a terrific chapter — if he can gain access to the house and grounds. The only obstacle is brooding cop and self-appointed caretaker, Sam Devlin. As obstacles go, Devlin is a big one.
But you know what they say. The bigger they are, the harder they fall…
“Ghost of a Chance” first appeared in the 2007 anthology, Scared Stiff, where Josh joined best-selling authors William Maltese, Sarah Black and Laura Baumbach for a quartet of very different stories of m/m supernatural doings that had readers panting (in more ways than one) under the covers.
This book scared the BEJEEEEZUS out of me! No joke, there were times I had trouble breathing out of sheer fear. True, I am a wimp of EPIC proportions. But when it comes to those “Do NOT go in there! Why are you going IN there?!” moments, I am especially terrorized. This books had LOTS of these moments.
Rhys is writing a book about haunted houses and visits this small coastal town to research Berkeley house, the home of a magician who beheaded himself after his fiance ran off with his best friend. Whoa…drama much?! No worries, it’s happened over 100 years ago! While staying at a friend’s house, Rhys meets the friend’s nephew Sam, a big, burly cop (Wheee! My favorite kind!) who warns him against going anywhere near the house!
As you can guess Rhys and Sam get to doing the nasty and go all enemies-to-lovers on us and develop feelings. This part of the story left me unimpressed as I had no notion of what attracted them to one another (I mean, Lanyon even describes Sam, through Rhys’ eyes, as unattractive!) And the just short of insta-lust to insta-love…well, I wasn’t buying it.
But this matters not in this book (what? A romance reader not caring about the ill-developed romance arc?). The true stars of this book where the creepy crawlies…the black figures in the night, the cold miasma coming from the cellar, the eerie sounds of chains, the guillotine. Those are the things that grabbed me and drew me into the story. The mystery and the suspense.
I guess because of that, despite the fact that Lanyon sometimes has a tendency of leaving me hanging at the end of books in the relationship category, I felt complete at the end of this book because the mystery element was solved.
Scary, with some smexy lovin’…and a rip roarin’ good time. Caution: read with the lights on! :)