Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Stumptown Spirits
Author: E.J. Russell
Heroes: Logan Conner/Riley Morrel
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 240 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: What price would you pay to rescue a friend from hell?
For Logan Conner, the answer is almost anything. Guilt-ridden over trapping his college roommate in a ghost war rooted in Portland’s pioneer past, Logan has spent years searching for a solution. Then his new boyfriend, folklorist Riley Morrel, inadvertently gives him the key. Determined to pay his debt—and keep Riley safe—Logan abandons Riley and returns to Portland, prepared to give up his freedom and his future to make things right.
Crushed by Logan’s betrayal, Riley drops out of school and takes a job on a lackluster paranormal investigation show. When the crew arrives in Portland to film an episode about a local legend of feuding ghosts, he stumbles across Logan working at a local bar, and learns the truth about Logan’s plan.
Their destinies once more intertwined, the two men attempt to reforge their relationship while dodging a narcissistic TV personality, a craven ex-ghost, and a curmudgeonly bar owner with a hidden agenda. But Logan’s date with destiny is looming, and his life might not be the only one at stake.
Review: This was a very hard book for me to review. On one hand, I loved the ghost hunters and ghost legends theme, and I obviously love gay romance novels, but two complex storylines made for a very difficult reading experience. Don’t get me wrong, the book is well written, and it was enjoyable…but, just a tad long and drawn out. I believe my issue was the complete development of too many secondary characters. I really don’t think I needed to know so much about them and I found myself skimming because I really only wanted to get to two things: the mystery and the romance, the rest was filler.
Riley and Logan split before the book begins, so you are not yet afforded their character development to understand the true depth of feeling they have for one another. At times you wonder why Riley would even want to go back to someone who treats him so horribly. Of course, as the story progresses, you learn more about the reasons why Logan took off, and why he continues to be a complete douche, but after a while, and all the miscommunication you start to lose interest and just want their story to move along.
The mystery itself was very entertaining…and I was excited to see how it finally played out in the end. I admit I got a bit lost in the details, and was wondering how the third Stump ghost fit in because I kind of missed that part, but all in all, it was a great mystery. I would have liked to see how Travis recovered, and more Logan and Travis dialogue after he recovered, because the whole story was basically centered around Logan rescuing Travis. The fact that he was willing to give up his lover and his life for Travis, but then not have a bit more closure between the two at the conclusion was kind of a let down.
As I am reading over my review, I find that I am not thrilled with it because it gives the impression this was not a good book and that I didn’t really like it. That is not the case – I did like it and it was interesting. There were just some things that really prohibited me from loving it and they needed to be mentioned. But I still think that those who love a good ghost story and mystery will get a kick out of this book, though.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*