Reviewed by JustJen
Author: Santino Hassell
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 204 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 26, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.
Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.
Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.
Review: This was a creepy little story about the band Stygian, made up of Jeremy, Kennedy, Watts and Quince, who rent an old house for the summer as a band retreat to work on new music. Things get eerie pretty quickly once the guys arrive to find the mansion has some pretty big secrets.
There is some major strife going on with this foursome. They are all broken in one way or another and trying to keep the pieces together by way of the band. Jeremy lost his brother to suicide, and has taken the place of the band’s previous drummer who died in a car accident. Tensions are high all around as they try to work things out. Watts and Quince are in some type of seemingly unhealthy relationship where it seems Watts is only using him. Jeremy is also trying to control his feelings for Kennedy, which seem to be unrequited at this point. Add to that the creepy landlords, Hunter and Laurel, who seem to be manipulating them all and causing all kinds of trouble. Jeremy already feels like the outsider trying to fit in and take the place of someone who was irreplaceable. So, it doesn’t take much for Hunter to place doubts in Jeremy’s head where his band mates are concerned. Needless to say, there is a lot of tension and edginess all around.
Mr. Hassell always paints such a vivid picture with his writing, and the creepy factor amped that up even more. There’s a little mystery surrounding the house and them in general, but it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. The end wraps up pretty quickly, and the paranormal aspect somewhat glossed over. But what I loved was seeing these guys work through their feelings and get past all their anger and animosity towards one another to get to a point where you can see them actually staying together as a unit and self-made family. They all have past issues, some of which intertwine, and it takes them finally getting everything out in the open for them to be able to move past some things.
I found this story a nice change of pace with just enough build up and action to satisfy yet still left me wanting to see more of them. If you are looking for something about guys with issues, a little mystery and creepiness thrown in, be sure to give this one a try.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*