Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Raven’s Rest
Author: Stephen Osborne
Heroes: Michael Cook/Trey Ramsey
Genre: MM Romantic Suspense
Length: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 23, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Michael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.
Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.
When I saw the title of this book, I had a strong suspicion it would have some influences from Edgar Allan Poe’s work. Ha! I was right…but only a little.
I read Pale as a Ghost years ago and I remember really enjoying it, but somehow this author fell off my radar. Probably, if I remember correctly, Pale as a Ghost was one of his first books and I wasn’t able to binge on the entire series or other books by him…
After running away from his abusive lover, Michael ends up checking himself into the Raven’s Rest Inn as a last resort. Rumor around town is that the inn is haunted and it isn’t long before Michael has his first “ghostly” experience. When Michael gets a job at a nearby cafe and begins dating Trey, the owners son, the resident ghost at Raven’s Rest expresses his anger. But why? Who is the ghost and why hasn’t he passed on into the after life?
Raven’s Rest is a supernatural mystery first, and romance second.
I really enjoyed the mystery and the pacing and suspense was done very well. It was fairly obvious early on what had happened to the ghost….to cause him to become a ghost, but Michael feels he needs to help the ghost somehow. Michael elicits help from the town witch in hopes to discovering what the ghost wants, and soon Michael is in more danger than he even realizes.
The haunting scenes were exceptionally creepy and on point for freaking me out when I was reading in bed late at night. Still, there were not any big twists or surprises and too many times Michael would walk through town…alone…at night, and I wanted to scream at him to stop being so stupid!! So when something bad happened, it was always expected, but still somehow suspenseful.
The romance is sweet. Michael and Trey were adorable together. And how could anyone not like Trey?! I loved his snark and his boasting and it was obvious he really cared for Michael. There is no on page sex, which kinda surprised me a little, but the lack of naked time didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the romance. There is also the storyline with Michael’s ex-boyfriend. Again, predictable, but I’m happy to see some closure between the former couple in the end.
Final thoughts: a good spooky mystery with a sweet romance on the side.
Overall Impression: I Really Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*