Reviewed by Ami
Title: Surreal Estate
Author: Jesi Lea Ryan
Heroes: Nick & Sasha
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 271 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: November 5, 2018
Available at: Riptide Publishing & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Sasha Michaels is a psychic with an affinity for houses. And he’s homeless. Go figure. After months of sleeping rough, he stumbles upon an abandoned house, and the lonely place beckons him inside. He’s finally safe . . . until someone comes blundering in to his hideaway.
House-flipper Nick Cooper lost everything in the recession. Desperate to revive his business, he turns to a loan shark to fund his comeback project: flipping an abandoned house full of potential. But it turns out the house has an unexpected occupant.
Nick and Sasha make a deal: Sasha can stay in exchange for helping with the renovation. To both of their surprise, the closer they get to the loan shark’s due date, the stronger their feelings for each other grow. Problem is, Nick isn’t the only one with feelings for Sasha, and now the house doesn’t want to let Sasha go.
I was curious with the blurb of this one. It says “psychic with an affinity for houses” and that was something NEW for me. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such description for character in romance – I have read characters with psychometry power but not one that only limited to houses. So, I took the chance to read this from a new-to-me author – this is also her first M/M book, I believe.
And I wholeheartedly enjoyed it!!
From the two men, I had more affection towards Sasha. How could I not? Sasha has been down on his luck. Since his grandfather died and his drug addict mother took the only house he knows, Sasha has nowhere else to go. Being homeless, he sleeps at the abandoned house whom later being bought by Nick for a house-flipping job.
Nonetheless, I never felt that Sasha is giving up on life. When Nick gives him a chance to earn his staying at the house by working for Nick, Sasha grabs the chance and be tenacious at it. Of course, it helps that the house has been attached to him, so Sasha can help Nick by showing things that can improve the house.
Nick, on the other hand …. well, with him being 15 years older than Sasha, I was a little baffled with how ‘seemingly stupid’ he is sometimes, especially when it comes to his finance. I mean, really, borrowing money from a loan shark?! Then acts like things would not be as bad if he couldn’t sell the house? That sounds really naïve, don’t you think?
In addition, it’s not like Nick doesn’t have a GREAT support system – with his loving parents and supportive siblings. Although I know that is never an assurance for people not acting stupid, but still…
In the romantic relationship development, I liked how the progress. When you read between the lines, Nick made his move towards Sasha rather quickly (in terms of timeline). However, it still felt rather slow-burn to me, probably because other things were going at the same time, most naturally the project on the house. I also appreciated that Nick aren’t in too much denial with him suddenly liking a guy, since before he is married to a woman. Probably helps that Nick’s older brother is gay *grin*.
All in all, this is an enjoyable read. I hope Ms. Ryan will continue somehow with the story of Nick’s older brother, Steven. He needs his own happy ending. Also, it’ll be nice to get updates on how Sasha and Nick work on their personal and professional partnership.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*