A guest review by John
Summary Review: Evil ghost makes for interesting salvage work at the castle.
Expecting another run-of-the-mill salvage job, Bo Andressen and his crew arrive at a crumbling castle in Wales and walk into a mystery of murder, hidden treasure, and greed with roots in the far past. In cooperating with the local law enforcement, Bo agrees to bring in a psychic, hoping to debunk rumors that the castle is haunted. However, paranormal liaison Tristan Lambert discovers that ghosts are only one suspected danger.
Bo doesn’t believe in ghosts, but Tristan is convinced they’re dealing with a revenant—a hostile spirit that feeds on sexual energy and will stop at nothing, including possession and coercion, to get it. The arrival of the castle’s owner, Sir Rhys Turcotte, with his secretary—who happens to be Bo’s ex-lover—complicates an already dangerous situation. Unwittingly bound together by an evil spell, Bo and Tristan seek to unmask the revenant’s earthly allies… before more people become victims to an ancient evil seeking rebirth.
This is an expanded novel-length reprint of the novella Revenant originally published in the Desire Beyond Death anthology by Dreamspinner Press.
The definition of revenant is ‘a person returned from the dead’, at least according to the New Oxford American Dictionary that came with my new kindle. In context of this story, revenant is referring to the ghost who is trying to return from the dead. This particular ghost, with the help of one scheming and conniving human, needs the fluids from virgin men to gradually increase his powers. This ghost was once a Crusader king from the middle ages and he built a castle in Wales. And supposedly there is buried treasure. Which is why Bo Andresson and his salvage crew are doing excavation work on the castle.
The story opens with a young man meeting his lover at the crumbling castle. He has no idea of the evil that awaits him. The ghost possesses the man, takes him sexually, and absorbs his fluids, tears, blood, and semen, and finally his very life force. As multiple orgasms are forced from the man, the ghost grows more and more solid. And closer to his goal of coming back from the dead.
The body is discovered, the police investigate, and advice is given that this is not your normal run of the mill murder. It will defy and confound closely held beliefs and norms of the small Welsh community. So a paranormal liaison is hired to deal with the ghost. Tristan has a tragic past but seems eager to use his special skills to guide the ghost across the divide from this world to the next. But the plan is interrupted almost immediately. This ghost is very strong and evil and sees in Tristan the ultimate source of power he needs.
This story is very involved. It is told from first person, but certain things happen to completely change the characters. Part of this happens when possession occurs. Some minor players die and their spirits than play a major role in the action. I had a difficult time keeping all this lined up in my head.
In a subplot Tristan and Bo have sex in a possessed outer body experience. It seems that in several past lives, Bo was assigned as Tristan’s protector. Tristan tries to explain this to an unbelieving Bo. Within this context, the author includes several theories about ancient earth, two of which are alien visitation and the existance of Atlantis. It seemed to me that she was throwing in the proverbial kitchen sink to cover all the bases in this story. It was a bit much for me. And there is a lot of blood and gore.
And as far as romance goes, I’m not sure if what Tristan and Bo share would really qualify. They are immediately attracted to each other, but within their first sexual encounter, the evil ghost possesses them both to build his own power and manipulate them into continued sex. And this distracts both the liaison and his protector. Which is the point as well.
Some of you will probably like this story. I usually like a certain amount of paranormal activity in the plot, but this was way too complicated and far out for me. But it is written well. The publisher did a great job.
This story contains references to rape or dubious consent and may offend some readers.