Title: Bittersweet Candy Kisses (All Petit Morts Stories)
Author: Sean Kennedy
Cover Artist: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Length: Novelette (14,000 words) 50 PDF pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Another well plotted story about two MCs who wanted a second chance at love.
Wes Jackson doesn’t believe in ghosts. His Fremantle ghost walk is for entertainment purposes only—right down to the psychic medium (aka his mother) who’s always shocked to find “presences” on his tours…four times a week.
If ghosts were real, the Fremantle Round House would be teeming with them. Australian convicts built the forbidding walls, and after the prison outgrew it, mental patients were locked away within its stark cells. But preternatural activity? None. Any trepidation Wes usually displays while leading his tour through the tunnel beneath the Round House is pure theatrics—until the longtime partner he split with turns up, and ghost of their relationship rears its head.
Can Chance help them resurrect the spirit of their lost love?
Wesley Jackson had left his safe job as a social worker at forty one because he hated it with a passion and he wasn’t at all daunted to start over as a self employed tour guide for the supposedly haunted Freemantle Round House in Western Australia, a former prison that had also housed mental patients at one point. His mother Maeve, a very colourful woman, was employed by him to provide atmosphere and play her part of convincing tourists that the Roundhouse’s reputation as a haunted house was well deserved. However she always overdoes the theatrics and histrionics which results in her being at odds with Wes because his policy is “less is more”.
Farid, Wes’s former lover with whom he had lived for 3 years, suddenly showed up out of the blue at Sweets to the Sweet, the starting point on the tour because someone had sent him a flyer about Wes’s new venture. Wes had negotiated a deal with Chance to have the tour members convene in Sweets where he would ply them with his unique chocolate concoctions.
Farid was a member of a Royal family and during their 3 year relationship he had made no effort to inform his father that he was gay or that Wes was not his roommate but his lover, which led to their breakup because Wes was tired of waiting to be acknowledged by his boyfriend. When Farid arrived on the tour this caused a heated exchange between him and Maeve since she was still mad at him about the reason for the breakup. But what was worse, Wes continued to feel that he was injured party even though he was the one who broke things off. Would he give their relationship a chance for a future?
Sean Kennedy writes plotty books which is why I enjoy his writing so much. He tells stories, and Spirits and Second Chances is no exception, despite its short length. The story was well constructed, the atmosphere was dark, and there was an unexpected twist compliments of Chance who was in his element.
Farid’s father and the impact that he had on his son’s and Wes’s relationship were interwoven in a way that showed why it went wrong, but I would have liked a bit more information about Farid’s family. Meeting again it was obvious that Wes and Farid wished they had taken a different path 2 years ago because they missed each other and regretted their separation, but would they get the opportunity to rewrite history? With Chance in the mix there was a good possibility that the lovers could be reunited.
Petit Morts is always a story within a story and the overarching theme is about Chance’s journey. I was curious to see how he would interact with Wes and Farid and what his role would be in bringing them together, and Sean managed to add a different twist to both the romance and the haunted house.
I thought that this story was scary without blowing my head off 🙂 and the characters and their backgrounds were authentic. I loved Maeve who didn’t need ghosts to scare anyone off – she was scary enough in her own right.