Title: Going Under
Author: Lisa Worrall
Cover Artist: Lee Tiffin
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: paranormal romance, horror
Length: novella (155 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Larissa
Review Summary: A dark story that has romantic and sweet angles that I really enjoyed reading.
Blurb: Evan Griffin, bruised and battered by unseen forces, walks into the offices of paranormal investigators, Knight & Stone. Ross Stone is captivated by the injured man. Does he dare risk getting close to Evan when he’s fighting his own demons?
Evan Griffin moved into his remote country house with all the excitement and promise of a new start. He thought he’d found it until the strange noises began… When the attacks became physical, he was left bruised and battered and desperate for help.
When Evan walks into the offices of paranormal investigators, Knight & Stone, Ross Stone is dumbfounded by the injuries the man bears. Injuries Evan insists were caused by an unseen assailant in his own home. Something in the man’s eyes tugs at Ross’s heartstrings. But dare he risk getting close to Evan when he is fighting his own demons?
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains moderate violence.
Review: For those who follow me on GoodReads it’s no secret that I love this author’s work and when Going Under was up for review, I jumped at the chance. Good thing I did too, because I didn’t only really like the story on a personal level, but it also hit all the markers for a good story.
Guess now you want to know the low down, don’t ya?
Going Under is advertised as containing violence and a happy for now ending. While the first is true, the latter I found is not really so. It’s like the season finale of Supernatural when Dean is eating dinner with Lisa after averting the apocalypse and you think all is over and done with and then its cue to Sam who’s watching from the outside while we all thought he was ‘dead.’
This dark, spooky ghost story focuses on Evan and Ross and their friends and colleagues. Evan just moved to a new house and is enjoying his new surroundings and coming to terms with a death of a loved one. Only, all is not well. At first there are the classic signs of a haunting. Loud bangs, knocking, things moved or disappearing and reappearing. When it moves on to physical abuse, Evan is left no choice but to seek help.
Help comes in the form of Ross Stone a paranormal investigator who has his own dark past. Together they try to solve the mystery that surrounds Evan while the hauntings get more darker and more violent.
Like all of this author’s previous books, I found Going Under to be a well written story that draws the reader right into the dark, spooky setting. With the right words this author spins a story that is quite creepy, tragic and dark without overdoing it.
There are some ‘soapy’ elements such as Ross’ ex and his abusive past. For some reason, I didn’t quite find that story arc to fit the story, but it does give an extra layer to the story and gives more insight into Ross’ life. Of course, I’m not a big fan of abuse in stories anymore, so that might just be me.
Going Under is a novella where a lot happens in a short time. There is a good characterization, but it’s tailored to the story. With a longer story the characterizations would have been more drawn out and solid, but Ross and Evan fit the story without being stereotypes. They have their own quirks, but more importantly, their own voices.
Evan is an interesting, mysterious character. He’s been through a lot, with not only a tragedy in his past, but also a recent one. It feels like he’s never quite able to catch a break and there were several moments throughout the book where I just wanted to hug him close. He’s trying to keep himself from being hurt again, but has no resistance against Ross.
Ross is also a likable character, if not a very chaotic one at times. There were several instances throughout the story where I just wanted to yell at him or hit him with a shoe to slap some sense into him! He is one of those people who needs someone to love him and care for him. Ross is also someone who moves fast and his is instantly attracted to Evan when they meet.
Needless to say, there is a case of instant attraction and it doesn’t take long for Ross and Evan to jump into bed. While it’s not a case of insta!love, they don’t let any grass grow under their feet.
Along with this came my niggle. Evan has been heavily abused by the big, bad, nasty ghost with hurt ribs and all, yet it was very easy for him to do bed gymnastics with Ross. All I can say is OUCH OUCH OUCH. It’s something I’ve encountered in several books and makes me wonder if authors know how much it hurts to have bruised ribs or just be banged up in general.
My other niggle concerned the ‘murder’ in the story. At some point a body is discovered in the garden. While it’s clear that this is a set up for a possible future story – if not it’s a great big hole – the manner in which it was executed in the story was a bit clumsy and easy. It made the police seem incompetent but the guys as well. It was way to easily solved to be credible.
While the above may seem like some heavy critique, Going Under is a story that is nicely done and well written. The story is told from several POV’s that are not intrusive or leave the reader’s head spinning. The author knows her way around words and is able to draw reader’s right into the story and give each character his or her own voice and thus well worth the read in my book.