Author: Lou Harper
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publisher: Self-Published (Harper Books)
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: Two polar opposites collide with the result being a funny and sweet love story that kept me entertained to the end.
Blurb: Dying sucks hairy monkey balls, even when you’re not the stiff.
Denton Mills has a secret: he can see dead people. Or rather, how they died. It’s quite a drag in a city like Chicago, teeming with the echoes of the no-longer living. Rather than whine about it, Denton has learned to live with his troublesome talent. His adaptability comes in handy when he meets his enigmatic new neighbor.
Bran Maurell catches Denton’s eye right away, but unfortunately Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious is as standoffish as he is alluring. However, after an unexpected introduction from Bran’s cat brings the two men together, Denton discovers they have a mutual interest in the spirit world. Herbalist by day, Bran moonlights as a witch, performing house cleansings for a fee.
From Bran, Denton learns that his knack for interacting with the dead qualifies him as a necromancer. It makes good business sense for them to team up and rid Chicago of its pesky spirits one grateful client at a time. Amongst ghostly adventures the attraction between the men is impossible to ignore. They seem like perfect partners—unless Bran’s not-so-little secret comes between them.
Review: Okay. Fan girl moment–sorry…Squee, I loved this book! There, done. Now I can be a serious reviewer again. I so admire this author. With each book, Lou Harper solidifies her spot as a top notch story teller whose novels remain fresh and exciting. The plot lines have just enough twists and are packed with more than their fair share of action making them exciting to read. The dialogue is rich and humorous and often reveals so much about her characters. Her characters…oh my…vibrant, alive (even when undead), believable and engaging; these are people you actually want to meet, whose lives are fascinating and entertaining.
We first met Denton briefly in Spirit Sanguine and thankfully he now stars in his own story. Slightly hyper, with just a bit of snark, Denton moves through his life trying to avoid the dead spirits that pop up with alarming frequency. His encounter with the next door neighbor, Bran, leads him to discover that he can also affect a spirits journey, pushing them back to the afterlife where they belong. The two men begin a tentative partnership, but Bran is elusive and Denton is determined to discover what keeps the witch from letting go and allowing Denton into his life and his bed.
First, I just have to say–this story was fun–pure and unadulterated fun. The author hit gold with these two characters and then proceeded to play them off one another with the result being a witty, sexy little story that I just never wanted to see end. Here was Bran, so serious, so closed off to social interaction coming up against Denton, who never really got the idea that he should think before he speaks. They are polar opposites who somehow work together in a glorious way, complementing the other.
As they stumble their way through one job after another, you watch as Denton evolves into this caring and truly thoughtful man. When he discovers Bran’s secret, the way in which he calms and assures Bran, cares for him, it is just tender and oh so sweet. Bran slowly comes out of his shell due to Denton’s careful yet persistent challenge to let loose a little and give the two of them a chance at something more than just a working partnership.
Oh dear reader, I am hardly doing this novel justice. I was enthralled from beginning to end. The story was fast moving, interesting and well executed. The dialogue was intelligent, snappy, and fresh. The characters, well developed, fascinating, and just downright funny. Dead Men & The Restless Spirits grabbed my attention straight out of the gate and kept me glued to its pages the entire way.
I must admit that this latest novel has guaranteed that Lou Harper will be an auto buy for me in the future. In a genre that is, in my opinion, glutted with what seems to be the same tired story line just told in a different voice, Lou Harper shines out as an innovative and entertaining storyteller that demands your attention. I look forward with great anticipation to what this author offers up next. In the meantime I have this little gem to reread and that is perhaps the highest praise I can offer–that this novel will be one I will savor again and again.
I highly recommend this book, Dead Men & The Restless Spirits AND this author to you, dear reader. This is one you simply should not miss!