Title: Raven’s Rest
Author: Stephen Osborne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 23rd sept, 2016
Genre(s): Second-chance Romance, Paranormal, Mystery
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Michael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.
Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.
“Raven’s Rest” by Stephen Osborne is my first read by this author. It is a combination of mystery and romance with the entire backdrop being paranormal. I have indulged in quite a bit of supernatural reads this year and I was looking forwards to another HAUNTING. I didn’t love this book due to many holes in the mystery plot but overall the romance and the characters were very enjoyable and I ended up liking it. The haunting parts were not that scary and there were no ‘OMG’ twists in the story but overall it was a sweet romance tale (the supernatural couple won my heart over the live ones!!!)
Michael is running away from his abusive partner and he ends up in Banning, Illinois. On his first night in the old and spooky inn, Michael is visited by the spirit of Coleman Hollis. Coleman and his boyfriend Bryan disappeared within a short time of each other many years back and no one knew what happened to them. But now it seems that Coleman is reaching out to Michael because he wants to find his long lost lover. Michael finds out that he looks exactly like the long lost Bryan and he feels a strong sort of compulsion to help solve the mystery of the ill-fated lovers.
Michael finds work in a café and falls for the quirky/sassy musician Trey. Both of them try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Coleman Hollis and Bryan Finn. But there are dangers threatening both of them and they are actually from flesh and blood human beings. They have to solve it soon before someone decides to get rid of them to hide a long-buried crime.
I loved Trey and his smart mouth. He was lazy, creative, badass (not!) and a complete sweetheart. I enjoyed Michael and Trey’s banter. Trey was always there for Michael through his altercation with his ex and his efforts to unravel the mystery.
The romance develops pretty quickly. I thought that Michael falling in love so soon after getting out of an abusive relationship is a little unrealistic. The intimate scenes were there but not descriptive and were off page. The development of the relationship part is non-existent which left me unsatisfied. As for the mystery, I guessed the outcome very early in the story, also the reason behind it. But still the conclusion was nice and exciting.
Overall, I enjoyed this spooky “Halloween” themed story. The characters were lovable and the pacing was nice. Raven’s Rest inn with its old charm and mystery was the perfect setting for this supernatural romance/mystery. If you like ghost stories with mystery then this is the book for you.