Title: Past the Breakers
Author: Lucie Archer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Casey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.
Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades, he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.
With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?
Casey North’s life has been a bit damn awful lately. His restaurant burned down, his girlfriend left him, he’s gaining weight, panic attacks prevent him from cooking, and he’s returning to his coastal California home town – “crawling home empty-handed with his tail between his legs and nothing to show for his twenty-nine years on earth” – to live in a rented beach house and figure out his life.
Of course, things could be much worse … Myles Taylor, a professional surfer, drown in a riptide and his body hasn’t been recovered. He went from getting ready to propose to his boyfriend during their weekend get-away at the beach, to “waking” up on the beach … dead, or more precisely trapped in the Between. The beach house he was staying in is now inhabited by a grumpy depressed guy named Casey and his cat Jasper and the only way Myles can communicate is by kicking things and scaring the bejesus out of the cat.
As the story develops, Myles gains strength and focus and is able to communicate with Casey and eventually manifest his physical presence. And as weird as it sounds, Myles and Casey begin a relationship that is really supportive and touching. Myles help Casey overcome his panic attacks while Casey helps Myles contact his boyfriend and try to figure out what happened that day. And in the process, they fall in love.
But Casey wanted to find a way to make it work with his ghost boyfriend, even though saying that out loud could get him a one-way ticket to Crazy Town.
There is a murder/mystery element to this story, but it very much takes second place to the romance. We do find out what happens, but I felt the conclusion was too melodramatic and hurried. But the love story resolution? I loved how Archer tied everything together and made it all work, although Casey makes a boneheaded decision near the end that felt out of character. But it all works out beautifully in a unique and unexpected way. I had fun reading this story. 4 stars.
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