Past the Breakers (Susan’s Review)

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Title: Past the Breakers
Author: Lucie Archer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal M/M Romance
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 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?

I really really wanted to like this. I thought the premise was promising (not that unique, but intriguing nonetheless), but the execution was just not that great.

Casey’s restaurant has gone up in flames and when his fiancée leaves him too, he gets so depressed he has no idea what to do with his life anymore. That’s why he decides to move back to his hometown. He rents a beach house and decides to just try to get himself back together there.

It is Casey’s sister who mentions a surfer dying a month prior and that there is a rumor going on about the house being haunted. Casey thinks this is nonsense, but when he hears noises he doesn’t know what to think.

All Myles remembers is going out to surf with his boyfriend and trying to propose while out at sea together. The next thing he knows he is talking to his dead uncle and cannot seem to leave the near vicinity of the beach house. It appears that no one can see him, but he just knows he has to try harder to talk to the person now renting the beach house if he ever wants closure and try to move on..

Three things bothered me the most while reading this.

The first was that this book is filled with pages and pages of inner musings. I love a good inner dialogue, but sometimes I felt it was all these two guys did. It got so repetitive that I was skimming entire pages just to get through it.

The second thing was how Casey was portrayed. It is mentioned he let himself go because of his depression. I get that, I really do. But it is mentioned so many times that he has a potbelly and doesn’t shave or care how he looks. So not sexy. And together with his heavy beard and alcoholism, I had a really hard time understanding what it was that Myles saw in him.

And with that I get to Casey’s alcoholism that he admits to, but is never addressed again. At the end of this book they’re even drinking beer. And this while reading an entire book about Casey drinking in the morning, drinking more in the afternoon and even more in the evening. Oh, all this while never getting drunk. I could absolutely sympathize with someone who feels he lost everything and drinks a bit to forget about it, but I felt it was okay for Casey to be an alcoholic in this book. It is only ever mentioned in passing when Myles thinks about Casey drinking a lot and Casey himself admitting he is an alcoholic. But that’s it. He keeps drinking and doesn’t even think about stopping…

These things made it really hard for me to like this book. While it definitely also had its good parts. I did like how the ghost thing was resolved and I also liked the drama with Myles’ ex.

This book is not heavy on the sex. There are some ghostly masturbating sessions and one full sex scene at 98%.

Overall, a promising ghost story without relationship angst, but felt very meh in the end.

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Review Copy

Galley copy of Past the Breakers provided by publisher in exchange of an honest review.