Title: Fish and Ghosts (Hellsinger #1)
Author: Rhys Ford and Tristan James (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: September 15th 2014
Genre(s): M/M Ghosts/Spirits / Mystery/Suspense
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
When his Uncle Mortimer died and left him Hoxne Grange, the family’s Gilded Age mansion, Tristan Pryce became the second generation of Pryces to serve as a caretaker for the estate, a way station for spirits on their final steps to the afterlife. Tristan is prepared for challenges, though not necessarily from the ghosts he’s seen since childhood. Determined to establish Tristan’s insanity and gain access to his trust fund, his loving relatives hire Dr. Wolf Kincaid and his paranormal researchers, Hellsinger Investigations, to prove the Grange is not haunted.
Skeptic Wolf Kincaid has made it his life’s work to debunk the supernatural. After years of cons and fakes, he can’t wait to reveal the Grange’s ghostly activity is just badly leveled floorboards and a drafty old house. More than a few surprises await him at the Grange, including its prickly, reclusive owner. Tristan Pryce is much less insane and much more attractive than Wolf wants to admit, and when his team releases a ghostly serial killer on the Grange, Wolf is torn between his skepticism and protecting the man he’s been sent to discredit.
A fun paranormal, with an interesting premise and characters, plenty of humor, and lots of sex.
Dr. Wolfgang “Wolf” Kincaid of Hellsinger Investigations is basically a professional skeptic that makes his living debunking the faked supernatural. When he’s hired to investigate Tristan Pryce and his home, Hoxne Grange, for some family members that would rather see Tristan committed than owning the huge estate, it’s a case of opposites attract / insta-love followed by a really spectacular haunting gone awry and almost-death.
I was surprised at the turnaround from bickering to so in love and then moving in with less than a week’s acquaintance, and would have liked a better follow-up to what happened with Tristan’s family. It seemed to be a storyline that was just dropped.
For the most part I really enjoyed the narration. Tristan James never fails to fully draw me into a story. He does great character voices, really makes the one liners pop, makes the creepy moments even creepier, and makes all the sexy moments HOT.
Unfortunately my enjoyment on the whole was dampened by my annoyance at the extreme overuse of the descriptor “the blond” throughout. It got to the point where I was cringing every single time I heard it.
“Tris… babe….” Wolf kneeled down and slid his arm under the blond’s shoulders, lifting him up from the floor. “Talk to me.”
“Was… that Japanese?” Tristan gasped, coughing out a mouthful of sugar.
“Yeah, um… sorry. It was the only thing that popped up.” Wolf kissed the man’s forehead, relief flooding through him. “It doesn’t matter what the language is; you just need to be firm about the intent.”
“And the sugar?” The blond struggled to sit up, and Wolf cradled him closer, patting his back as he caught his breath.
“Yeah, you hear everyone screaming about rock salt and shit like that, but really, sugar will work too. Anything granular and mirrorlike. I’ve got a cousin who uses ground-up mica, but he’s fucking insane.” Crossing his legs, Wolf slid down to the floor next to Tristan and pulled the man into his lap, ignoring the blond’s feeble protests.
It drove me nuts. However, that’s more of a pet peeve and you might not have that kind of visceral reaction. Obviously, YMMV.
That aside, there is a lot more humor in this than I expected to find, and the one liners and banter in this mitigated much of the scariness of the story for me, which I highly appreciated. Overuse of “the blond” aside – I enjoyed this enough, especially the narration, to give book two a go.
For the sticklers: Tristan James does a wonderful job in general, but he does mispronounce a few words along the way (i.e.: “incorporeal” and “Samhain”).