The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings (ParisDude’s Review)


Title: The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings (A Black and Blue Novel, Book 1)
Author: Lily Morton
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: November 14, 2019
Genre(s): Ghost novel, Paranormal
Page Count: 301
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Levi Black is at a crossroads. After suffering a loss and breaking up a long-term relationship, he’s looking for a change. When he receives the news he’s inherited a house in York, he seizes the opportunity to begin a new chapter in his life.

However, when he gets there, he finds a house that has never kept its occupants for very long. Either through death or disinclination, no one stays there, and after a few days of living in the place, Levi can understand why. Strange noises can be heard at all hours of the day and night, and disturbing and scary things begin to happen to him. He never believed in ghosts before, but when events take a sinister turn, he knows he must look for help. He finds it in the unlikely form of the blue-haired leader of a ghost tour.

Blue Billings is edgy, beautiful, and lost. Utterly lost. He conceals so many secrets that some days it’s a miracle he remembers his own name. He knows that he should ignore Levi because he threatens the tenuous grip Blue has on survival. But there’s something about the kind-eyed man that draws Blue to him. Something that demands he stay and fight for him when he would normally run in the opposite direction.

As the two men investigate the shocking truth behind Levi’s house, they also discover a deep connection that defies the short length of time they’ve known each other. But when events escalate and his life is on the line, Levi has to wonder if it was wise to trust the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.


I’ve read and reviewed an amazing Ghost Novel somewhat less than a month ago (“Something Wicked This Way Comes”) and was therefore thrilled to open this book, because it promised to be in the same class: a paranormal plot involving ghosts, set in the UK, in the North of England to be more precise, and coupled with a nice gay romance. Well, to put it bluntly, I was just as drawn in by the story of Blue Billings and Levi Black as I was back then by Leon and Niall. But let’s take this slowly.

Levi Black is a 27-year-old strip cartoonist who has just lost his beloved mother and subsequently left his cheating boyfriend of five years. As he has inherited an old house in York, he decides on a whim to get out of London and move north. But if he thought things would be easy, he soon finds out how utterly mistaken he was. Because the English North is home to many a ghost haunting many a house, and Levi’s new home is no exception. Strange goings-on, noises, whines, doors opening and closing of their own accord, make him move to a cosy Bed-and-Breakfast almost upon arriving. Not really a believer in the paranormal, he decides to learn more about this eerie house he’s supposed to live in by joining a local ghost tour for tourists. That’s where he meets the dashingly handsome Blue Billings, a lean young man with wolf’s eyes, blue hair, a lip ring, and somewhat of an attitude. After several more chance meetings—well, “chance” is a way to put it—, Levi learns that Blue not only has a hurtful past that makes it nigh impossible for him to trust men but is also a psychic. He can see ghosts. Something stirs during those first encounters: Levi wants to protect Blue almost immediately, like a knight would protect a damsel, and Blue wants to protect Levi from the evil spirits that seem to dwell in his house. Those protective instincts only conceal, and badly at that, the intense attraction both feel for each other, emotionally as well as physically.

The road to an HEA is long and winding, and of course, both need to face the dangerous, life-threatening wicked ghost haunting Levi’s house first. Well, I fell in love with the book at once. The setting is perfectly described and makes me want to urgently visit York in the near future. Cobbled streets, narrow lanes, snow, wind, salty breezes, mists, ghosts, a Gothic minster, cosy pubs… whatever you expect from an English ghost story, you’ll find it in here. Both main characters are cute and endearing. As the story is told from both point of views in alternation, you can see the difference between how they see themselves and how the other guy sees the other lad. A writing technique that has been pulled through very satisfyingly, because you understand both are rather hunky, but not in their own eyes; only in the eyes of the beholder. Their romance is a slow-burner at first, for several well explained and logical reasons, but gets steamy as their feelings evolve and they finally learn to accept what’s going on between them.

The ghost/paranormal plot kept me on edge, hastily turning the pages as it unravelled. It’s well-paced and well done; an author needs to tell the tale believingly if they want to keep their readers from frowning and growling something rude such as WTF. I never did that because, hey, England, and York, and autumn, and mists, and people having been murdered more than a hundred years ago… what would you have but ghosts, in those circumstances? The book, which is another very positive point, contains some witty banter—they’ve a strong sense of humour, Levi and Blue—, heart-warming feeling, and it is proof-read to a perfection such as is seldom encountered. I warmly recommend this book and will come back for more as soon as Lily Morton has finished the next instalment. In the meantime, another author who goes on my TBR.

 

Black and Blue Series


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Dieter, born and raised in Austria, studied Political Sciences in Vienna in the early 90s. He's living in Paris, France, with his boyfriend and working as a graphic designer. In his spare time, he loves to write, read, cook, take photos, and travel as often as possible. He’s already published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. His first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on Jan. 6, 2019, and is available in English, French, and German. By the way, the French version "Le cercueil farci" has won the prestigious Prix du roman gay 2019 in the category murder mystery. Dieter runs a gay book reviews site in French and is also writing reviews for Gay Book Reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude.
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