Marc reviews ‘Fish and Ghosts’ (Hellsinger 1) by Rhys Ford. This book was published by Dreamspinner Press on December 29th, 2013 and is 240 pages long. The audiobook was published on September 15th, 2014, is narrated by Tristan James and is 8 hours and 16 minutes long.
Why I read this book: Bethany and MtSnow previously duo-reviewed this story and raved about it so much that I had to get the audiobook of ‘Fish and Ghosts’ and ‘Duck Duck Ghosts’ with my audible credits. I do like a taste of horror and deliciously hot romance, so I had a feeling I would enjoy this series as well.
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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.
The title works well for me, because ‘Fish’ and ‘Ghosts’ really don’t naturally go together and the title intrigued me. It stands out from the crowd 😉
The cover models look very appealing. A hot guy and a cute, nerdy (but also hot) guy and all that without any naked skin 😉 Most importantly, the mansion is also featured, which is only right given that it plays such a pivotal role.
I really enjoyed the narration. It might have taken me much longer to finally try this series without the audiobook release and I wasn’t disappointed in the narrator or recording quality.
This was my first book by Rhys Ford and I had no idea what to expect. I do love paranormal and don’t mind a little horror. I think this is a wonderful gateway drug for romance lovers who want to venture out a bit. It has a lot of different aspects to it, but for me the steamy chemistry and the fun banter and wit were the main characteristics of this book.
I love the setup with Tristan playing host to real ghosts and Wolf being the big ghost hunter who does not believe in ghosts. They make a very interesting pair and fit together very well (which readers will also see up-close in the hot sex scenes). The secondary characters like the house, the dog and Wolf’s mom and colleagues work very well and really enrich the story, without taking away the main focus from the protagonists.
The evil ghost is suitably scary, without scarring readers for life. I loved the taste of horror to spice things up and with the humor and heat, it makes a great mixture.
Now, I must admit that there were some plot holes for me, where I just couldn’t understand how clueless the characters were in situations they should be well equipped for. Let’s just say I would never call the wolf family to fight off evil spirits, after reading this book. There were also many clues about a major plot twist that I had picked up on early. I was so excited, when it was finally revealed in the book and eagerly awaited Wolf’s reaction. Then I got really confused when the mansion’s housekeeper left for a while and a huge reveal in the parting conversation didn’t cause any fallout. I have read-back the scene again and again and for me it very openly reveals something important.
It was finally officially revealed as big zinger in the end and Wolf’s reaction was still really fun to witness, but it felt like finally getting to unpack your present after you figured out what it is.
I’ve talked to a few friends since, who kind of read over that conversation or didn’t draw the same conclusions from it and they were extremely surprised by the reveal. It was probably just me 😛
The dangers of having watched hundreds of TV-Shows, Movies, having listened to hundreds of audiobooks and having read hundreds of books. Sometimes you just know where things are heading and I can imagine that it is a very difficult balance to put in enough clues, but not too many.
All in all, though, I had a great time with the book. It is an action-packed story and made me laugh and sit at the edge of my seat. I cared for the characters and their fates and their chemistry burns hot and bright, especially in bed. If you want fun and sexy entertainment that is almost angst-free, full of action and scares you a bit – then you should get this book ASAP. It is perfect for that 🙂
8.5/10 pots of gold (85% recommended), compares to 4.25/5 stars
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.