Dana reviews Soul Searching by AJ Rose (Published by Grim Writers Press, October 21, 2017, 235 pgs) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Trevor’s in love with Merrick and hasn’t got the nerve to tell him. Merrick’s relationship is already failing, but he doesn’t believe he deserves what he truly desires. And the dark presence enjoys their suffering.
The entity wants to exploit them, push Merrick’s boyfriend into fits of jealousy and possessiveness, encourage Trevor to avoid the man he’s stood by most of his life, and frustrate their friend Tempest who’s tired of knowing Trevor and Merrick are perfectly matched souls, but they’re too scared to try.
The entity needs them to fight, to hurt, to scream at each other in anger and pain. It thrives on their helplessness and targets their insecurities. And it won’t stop until it has devoured their joy, destroyed their hope, and eventually, shattered their souls.
Dana – I have to start off by saying that I’m a scaredy cat. I rarely read ghost stories even though they intrigue me. Since I love this authors other books, I decided to give it a try. I will put this up there with one of the scarier books I’ve read within the m/m genre.
This story takes place in the UK. I believe this is the author’s first book set there and I thought she handled the language differences well. It starts out with pretty low-level haunting. Footsteps above, bumps in the night, and objects moving on their own. It’s enough to creep out roommates Trevor and Merrick. They are skeptical though when it comes to believing there is something paranormal going on. Some prank pulling neighbors might just be the cause.
Trevor has had a long time crush on his best friend but timing never seemed right. With at least one of them holding back their feelings, the tension rises when Merrick’s boyfriend moves in. Jealousy and anger seem to feed the malevolent spirit. I would put this book up there with Rhys Ford’s Helsinger series in terms of creepiness.
I could definitely feel the tension between the characters. Merrick and Trevor are both good guys. I couldn’t find anything wrong with either of them. Their fears of letting each other know the depth of their feelings was frustrating but I could also understand the reluctance in case it would ruin their friendship. There is a third friend who is really close to Merrick and Trevor who plays a big part of the story. As an inspiring Wiccan, Tempest tries to help her friends remove the entities in their house. She is a catalyst in the story, pushing Merrick and Trevor into doing something about the ghost situation and into being honest with each other too.
I thought this story was really well written. Parts of the story gave me chills and maybe even a nightmare. It wasn’t too scary for me that I had to stop reading it, though. I was truly sucked in to the story. There is a slow burn romance between Merrick and Trevor and I loved when they finally took a chance. The ending was satisfying, but not quite as victorious as I had hoped it would be. I would recommend the book and author, because I sure can’t wait tor read whatever she publishes next.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
It began with a Halloween themed short story assignment from a second grade teacher, and from then on, AJ Rose fell head over heels in love with writing. Time has seen the beginning and end of many things, college and graduation, a finance career, and a marriage, and through it all, writing has been her first love. Now, AJ is also head over heels for her wife, fellow author Kate Aaron, who gets it, the twitchy fingers when word counts are low too many consecutive days, the thousand-yard stare when an idea turns AJ’s vision inward, and the jitters when the word-babies go out to meet the world. Nothing could stop the tall tales about imaginary people that refused to be ignored. With a life full of this much passion, it’s no wonder AJ chose romance. The voices in her head are mostly of the male persuasion, so m/m romance was about the only option. But don’t be surprised if the occasional ghost still pops up.
AJ’s work can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Page Foundry, and Sea to Sky Books. AJ tweets as @_AJRose and blogs at http://ajrosewrites.wordpress.com, where there is more information about future titles.