Author ~ Bailey Bradford
Publisher ~ Pride Publishing
Published ~ 14 September 2015
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance
Book five in the Southern Spirits series
Darren Brown spent two years running from his past, but he could only run so far before he was found.
Darren Brown lost the only two people he loved just days apart. His mother first, then his best friend. Guilt over his friend's death drives Darren to wander for over a year before he winds up in the town of McKinton, Texas.
Lee Bausch served his tour in the Army then started his quest to find answers only one person could give him—except that one person had moved away. It takes him almost two years to find Darren Brown, and it turns out Darren doesn't have the answers Lee needs—he is what Lee needs. Darren is shy and so sexy Lee can't get enough of him, but he still needs answers because he can't shake the feeling someone he loved was murdered.
After a terrifying experience at the motel, Darren knows he has to tell Lee about the spirits in McKinton. And there's one spirit, scared and alone, who has the answers Lee seeks, if only the spirit knew how to tell Lee his suspicions are right.
Darren doesn't believe in spirits. When people died they just stopped existing and the only thing left of them was a memory. Living in McKinton might change all that. Well that, and there was definitely something that had pushed him, sent him to the ground, at the old widow's farm - something that told him he'd been found and not run again. How weird was that? Maybe it's Stefan, his best friend, but then Stefan is dead.
Poor Darren. He doesn't know what to make of the townspeople who are just concerned about him. He doesn't like talking to anyone. He's spent two years living on his own, just running from everything and nothing and that is a hard habit to break. People like Laine and Severo (from previous books) really try to help, but they can't know what Darren has been through, or what frightens him so much.
Lee coming into town was almost the last straw. Darren has had a crush on Lee forever, after all the man was Stefan's older brother. But Lee wasn't going to want anything to do with Darren once he learns that Darren was responsible for Stefan's death. Although for some reason Darren has an overwhelming urge to confess.
It was lovely to meet up with old friends again - Virginia is so sweet and Connor was still around as well - he was helping Stefan. If you haven't read any of the previous books then these comments might not make a lot of sense, but this one can be read as a standalone. All you have to believe in to make the story credible, is spirits. I had one little issue around page 67 with the way Darren acted as it was so out of character for him, but maybe desperation makes you do strange things. Another, tiny, tiny issue, was the jump in the time line in the final chapter. It wasn't obvious at first and I admit it threw me a bit, but overall this is a hot, extremely likeable story and while I personally don't think it is one of the author's best books, it is definitely one I will re-read. Stefan was adorable.
Southern Spirits Series
Book Five : Aftermath
Book Six : What Remains
Release Date – 15th September 2015
Book Seven : Ascension
Release Date – 22nd September 2015
Book Eight : Whirlwind
Release Date – 29th September 2015