Title: Raven’s Rest
Author: Stephen Osborne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 23rd September 2016
Genre: M/M (Paranormal)
Michael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.
Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.
Michael has left his abusive partner Kevin. Scared of being found, he debated that if the man came looking for him, he’d never believe Michael would stay at such a posh venue as the Raven’s Rest. Sat in his car, regarding the place, Michael got a homely feeling about the Inn. Something drew him to it. However, he soon discovers that there are stories of it being haunted.
When cold invisible fingers caress his face, he isn’t sure what to think.
Oh myyyy, there is a lot to like about this book. So let’s get the technical bits out of the way.
Raven’s Rest is told in the first person, from Michael’s POV. It is well edited, and there are no scenes that I thought superfluous to the story. It isn’t high on the heat rating, and with this story, it isn’t necessary. Had there been explicit sex, it would have been gratuitous and a distraction from the tale. Having said that, I am glad to say that the romantic scenes do go further than first base.
The cast in this story is diverse and not too large. It has everything from our hero, the baddies, ghosts and regular jo’s, to Jesenia, the town psychic, tarot reader and according to some, the town lunatic/witch.
Anyhow, back to the story, giving away as little as possible and hopefully allowing you to get the hint that his is book worth a place in your library.
Having left Kevin, Michael isn’t looking to fall in love. He sure as hell doesn’t want a relationship - yet. That doesn’t stop him looking, admiring and possibly dribbling over the handsome, black-clad musician, and son of a coffee shop owner, Trey. Having had five years of Kevin brainwash Michael into believing he’s useless and not worthy of anyone else, Michael has to find himself. So, Trey is a no go. Trey is the polar opposite to Kevin. He talks a tough game when inside he’s a sweetie. He also likes to shock. A factor Michael has to get used to.
Raven’s Nest, is primarily a ghost story. Thankfully, it isn’t a hide behind the sofa story, cos I’m a total wus with those – but it does have its moments. Michael is the double of Bryan, the lover of the ghost Coleman Hollis. Coleman has been trying to communicate with someone for years, and when he shows Michael a vision of Bryan, Michael somehow feels bound to the ghost’s plight. Coleman want’s his Bryan. The subsequent mystery is one Michael feels he needs to solve, for his wellbeing as well as Coleman’s.
I found this story totally engaging. The scene setting is just right, and I got chills where I felt I was supposed to get chills. The dialogue is good too, especially the banter between Trey and his mom. While reading, I was treated to a story that could quite easily convert into a mini TV film - one of those one-off specials. For anyone at the LGBT meet in Southampton, there were no conflicts involving barnacles (sorry you had to be there go get that one).
Raven’s Nest contains, a delicious mixture of things that go bump in the night, love, prejudice, a fist-wielding ex, murder, attempted murder, stalking, sweet moments, drama, heroics and a bloody good ending. In the opening scene’s there is even a warning, “Someone is going to try to kill you.”