Raven’s Rest by Stephen Osborne #BookReview #BookoftheMonth
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
One of the things I liked most about this story is how honest the characters are with each other. They don’t hide things from each other out of fear, and they understand how important sharing is to their relationship. That transparency allows the guys (and the story) to leap right over the trouble spots of some (more frustrating) New Adult romances by simply, consciously doing the mature thing.
Mr. Osborne’s depiction of the paranormal elements in this story is refreshing. He doesn’t depend on clique standards, nor does he go wild inventing new approaches to witchery. Michael’s encounters with the spirits of the story are deep and personal and written in a way that works for him.
Trey was my rock, my anchor. Unlike with Kevin, though, I didn’t feel like Trey defined me. I was a person on my own. With Kevin, my only identity had been Kevin’s boyfriend. That was my existence. My fault as well as Kevin’s, I know, but it had become so toxic. With Trey, I was me. Trey’s boyfriend, yes, but more as well.
Recovering from an abusive relationship and learning to be yourself—being proud to be true to yourself—was a theme deeply ingrained in this story. Both Michael and his spirit companion had faced great turbulence in their lives, and both kept on fighting for themselves. What a satisfying way to top off a lovely, sweet (but literally haunting!) small town gay romance.
Raven’s Rest is chilling and suspenseful, but carries that warmth of spirit and companionship small town romances embody so well. The guys are both early-to-mid-twenties, and their relationship ramps up quickly. The sex is mostly behind closed doors, so the physicality we do get to see has a sweeter, more innocent quality to it. I did find a few of the intimate scenes a little awkward, but I think I understand why they were written that way, and it’s fine really, because this isn’t a story you read for the sex. Raven’s Rest stands on its own as simply a good autumn ghost mystery.
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