My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While this certainly marches to the well established horror tropes, it was still a compelling read. Hunter Beaumont is a sheltered naïve gay man in his early twenties (something I needed to remind myself of as he makes some very dumb choices and I'd have to think, yep adult brain hasn't quite developed yet). the story opens with his grandmother's last day in hospice and her funeral. She was everything to him as his parents were murdered years ago and she left him well off financially. Her last request was to destroy Beaumont House.
Hunter is surprised because he didn't even know they had a house in rural Wisconsin (sounds like it was up where I used to live). In spite of Ian, his grandmother's lawyer's, insistence he isn't ready to destroy the house. He's understandably curious. Unfortunately Grandma had sheltered him too much. He doesn't recognize how predatory Jay, her former doctor is. Also he doesn't have people skills or any control over his mood swings.
When he beholds Beaumont House, Hunter is compelled to ignore his grandma's wishes. And I couldn't blame him. The description is beautiful in spite of the weirdness, it's in perfect and clean condition even though it was abandoned for decades. He sinks all his money into it after his life falls apart and moves to very rural Beaumont House. HIs only companion is the nearby Michael who is caretaker/handyman to an elderly man.
Bad scary stuff started happening almost at once. Hunter and Michael dance around each other but honestly Hunter takes the once bitten, twice shy thing to the extreme. He can be rather unlikeable at times with this so it makes why Michael puts up with it mysterious. And Michael is hiding things so for me this was the most problematic and least enjoyable part of the story. The reason for the haunting was well set up.
I did however like this book a lot. I think it would make a good horror flick. A word of warning, rape themes are in this horror.
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Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The SCU series is one I've read entirely out of order and in bits and pieces. For the most part that doesn't matter because it's easy enough to pick up on all the psychics working for Bishop and the FBI's SCU (or for Haven its civilian counterpart).
This one features Dani and her twin Paris in their hometown in Georgia's rural setting. Dani, who has prophetic dreams, has come home to help Paris over her divorce and of course there's almost always a romantic subplot in these books so we have Dani's ex, Marc who is the sheriff. He's not psychic but he can recognize them if he's touched them. Bishop and Miranda are featured in Dani's dream. She constantly dreams of the team walking into a trap, knowing its a trap but one of their own is the hostage the serial killer is using to lure them in.
This killer has killed many women in Boston, all of them with short dark hair and waif-like bodies. No one can figure out why he'd go for rural Georgia where he's much more likely to be spotted. Not only that he's changed his m.o. which almost never happens. But there's a reason and a big twist that I won't ruin here that's the reason for it.
Overall, I thought it was good, your standard SCU formula. There is a bit too much repetition in this however but i could handle that. What bugged me and dropped this a star was the ending. It was so anticlimactic and so easily solved that it wasn't interesting. And then it sets up an open ended lead in to the next book which is always eye rolling for me, like the author doesn't trust we'll keep up with the series.
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