This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on July 24, 2019
A not-quite ghost who is a thief and his ex-boyfriend a cop solving a murder with paranormal elements together? Sign me up!
Not Dead Yet opens on a scene when Wes is in his ghost form preparing to reacquire something from a woman’s expensive apartment when he witnesses her being killed by someone with a weird vibe. He phones it in, but then at the advice of his witch BBF, Lexie, he follows this up with a call to a man he hasn’t seen or spoken to in almost 30 years. Wes thought he’d found love until Hud picked staying in the closet and his job over Wes and walked away. He wonders if Hud will look old and gray since he’s human while Wes is immortal (Lexie’s great grandmother might have botched his resurrection so he can’t age and he straddles the plain of the living and the dead.
As reunions go, Wes’ sucked, but there is a murder to solve and he wants to help so he doesn’t let Hudson’s sneering words about him stuck in the same rut and never changing get to him. It’s not long before the one murder becomes more and the wealthy folk of the Greater Toronto area might have room to be concerned. Digging deeper reveals darkness and evil that might be too much and that’s after he learns Hudson’s secret and still finds himself being held at arm’s length.
I’ve been meaning to try this author’s books for a whole now and I already enjoy the narrator’s work. The storyline was exactly the elements that I enjoy a great deal so grabbing this one up was an easy choice. Overall, I did end up enjoying it, but that was only if I take it as a whole. Bits and pieces were things that made me not enjoy it thoroughly as I listened in. I even lost interest in spots, to be honest.
It was the two heroes that got on my nerves a lot, particularly Wes, but I suspect that was, in large part, because he was the sole narrator and I didn’t get such a large dose of Hudson.
Wes is high strung and often really self-absorbed. Though, kudos that he did go back and try to make things right when he figured out he was being a jerk.
Hudson is the strong, silent, non-communicative type who spouted honesty with a strong dose of cruelty to Wes a few times and then blew hot and cold whenever they started to be in an intimate situation. Granted, he had some secrets that were affecting him, plus the knowledge of their past and that Wes still feels that Hudson should have put love first and still blames him for being in the same career. And, how does he quantify this love for Hudson?
Here’s the thing about the past breakup: Hudson was the one to walk away, but Wes practically shoved him out the door. He was immature and woefully naive which didn’t work for me since he’d been alive since the early 1900s at this point. It’s like he stayed locked in limbo and life experience and wisdom passed him by.
Back when they met, Hud was a rookie cop and has to put in his time and take the crappy shifts that might mean overtime and holidays as the low guy on the seniority roster. And, its police work so, yes, its dangerous. Wes told Hud that he shouldn’t have put all that time into his job and he should have picked easier assignments (when do cops get to pick and choose their assignments particularly when they aren’t seniors?) It was also the 80’s and Wes wanted Hud to live as an openly gay couple and put Wes on his forms in his police file as next of kin and everything.
He was just not living in the land of reality while at the same time expecting Hudson to endorse his own ‘fab’ career using his ghost talent as a thief. Choosy about the jobs he took on, but, bottom line, a thief who had no plans of quitting his jobs for Hudson’s sake.
They both turned out to be pretty high maintenance in their ways.
There was also that quick dig in passing at a certain conservative political party during a conversation between Wes and Lexie when discussing the murdering evil in this story. Really? They’ve got conservative values so suddenly their equated with murdering supernatural baddies? Is that supposed to be funny or worse, true of a whole group of people? Badly done.
The murder mystery aspect was a good twisting one that melded well with the strong paranormal element. They both factor together in the big action, suspense, and reveals throughout the books. I thought it was well done even if it had lag moments at times in the middle. The end was properly exciting and drove Wes right to the edge with his strength, his emotions, and even his life. Great finish!
Greg Boudreaux is a fantastic narrator that I’ve listened to with other books. He does more of a voice acting than simply narrating the story, but it never goes into too much. It’s just the right balance. I really enjoyed how he did the dialogue moments with precision timing so Wes’ snark and high-strung moments were often amusing, but he captured the introspective moments nicely, too. He voices the whole cast well whether male, female, older, younger, and man, does he get the chilling and menacing voices to perfection.
So, as I said, my overall impression was liking this one when it all finally came together and the relationship got resolved after both parties experience growth and working through the past. It was exciting and suspenseful and I thoroughly enjoyed the paranormal world that was introduced and revealed. I would recommend it to m/m paranormal romantic suspense fans who like some romantic angst and lots of spice, ongoing character development, exciting twists, and a breathtaking mystery and finish.
My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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