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 June 18, 2019
A sunken treasure ship, pirate ghosts, a haunted mansion, and a storm on the rising! This latest pair of paranormal cases for Simon and Vic promised so much of the good stuff and I could hardly wait.
The Rising is book two in the Badlands series. The books have a strong romance and character development besides offering a fab paranormal suspense element so they work best when read in order.
It’s after the New Year and Myrtle Beach is preparing for a huge winter storm to hit while gossiping about the new discovery of an old pirate ship wreck that came to light after the last big storm pushed the wreck into shallow waters. The ship has a strong local tie with the Gallows Nine hung right there after the ship’s capture and they swore revenge on all those who stood in judgment of them and let the influential family who hired them go free. Now, the whole town is in a pirate and treasure frenzy as divers work to beat the storm’s arrival and document the new find.
Simon is uneasy and feels more than a physical storm on the rise. He is hired to help a contractor settle the ghosts in a local plantation house before his men are injured by the ghostly mishaps that occur. Meanwhile, Vic and his partner are called in on a new spate of locked-room suicides that seem unconnected until the horrifying truth comes to light. Simon and Vic must stop the powerful being behind the killings before the storm arrives.
I enjoyed this latest installment so much. Pirates, treasure ship, haunted mansion- what’s not to like about that? There were a few different cases here and lots to distract, but it was also neat to see Simon and Vic coming to terms with what happens for a pair attempting a long-term relationship when they both work dangerous jobs. Simon fears for Vic every time he walks out the door to ‘serve and protect’ and Vic knows enough to fear for Simon every time he faces off with the darkness of the spiritual world. I liked seeing them work through fear and a tendency to get overprotective, but also appreciated that they weren’t stupid about the danger. Simon, in particular, has come a long way. He keeps Vic in the loop and he’s not afraid to take back up or ask for help. Vic has come to respect Simon’s abilities and those he chooses for his back up so doesn’t try to interfere. They are still one hot, sexy couple who can’t get enough of each other, but now it is balanced by a daily life and understanding that makes me have no trouble believing in their love and relationship.
As to the murder mysteries that are all tied to the supernatural. I loved seeing how both guys’ expertise came into play. Simon’s ghosts and intuition led him to some truths while good old-fashioned detective work on Vic and Ross’ parts led to the rest. The solution wasn’t figuring out who so much as how they were going to stop them. That ending was intense and I couldn’t stop listening at that point.
Speaking of listening, Kale Williams continues to be the series narrator and I think he’s a fab fit. He gets the regional accents for those from the Myrtle Beach area and gives each character a distinct voice that’s easy to know who’s narrating or talking. I liked how he does the pace and tone without over- acting which would be easy to do with all the suspenseful and exciting moments in the story. I would definitely pick up more books he has done.
All in all, this one beat out the first book by a long shot for me and I am jazzed to see what comes next for Simon and Vic. This series is for those who love spicy hot m/m romance paired with intense and a little gritty paranormal suspense.
My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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