Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.
Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.
But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’m not a big fan of ghost stories. I like my paranormal to be all out – witches, vampires, shapeshifters. But ghosts…. ghosts freak me out! However, Roux is one of my favorite authors, so after much humming and hawing, I gave it a shot.
Wyatt loves all things history, but his job as curator at the museum is in jeopardy if he can’t drum up more business. When he meets Ash and the staff at The Gravediggers Tavern, he’s charmed and inspired by their Victorian flair. The constant ghost stories and Halloween themes inspires Wyatt to do a ghost story theme at the museum and he digs into local myths and history.
Ash never really believed in ghosts, until he is suddenly haunted by one. Day and night, at the bar and at home, Ash is being stalked by a ghost who obviously wants something from him, although he had no idea what. With Wyatt and Noah doing research and the folks at the Tavern behind him, Ash hopes he can get through… alive.
Again, I’m not a big fan of ghost stories, and I have to admit that this one freaked me out! Roux did such an amazing job of showcasing the mystery of the past through Wyatt and Noah’s research it gave the story an added tingle of truth. While the author admits to taking liberties with history, she presented it so clearly, so graphically that I was sucked in and enthralled by the story. Despite the fact that it gave me the heebies-geebies.
Unlike the Cut & Run series, the romance between Ash and Wyatt took a more secondary tole in the overall story. While they definitely developed their relationship throughout the story (and started off their acquaintance with a sexy bang), they weren’t the main focus of the book. A lot of page time was sent with Wyatt and his best friend Noah and their involvement with the museum. There was also a lot of time spent with Ash, Caleb, Ryan and Delilah at the bar. So while the romance was constantly on everyone’s mind, it did seem to really get pushed to the background time and time again.
That being said, I felt like Roux was able to give us enough that I fell for Ash and Wyatt right away. The beginning of the book has some wonderfully hilarious and sexy moments that had me laughing out loud while fanning myself. It also seemed to take awhile for the ghost portion of the story to really kick-in, so we did get to spend a lot of page time just getting to know our two heroes.
The cast of secondary characters was wonderful as well. I loved the snippets we got with Noah and Caleb. I would have liked to see more of them, but understand why we didn’t get that treat. I also loved Ryan and Delilah as well as Wyatt’s mentor at the museum. Roux does such an incredible job of bringing life to characters who play a supporting role in the story and frequently make me want a story for each and every person who steps onto the page.
Just as a final FYI to all of you who freak out easily with ghost stories. Do NOT read this one alone at night in the dark. Especially the end. You’ve been warned!
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this ghost/love story. With the budding romance and time spent with developing friendships, Roux did a wonderful job of breaking up the scary and suspenseful with the real everyday world. Granted, for me, that just intensified the freaky ghost aspects. With the extra creepy ending, I recommend everyone reads this book in the middle of the day, preferably in the sun!
I give The Gravedigger’s Brawl a B-