This book is for sure one of the most outrageously entertaining reading experiences I’ve had in this genre, and for sure one of the best books of this year for me. Oh baby this was delicious! Fish and Ghosts the first installment of the new paranormal Hellsinger Series (THANK GOD THERE ARE MORE!!) by Rhys Ford is creative, funny, rich with wonderful action, and just an overall seriously entertaining read from beginning to end. Think The Sixth Sense and Ghostbusters have a gay baby, which is a book.
To me the key thing about this book was that it felt UNLEASHED. I feel like Rhys went where she wanted to go on instinct, and what she wrote was whatever the hell she wanted. Something different, colorful, humorous, with a touch of darkness, a strong, yet tasteful dose of weird that all came together as a fantabulous read. Trystan Pryce and Wolf Kincaid LIT UP MY LIFE…For real.
For this book, the recipe choice pretty much was given to me by one of the characters. Wolf’s mom is an exceedingly terrible cook, and her Butterscotch Brownies are apparently the stuff of legend, in all the wrong ways. SO! Butterscotch brownies in the house, baybee. Unlike Wolf’s mom I know my way around a square pan, and I whipped up some gooey and deliciousness, there’s only one problem…They won’t last long. Very much in the vein of the “things that go bump in the night” all over Rhys’ story, these little guys disappear into thin air…
But enough about the food. Back to the story.
Trystan Pryce…He talks to dead people. Or at least that’s what he’s been telling his family for years. He is the guardian of his family’s ancestral home, and after his uncle Mortimer died and left his as sole heir of the home. He assures his relatives that he MUST stay at Hoxne Grange and serve as a portal to the souls that move on through the house…I mean SURE maybe it sounds a little weird to other people that he is basically running a B&B for dead people, but it is, what it is…Not so much though…His other uncle is pissed he got yipped out of the family’s home and he’s sending in the big guns to finally prove that Trystan is one big box of fruit loops. In comes Wolf Kincaid *swoons*…Wolf goes into homes with “other worldly” activities and pretty much debunks myths…There are lot of people taking others for rides, and his job is to find these con men out. He’s good at it too. He’s got his team and his equipment and if there is anything that is not on the up and up, he’ll find it. He is more than a little curious to see what the heir of Hoxne Grange is up too, and cannot wait to make the guy come clean.
Only thing is, Trystan is delicious. All Wolf wants to do is tackle them man and make him sweat and pant for hours…Also he doesn’t really seem crazy or at least he REALLY believes the whole “Ghost B&B” deal is for real. Pretty soon things start getting strange. Wolf isn’t sure about much anymore, and the thing with Trystan is getting serious…When his crew members make a dumb move and hell starts breaking loose, Wolf has to face the fact that he might have been wrong about Trystan and Hoxne Grange. Then the worst possible thing happens…He has to call his mom for help.
Ok here’s the deal. This right here, this book, it’s Prime Time reading. The characters are fabulous, story solid. From Wolf’s cynical sexy beastness, to Trystan’s prickly hermit thing. Their romance made for a great slow burn, they were explosive together.The erotica was first rate. I had a lot of fun watching these guys make their way to each other. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Rhys built a wonderful cast, who brought a whole hell of a lot to the story. Wolf’s mom was phenomenal. Wolf’s crew gave us the sinister part of the strory. And that’s only the characters that were alive! The paranormal angle was OUTSTANDING. The entire thing was highly entertaining, Rhys took me somewhere unexpected and a bit scary, but I have to say I was right there with her the whole time. The action scenes were fun, fast and VERY VERY well rendered. It is easy to confuse when so much is getting built in one’s head from scene to scene, but the writing held here, and I was able to just enjoy the ride. The horror, the mystery, the lore, they were all fantastic. Being the first in a series, this book gave me enough to want the story to continue, but I did not feel like I was being set up. No delayed gratification here, just good reading.
I can’t say enough good things about this book, I LOVED it. Rhys is already a well established writer in this genre, with good reason, she rocked the house with this one.
An absolutely fabulous book, recommend it effusively.
Fish and Ghosts will be released on December 31st from Dreamspinner Press, it available for pre-order here.
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 chopped walnuts
For the icing:
2 tablespoons of butter softened
3 tablespoons cup of packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
tiny pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, cream together 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and milk in a small saucepan over medium- high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Adjust the milk or confectioners’ sugar if necessary to achieve a good spreading consistency. Spread over cooled bars and let set before cutting into squares.
I hope you all enjoy the book and the brownies. They are a winning pair! Happy New Year to one and all. I hope the next year brings us all only more wonderful reading. I look forward to seeing those of you who I get to see, and to chat with those you who I get to chat with.
Cheers and Happy Reading!