As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?
Cold cases, old enemies, ex-lovers, and vengeful spirits are making life dangerous for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato.
The ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless, trapped by love, secrets, scandals, and spells, keeping Simon busy protecting the living from the unhappy dead. Someone from Vic’s past is out to destroy him and everyone he holds dear, and the high-profile trial of the first case Simon and Vic worked together puts them in the spotlight—and put a target on their backs. As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?
Loose Ends is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with spooky supernatural suspense, hot sex, hurt/comfort, feisty friends, found family, ghosts galore, and dark magic. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
Book Title: Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4)
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Natania Barron
Release Date: December 30, 2019
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance
Trope/s: Spooky supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, dark magic.
Themes: Trust, loyalty, commitment, partnership
Heat Rating: 4 flames
It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and
features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels.
Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
Length: 62 000 words/ 220 pages
The Pros/Cons Of Established Couples By Morgan Brice
Romance seems split between series that follow an established couple, and series in which each book highlights a new couple falling in love. I love both kinds of books as a reader, and as a writer, I see pros and cons to both.
So far, all three of my urban fantasy MM paranormal romance series focus on couples in established, evolving relationships. One big reason is because the series also focus on solving mysteries/crimes as well as on the dynamics of the couple involved, so there’s more to each book than how to get the main characters to fall in love (which happens in the first of each series).
I also have been salty for years about the so-called ‘Moonlighting Effect’. A 1980s TV show had two characters who finally ended the sexual tension to get together and then the show got cancelled, and ever since, scriptwriters believe they have to keep breaking couples apart to keep us ‘interested’. I think established couples can be very interesting, especially if they are growing personally and as a couple as the story progresses. As someone who’s been married for a long time, I can attest that there is plenty of story gold in the ups and downs of figuring out how to evolve as both an individual as a couple. And I like to read about characters who share that dynamic of my own life.
At the same time, I understand the appeal of reading about a new couple in each book, to get that rush and uncertainty of discovery and falling in love. It’s lots of fun to meet the relatives and friends of the characters as they find their perfect partner, and get cameo glimpses of prior couples as the series moves on. Having a different couple in each book suits certain types of stories better than others, and I have some new series in mind that will probably follow this pattern.
Of course, while the upside to having a different couple in each book is that readers repeat that emotional rollercoaster of falling in love, the downside is that once the couple gets their happily ever after, we don’t get to have more stories about them. That’s very frustrating for me as a reader when I really connect to a character or couple. I want to know more!
Ultimately, the love story has to work for the type of overall tale being told. My hope is that you’ll fall in love with my characters as they fall in love with each other, and want to continue the ride!
“I’ve been poking around on the Buccaneer story since the place shut down,” Josh said. “My team’s visited probably a dozen times. Plus, I knew people who worked on the construction and dismantling, and who ran the rides when it was open.” He leaned forward, dropping his voice. “They won’t talk on the record, or to the police, but I’ve heard all their stories. And the rumors that got out? They’re just a fraction of how fucked up that place was.”
Simon sat back in his chair, settling his lanky body and long legs as best he could. He warmed his hands on the hot paper cup and tucked a strand of long chestnut hair behind one ear. “Tell me.”
“One of my sources was a crane operator when they were installing the Riptide Roll steel coaster,” Josh confided. “He saw one of the workmen fall from the top of the first hill when they were assembling the ride. Says the guy died on impact. The company paid to hush it up. Same thing happened when another worker was crushed to death. A load of steel pipe shifted, and he ended up underneath it.”
“That’s not all of it. The place was only open for barely two seasons, but the ride operators had stories that would curl your hair. Riders got whiplash, one girl lost a couple of fingers, and a kid died from head injuries when his ride car came loose and crashed. Not to mention the operator who got electrocuted when he had to run his ride in the rain.”
“If the owners had to cover all that up, no wonder they went bankrupt,” Simon said, shaking his head. “I can’t believe they didn’t get shut down.”
“Their rides continued to pass inspections from the state office—or maybe someone got paid off. Still, they closed suddenly before the end of their last season,” Josh said. “Whistleblowers went to the media. The situation was going to be ugly. But then it turned out to be even worse.”
Simon remembered the end of the story. Investors clamored for their money back when the park abruptly shut down, only to find out that the accounts were empty, the books had been cooked, and the profits were never real. Before it could turn into a media circus and authorities asked for serious jail time, Ellington killed himself, and Stevens skipped town.
“Any clue about who’s haunting the place?”
Josh chewed on his lip and looked at Simon. “I was hoping you’d come over with us this afternoon and help me figure that out. I’m doing my best to learn, but my skills aren’t as powerful as yours, and I don’t know how to really use them. I can sense when spirits are nearby, and I see them better than the average person, but having a conversation is beyond what I can do.”
This series is definitely out of my normal wheelhouse. I’ve read all of them, and this might be my favorite since Book 1. Because like all romance novels, we saw a lot of connection between the established couple. You can’t have a romance if you don’t have two (or more) characters connecting and finding their HFN/HEA. And Simon and Vic have been doing that all along.
This book though, I thought, gave such a strong tug on the heartstrings from an emotional standpoint. It really spent a good portion of the book (or at least when there wasn’t some villain trying to step where they shouldn’t) on showing how the relationship between Simon and Vic has developed, how they feel about each other, and, because I love my HEA, where it was headed. 🙂
It’s so rare to be able to continue to see how a couple you fell in love with handle their everyday lives, as well as when trouble rears its ugly head. And now four books plus later, we are still seeing this.
I don’t know if Morgan Brice does a lot of research or just has a bit of crazy brain, but the things she comes up with for the supernatural elements are insane (in a very good way!), and bring such a special touch to the books. As an example, there is a part in the book when one of Simon’s friends is helping to deal with a paranormal issue, and Simon brings a long list of things, some of which I recognize the names of, some could be made up, or maybe researched and added in. Either way, it adds a sense of realistic need for the items, and their usage.
Vic, well, his sweetness showed itself again. He is devoted to Simon, and has been since practically day one. All he wants to do is make sure Simon has all the happiness he desires, and Vic will do what he can to make sure that happens. So sweet!
Anyway, another winner for me. 4 pieces of eye candy
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
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