As the best friend of a psychic, Will Buchanan can’t help but believe in the dead. It’s the living that he finds to be problematic. However, after a spate of betrayals, he finally has the chance of a new life within his grasp, and he’s not going to risk it for anyone or anything. Staying safe is the name of Will’s game.
Jem Dawson defines the word temporary. A talented cameraman, he’s here today and will undoubtedly be gone tomorrow chasing adventure and danger. But, while he’s in York, he’s made it clear he wants Will, and Will can’t help liking the charming daredevil.
This inconvenient attraction results in Will accompanying Jem to the site of a notorious poltergeist outbreak. A malevolent spirit has targeted a family, and now the ghost hunting team for whom Jem does camerawork are going to be locked down in the house for three days.
The house is strange and filled with sinister and violent undercurrents. One by one, the group experiences threatening incidents, and as events escalate, Will has to ask himself if he’s risking not just his heart but also his life with this impulsive gesture.
This is the first book in the Arcana Books series featuring characters from the bestselling Black and Blue series.
By Lily Morton
Arcana Books, Book 1
“Cheers.” Jem takes a sip before putting the mug down and fiddling with the little paper label.
He smiles. “Just working out what to say.”
“Don’t think. Just say what’s in your head, Jem.” I look around. “I had some biscuits somewhere. Biscuits always help.”
With a rustle of paper, the packet of chocolate bourbons slides slowly across the counter, coming to rest in front of me. Jem’s mouth falls open.
“Thanks, Rosalind,” I call. I kick his ankle, and he jerks.
“Oh. Okay, thank you, Rosalind,” he says, obeying my silent urging.
I smile at him and push the packet towards him. “Take one.”
He reaches out his hand, and we both stare as the packet is moved very firmly away from him.
“Erm,” I say.
He tries again, but once more, the packet moves until it settles by my side.
He bites his lip. “Either she thinks I need to go on a diet, or she doesn’t like me.”
“Why wouldn’t she like you ?” I ask in amazement.
He smiles. There’s a breath of cold air and the smell of lily of the valley, then we both watch as his cup is pushed away from him, and his bag is lifted from the chair and set at his feet.
“Rosalind,” I sigh. I hesitate and then look imploringly at Jem. “I’m going to do something now. Can we please forget what is about to happen and never mention it to another living soul?”
“I don’t think I can promise that,” he says solemnly. “This has the feel of something good.”
I take a breath. “Rosalind, this is Jem. He’s a friend, and he means well. He’s very nice, and you’ll like him. I promise.”
An invisible hand runs through my hair, and I shiver at the cold blast of air.
Jem stares at me, his eyes wide. “She just ruffled your hair. Wasn’t she a famous murderess?” he whispers.
“Yes. But it’s rude to mention it,” I say firmly. “Say hello.”
“This isn’t a prank, is it? There aren’t any cameras in here, are there?”
“At least thirty recording your every move. Say hello.”
“H-Hello,” he finally stutters. “Lovely to meet you, R-Rosalind.”
The cold wind eddies around us, sending the biscuits rolling off the table. Then, the cupboard doors fly open one by one before the kitchen door slams shut. Footsteps thump loudly on the stairs. The warmth slowly returns to the kitchen, and I get up and close the cupboard doors. When I settle back into my chair, I find him staring at me.
Is there a Lily Morton book that I haven’t loved? Haven’t found one so far. Yes, I like some more than others, but this author writes humor better than most any author in this genre, and The Sceptic is no exception. Even with the mystery surrounding the house that Will and Jem are helping at, there are lots of little snarky moments, courtesy of Jem, quite a bit, but also Will as he became more comfortable.
I will not give anything away about the mystery and suspense in this story, except to say that I would have been out of there pretty quickly myself. 🙂
Will, Blue Billings’ best friend, definitely got the short end of the stick more than once in his life, and someone who was a gentle giant like him, I don’t know how that character wasn’t hard and cynical. I would guess the only reason he wasn’t cynical and hard was because he had his best friend for so many years. Instead, he was looking forward to going away to college, now that he didn’t have to take care of Blue. However, with the circumstances he had dealt with, it was fairly easy to see how he didn’t trust that anyone would be there for him, when the chips were down. Jem, though, did not let him down, and that had to have been just one more reason why Will was willing to let his heart feel again.
Jem, a photographer with mad wanderlust (his word), but also felt a strong pull towards the gentle man who he met through Blue. He was quick witted, funny, and determined to work his way into Will’s heart slowly. It was very sweet how he let Will know right away that he was chasing after him. And Will, slowly became less nervous around Jem, until he realized he wasn’t any longer. They were very much opposites, yet their personalities meshed so well together, supporting and caring for each other.
And the hugs-the sweetness of the hugs! There just isn’t enough simple hugs in romancelandia, and we need to correct that.
As usual, Joel Leslie knocks another one out of the park. I don’t know how he does it to, be honest. He’s able to give each character distinct voices and mannerisms, no matter their gender. The listener knows who is speaking/narrating at all times, whenever he is on tap for a book. His voice can wrap you up in the story, exactly like one of those comforting hugs between Will and Jem. When you are done, you feel better for having spent the time in a marvelous story with a marvelous narrator.
The blurb on this says it is the first book in the series, and I am hopeful there is more to come. I do enjoy my romance filled with suspense.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Lily is a bestselling gay romance author. She writes love stories filled with heat and humour.
She lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.
Lily has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else would she get to spend her time with hot and funny men?
She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – Chocolate Baileys.