Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Osborne’

Reviewed by Taylor

The Scarlet Tide by Stephen Osborne eBookTITLE: The Scarlet Tide
SERIES: Duncan Andrews Thriller #3
AUTHOR: Stephen Osborne
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: Duncan Andrews, a private detective who specializes in paranormal cases, is back, along with his usual gang. Robbie Church, his boyfriend, is a ghost. Gina, a centuries old witch, is his best friend. And Daisy, Duncan’s bulldog, just happens to be a zombie. Odd man out seems to be Nick, a history teacher. He’s a normal, living human.

Duncan’s latest case leads him to a rock band in Indianapolis called The Scarlet Tide. It doesn’t take Duncan long to realize all of the band members are vampires. He sets out to destroy them, but runs into trouble with the charismatic leader of the band, Dominic Hunt. Duncan ends up under Hunt’s psychic control, and is forced to examine his relationships with Robbie and Nick, as well as his attraction for Hunt. Can Robbie and Gina help Duncan break Hunt’s psychic grip? Is there any hope the vampire can be destroyed once and for all?

REVIEW:

This is the third book in the Duncan Andrews Thriller series which focuses on Duncan, a private detective that takes on generally unusual paranormal cases.  He’s got a dead boyfriend that hasn’t moved on to the afterlife, a centuries old witch for a best friend, a zombie dog, and his human friend, Nick, along for the ride.

In this installment, Duncan is investing a series of vampire attacks and he believes a local band called The Scarlet Tide comprises of the culprits.  He aims to kill them all, but he starts falling under the spell of lead singer, Dominic Hunt, as well as dealing for his feelings for Nick and his love for his boyfriend Robbie.

It’s going to be difficult explaining my feelings about this book without giving major spoilers, but I will say, the series isn’t really going where I want it to go relationship-wise.  I can absolutely understand both sides, I can see the reasons, but I don’t have to like it.  It broke my heart.  I think when two characters fit so well; I just can’t see them with anyone else.  Nothing is definite with this author and series because every time I think a final decision has been made it twists, so I’m still holding out judgment until at least the next book, but I don’t know if my poor little heart can take it.  There is a lot of love there, and a lot of care and respect given to these characters, so I appreciate that.

That’s not to say that this book is all sorrows, though.  It’s still crackling with Duncan’s quick wit, his ability to be both effective and efficient, yet awkward, and his observations are hysterical, especially when they occur in completely inappropriate times.  An example is when he notices another character’s endowment and how large he is and he notes this in an almost surprised, high-five, yeahh-buddy-oh-wait-let’s-be-serious-detective manner that had me snorting with laughter.

There aren’t any new fancy tricks with the vampire plot, and it felt a bit clichéd to have them as a rock band (I swear I read vampire rockers almost every time I read about vampires), but I still thought all of the characters held their own and brought something fresh.

I liked the parallel plot lines of a young couple and one dies, and the other grieves and feels guilty at the idea of moving on coordinating with Duncan and Andrew’s position as a couple.  It was nice that the reader could see what might have been Duncan’s life had Robbie not stayed around for the last 11 years.

I hope the author switches it up a bit in the following book(s).  The reader still gets a recap of all the characters, and Duncan still keeps stressing and bemoaning his lack of sex and intimate touch with Robbie.  I get that it’s important, but it’s getting a bit stale.  I’d like to think in the next book a final decision is made on their relationship, and I’m praying it goes the way I’m hoping.

Recommend because I still adore Duncan’s personality, the mysteries are fast-paced and interesting, and Robbie will always be on my ‘fictional-husbands’ shelf.

Taylor rates it – 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

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Taylor is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: TAYLOR’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Taylor

SERIES: Duncan Andrews Thriller
AUTHOR:
Stephen Osborne
BOOKS: 
3
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

Pale as a Ghost (Book One, Duncan Andrews Thriller)

10789098BLURB: Private detective Duncan Andrews’s best friend Gina is a witch. His dog is a zombie. And his dead boyfriend, Robbie, is a ghost. So it’s hardly any wonder that he uses his connection to the supernatural to help him solve cases. Good thing, too, because Duncan has his hands full. Janice Sanderson, the richest woman in Indianapolis, wants him to find her stripper daughter, Brenda, and another client is having some trouble with a specter haunting her family home. On top of that, Duncan has decided to add dating into the mix, though after Robbie’s death, he’s not sure he’s ready.

When Duncan meets Nick while tracking down a lead on Brenda’s boyfriend, he shelves his doubts and agrees to a date. Robbie doesn’t make it easy on him, showing up to spoil his chances, but that is the least of Duncan’s worries—because one of his clients’ husbands is missing and there’s a serial killer on the loose—one Duncan fears isn’t human.

REVIEW:

Private Detective Duncan Andrews has a complicated life.  He has a ghost for a boyfriend, a witch best friend, a lovable and hungry zombie dog, and he solves unusual crimes on top of that. In this first installment, Duncan has been hired for two separate cases, a blue female ghost haunting a family and finding a missing, rebellious girl.  Along the way, he meets Nick, a man that just may convince Duncan to move on from his dead boyfriend and start dating someone human.

OH…OH…OH…how I heart this special, lovely book.  It caught me by surprise, as I had never even heard of this author before, and didn’t have any expectations.  But it’s everything I could ask for in a story.  It made me LAUGH and laugh and laugh some more until I cried.  It even caused me to laugh unexpectedly, which are always my most attractive and “barkish” laughs.  Morton’s salt and a ghost defending his man.   That’s all I can say.  But it’s more than just incredible wit.  Duncan is smart, patient, devoted, self-deprecating, sarcastic, and relatable.  His boyfriend, Robbie, is someone I just want to hug and protect, and he’s so abashedly adorable that I loved him the way Duncan loved him.  And the moments where they slowed down their banter and really talked and revealed their sadness at their situation broke my heart.  They can’t be intimate because the effort it takes for Robbie to become more human-like weakens him too much.  There are a few times where he musters the strength to hold hands with his love or to kiss him, and I felt so much compassion for them both.

But there is more to this book than even Robbie and Duncan. There is Gina, Duncan’s kickass best friend and witch, who is understanding, funny, and I loved all her powers and observations.  The zombie dog, Daisy, is hysterical as she chases squirrels to eat.  Even the lesser secondary characters held my interest.  From Kevin, the teenager who loved the Jonas Brothers, to Brenda, Derek, Caleb and more.  Both of the cases Duncan worked on were vastly different, but they were quick.  The pace was perfect, and I never felt any of it dragged.  Just the RIGHT mix of action, humor, love, gore, and world-building.

I have only two tiny niggles. Nick, the secondary lust interest, whom I found pretty bland.  I’m glad he came across that way, though, because not once did I feel any heat between him and Duncan, and it’s like observing a couple that has been slogged in mud versus a shiny diamond with the pairing of Robbie and Duncan.  Those two fit and are meant to be together (I hope, I hope…please…please), and Nick was just there. The other thing was the author has a tendency to use the phrase “made a face” too much rather than switch it up, but like I said, tiny niggles.

Highly recommend for a fast-paced, amusing mystery.

Taylor rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

Animal Instinct (Book Two, Duncan Andrews Thriller)

13648038BLURB: Sequel to Pale as a Ghost Duncan Andrews Thriller Private detective Duncan Andrews has the home-team advantage when it comes to solving paranormal crimes: His best friend, Gina, is a centuries-old witch. His dog is a zombie. And his boyfriend, Robbie, is a ghost. Duncan certainly has his work cut out for him with this case. Someone’s been using the skull of a powerful wizard to control animals, and whoever it is, they’re not out to set up a petting zoo. For Gina, the case hits close to home-she knows just how dangerous it is, since the wizard was her father. Just when he thinks they’re close to breaking the case, tragedy strikes, leaving Gina in a coma. Then, after years as a ghost, Robbie finally decides to move on, leaving Duncan to protect young Ashton Marsh, the victim of several strange animal attacks. Suddenly Duncan is working without his supernatural safety net. Without his friends, can Duncan defeat the power of Eleazar’s skull and keep Ashton alive? Or will the struggle for his life end in broken bodies as well as broken hearts?

REVIEW:

In the sequel to Pale as a Ghost, we are back with Private Detective Duncan Andrews and his cast of unusual companions, from his zombie dog, his ghost boyfriend, and his witch best friend.  Duncan isn’t just your usual detective, though, because he’s always out solving the random Twilight wannabe vampire running amuck or in this instance, a stolen skull from a powerful wizard being used to harm and even kill others.  This case strikes personal for Duncan and his best friend Gina, as it is her father Eleazar’s stolen skull.

Soon Gina is put into a coma, and he has another case that brings him clues as to who stole the skull.  Weird trick of the skull?  Its power uses animals to harm.

Amidst that you have Duncan and Robbie questioning their reality of a relationship and whether either can make it on their own.  And Nick is still tagging along.

I loved this book just as much as the last one, but it was different in its own way.  The reader still has Duncan’s priceless one-liners, his awkwardness, his love for his boyfriend, and everything else that makes this wonderful man up.  Robbie….SIGH…my fictional hubby, Robbie.  Damn, I love that man.  That dead man still wearing his high school letterman jacket that wants to have sex with his very alive boyfriend.  Trust me it’s not as creepy as it sounds.  And gahhhhh, he is so freakin cute and hilarious.  When Duncan was getting hit on??? Robbie’s reactions were classic.  Even in the dream sequence where he’s wandering around observing and asking questions.  He’s just so caring, sexy, pouty, and wise in his own way.  These two FIT.  I can’t see them apart ever…ever, ever, ever.  Mr. Osborne, do NOT break my heart.  That scene in the car where Duncan and Robbie are discussing whether Robbie should move on to the afterlife?  How awesome and neat (not really).  You knew I wanted to sob like a 5 year old.

Then there is Nick, who I’m coming around to (again not really).  Don’t get me wrong, he’s fine and nice and dependable, but he’s not Robbie.  He is a good friend, though.  And Duncan needs a great friend that has no association with the paranormal world.  Gina, when she was there in this book, is just as lovable as always.  And Daisy, that sweet murderess dog.  Yeah, me likey her.

I thought the case in this book was more interesting than the ones in the last book, and I also thought the instances where the skull worked its magic were creepy.  That makes me happy.  M/m books need more great suspense or mystery novels.  I’ll never look at squirrels the same way.  Or that damn grinning cat.

Oh and Eleazar?? You, my kind floating head sir, are so, so, SO badass for the gift you gave the reader and, most importantly, Duncan at the end.

Highly recommend for fictional hubby love and a good mystery and suspense.

Taylor rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

==================================
Taylor is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: TAYLOR’S REVIEWS
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