Monday, September 30, 2013

Northern Light by E.J. Russell

Title:  Northern Light 
Author: E.J. Russell
My Rating: C

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Release Date: September 2013
Main Characters: Stefan and Luke
Publisher: Entangled
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild
Story Overview:
Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.

Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery -- he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.

But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.

My Review:

This book could have been so good, but it needed more. More words. More development. More explanation. More emotion.

Stefan and Luke were lovers once upon a time. They were also both artists, but Luke left Stefan because of jealousy. Jealousy over Stefan's artistic skill and jealousy over the other man in Stefan's life. Now Luke is an art investigator and his current investigation has led him to Stefan's door. The Stefan he knew would never have forged someone else's art. But when Luke left Stefan, his world collapsed in just about every way possible. Now he's just grasping at trying to find his art again...whatever the cost.

Like I said...this book could have been brilliant. The basis was there. It truly just needed more development. Easily, the first 30% of the book is simply confusing because you, as the reader, don't know the history between the two men, how they got to this place, or what in the world is going on now.

The book is a paranormal ghost story and I could see how the author was trying to play on the mysterious side of all that, but it went too far. The result was confusion not mystery. The other problem was that there wasn't enough on the page between the two men so that I, as the reader, felt their connection. The book told me about it, but I never felt it emotionally when I was reading it.

Unfortunately, this book didn't quite do it for me, although I definitely give the author kudos for an overall creative  story. If the book had been doubled in words, without any added scenes, I think it would have been a much better book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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