Review: J.V. Speyer – Rites of Spring (Rites book 1)

Author: J.V. Speyer
Reviewer: Ashley
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Mm

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Cameron has given up on romance, after a difficult childhood made it hard for him to trust enough for intimate relationships to develop. But mostly he’s happy with the life he’s built for himself.

When two paranormal investigators show up at the home he recently inherited, claiming he may be in danger, he sends them packing, convinced they’re nothing but con men.

Until several incidents prove they’re telling the truth. The past Cameron tried so hard to leave behind is coming for him, and it’s angry.

Review: Cameron has had a very difficult life, but he’s finally caught a break. He has inherited his family’s house from the grandfather he barely remembers, which has given him a chance to relax and save money for the future. Or so he thought, until two supposed ghost hunters arrive at his doorstep full of lies and, worse, truths they should have no way of knowing. Now nightmares from the past have come back to haunt Cameron. All he has to help him are the two ghost hunters he doesn’t think he can trust, no matter how attractive one is.

I was pretty conflicted about this book. On the one hand the paranormal aspects were very well handled and extremely interesting. And while the beginning was a little choppy once the story picked up I couldn’t put the book down. On the other hand, I hated Jason. He was one of the ghost hunters and the love interest, and I think Cameron deserved better. He started out an ass, he continued to be rude and cruel throughout the book, and by the end we were told to forgive him because he had reasons to be so awful. Yeah, no, that won’t fly. Like I said he started out bad so saying “he’s just worried because he LOVES you, and when he worries he acts out” doesn’t work. He was awful before he even knew you, Cameron! But Jason made Cameron happy, and the paranormal aspects of the story were a much larger part of the book, so I did leave the book feeling satisfied.

The paranormal aspects of this book were extremely interesting, and while they were also very dark, the rules were consistent. And I was very fond of Cameron. He was a good man who had lived through some truly awful things, who deserved a happy life. Getting there took time, and I wish it hadn’t involved Jason, but he did find happiness and in the end that’s what mattered. Also, while this is listed as the first book in a series, Cameron’s story does wrap up nicely. I’m not sure what the next book will be about, perhaps another mission of the ghost hunters? Whatever it is, I’ll be sure to check it out.

Unfortunately, Jason wasn’t the only problem I had with this book. This book was a little choppy at points, particularly at the beginning. For example, Cameron firmly claimed that he didn’t believe in ghosts and that he wanted these rude strangers who claimed to be ghost hunters to leave and never come back. And I agreed with him 100%! Strange things started happening, but they had plausible explanations so he let them go. Reasonable! But then he talks to Reid (the other ghost hunter) and suddenly he’s swayed toward believing and it turns out he kept iron on him because of a childhood superstition. And suddenly I don’t understand what he’s thinking. Is he an unreliable narrator, who actually does believe in the paranormal? Is it really just a remnant of his childhood, or was he just downplaying his belief in ghosts? If we’d known about the iron earlier it might have made the transition smoother, and made his sudden belief more understandable. Moments like this came up occasionally, and it was bothersome, but when things were going smoothly the plot was entrancing.

I do recommend this book, especially to horror and paranormal fans. While this book did have some major problems that would usually result in a lower rating, the good parts of the book were so enjoyable that the overall feeling I was left with was positive.

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