Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.
Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music, but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.
Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroways’ secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.
Review: This is my first book by this author. I’ve heard good things about his other book out and the cover is AMAZING so of course I had to pick this one up. The book was just as good as the cover. The entire story just has this creepy vibe that’s so, so brilliant. You know something isn’t right but you don’t know what. The anticipation just builds and builds at an almost leisurely pace. Every turn of the page had me wondering if this was the moment things were going to happen. Or if we were all just imagining everything. Total mind game. I loved it! This is the perfect read if you’re in the mood for spooky.
The book begins when the band pull up to the place they rented for the summer. The place is isolated which in theory means they can practice their music as loud as they want at any time they want. The band is made of 3 guys who have been friends for years and now Jeremy. They’re also still struggling with the death of their former drummer. Which is who Jeremy has replaced. Jeremy feels all alone in this world. His brother is dead and the scars from that still linger. He comes from a long line of crazy people on his father’s side. Which he’s always avoiding dealing with if at all possible. So Jeremy attaches himself to the band he’s the newest member of, Stygian. The lead singer is a total prick and he’s consistently cruel to Jeremy. Jeremy has a mad crush on another member of the band Kennedy. Kennedy is the super handsome and untouchable guy everyone wants. Jeremy was drawn to him before he met him. After meeting him he wants him even more. But Kennedy doesn’t seem to return his affections until they get to mansion in the middle of nowhere Louisiana. But he does that push pull thing with Jeremy that just confuses and frustrates him. Which makes him to the enigmatic homeowner named Hunter for friendship and maybe more. Hunter and his sister live in a dilapidated house in the woods. They’re weird but so is Jeremy. Things get weird for the housemates and their issues with one another escalate.
I think for a majority of this book there’s a possible love triangle but you know who you want to be together and it’s not done for purely dramatic reasons. It fits and benefits the story which is through the POV of Jeremy. He’s torn between wanting Kennedy for more than just sex and giving into his attraction to Hunter. I think the way things are drawn out with Kennedy was pretty perfect in terms of sexual tension. Their scenes together are full of yearning and hurt. I thought the balance of the mystery behind what was happening at that scary house in the woods and the romantic story line were perfection. I loved every minute of it. Some of the words spoken between Kennedy and Jeremy were so beautiful. So much passion and confusion.
I think the best thing about this book was that it kept me hanging on until the end when everything just kind of comes together in a totally climactic way. I loved that I thought I knew what was going on but there was always enough doubt to keep me wondering. This book has a lot going on but it all worked seamlessly. There’s the paranormal mystery which was super creepy. The dynamic of the band and how being in that house is affecting them. Exposing secrets and pain they’ve been trying to keep hidden. Then there’s the turbulent love story. Jeremy’s struggle with himself. All these were written so well I loved every page of this book. I HIGHLY recommend it.