Angela and Samantha are reviewing The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux today
Angela: This was a very fun book to read. I’ve been a fan of Abigail Roux since I discovered her Cut & Run series earlier this year, and now I’m hooked. I’ve been looking forward to The Gravedigger’s Brawl ever since I found out one of the characters coordinated his suspenders with his tongue ring.This seemed to me to be first and foremost a ghost story, with the love story evolving because of it. A creepy, really well told ghost story.
Samantha: And guy-liner! Guy-liner always wins me over. I agree, about the ghost story being first and foremost and the love story second. As I’ve read other books from Abigail Roux, I always have that expectation going in. I would say first and foremost Abigail Roux is an awesome storyteller. Then she throws in irresistibly sexy men to hook us.
Ash and Wyatt
Angela: I really like the way Wyatt and Ash at first seem to be so completely different, but as the story moves along you realize that they really aren’t that different at all. Wyatt is the academic type, who at first glance might seem be too straight-laced and stuffy, he is introduced to Ash through his friend Noah and Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t appear to be. He’s brash and open, a bartender who dresses in the gaslight style who matches his tongue rings to his suspenders. A kohl wearing, slicked back, fun guy who flairs his bottles while he’s working. I absolutely adored Ash.
When Wyatt and Ash first meet they are extremely attracted to each other.. which leads to a smoking hot sexy scene, which leads to a misunderstanding. I like that there was instant attraction, but not insta-love. This couple had to make a conscious decision and work to be together. As the story moves along we learn both men have a great love of history and this helps them solve the mystery surrounding the tavern.
Samantha: I had never heard of Gaslight before, but after being introduced to it and Ash in this book, I can definitely say I want and need more. The relationship between Wyatt and Ash was well-paced and made sense for the story and length of the book I felt. And yes, the first time they were together was scorching, but it also sometimes had me wanting Ash and Wyatt to forget the ghosts and get back to the bedroom! This is not a book filled with pages of sex between the two main characters, but Ash and Wyatt’s chemistry is so sizzling and the sex scenes were satisfying. Maybe that’s what I really loved about the two of them – their chemistry!
Secondary Characters: Noah, Caleb, Ryan and Delilah
Angela: One of my favorite things about Abi Roux’s books is that she makes me care just as much for the secondary characters as the main couple. I especially enjoyed Noah, he reminded me quite a bit of Ty from her Cut & Run series. He always had a witty comeback:
“He’s quirky and he likes things like suspenders and top hats and riding crops. And I didn’t tell him you’d be coming to meet him so you can play it… however it is you academic types play it.”
“Noah. You are an academic type.”
“But I’m the awesome kind who tends to get laid a lot.”
There is a background story of him and Caleb meeting and plenty of great scenes showcasing these people’s friendships with one another. Even when Ash is acting a little crazy, and strange things are happening all around them they engage in lots of playful, witty banter and really stick together. I love how Abigail Roux always has fantastic dialogue between her characters. Their conversations seem so natural, something you can imagine happening between good friends who are comfortable with each other.
Samantha: Colorful and interesting secondary characters that can hold their own and keep my attention – this book definitely had that. And that really worked for me because it kept me interested in the ghost story itself which I could have lost interest in after a while. I struggle with ghost stories sometimes. Noah is such a great character and the dynamic between him and Caleb was so funny. I don’t know about you, but I feel there’s a whole interesting background to Caleb that we need to know!
Angela: YES! Please give me more Caleb! I need a story about him and Noah. I almost loved Noah as much as Ash, and from what Ash was talking about Caleb’s background in the Gaslight style I think he should be a character we learn more about.
Ghost Story and Story line
Angela: The Gravedigger’s Tavern is as much a character here as any person. There was a lot of history thrown in the mix to tell this story, I think it really gave the storyline that added cool factor, not that we needed it with all the hot guys set amid such an interesting backdrop.
Samantha: The Tavern is very cool and it at times helped to keep me interested in the story that has a subject I might normally lose interest in. Sadly, I don’t think such a tavern exists in my neck of the woods, especially a tavern with a sexy top hat wearing guy-liner sportin’ bartender. This makes me sad.
Angela:If I find one, and now I’m sure to be on the lookout.. You’ll be the first one I tell. I think I need to see this flair bartending that Ash and Ryan had going on.
Angela: This was a very short read, as much as I enjoyed it, I would have loved to have had a deeper look into this couple, maybe even get to see more about Noah and Caleb’s new relationship. The end left me hopeful that Ms. Roux will revisit these characters later on, maybe follow them to their next destination where more spooky, creepy things will happen. Final grade: B
Samantha: I definitely wish a little more time would have been spent focused on Ash and Wyatt and their budding relationship. And while I typically wouldn’t be interested in a ghost story, this book was written in such a way that I was able to stay focused and didn’t get bored at all with the ghost story-line There was definitely a lot packed into the 250 pages of this book. Throw in the secondary characters and there’s a lot going on. Overall it’s the characters and witty dialogue that really rise to the top for me in The Gravedigger’s Brawl. More Ash, Noah, and Caleb, please! Final Grade: B
Wyatt’s hand slid into his as they sat there.
“Weird first date,” Wyatt muttered.
“I feel dirty,” Ash added.
“You just got barebacked by a ghost,” Noah said. “You should feel dirty.”
Ash and Wyatt both turned to look at him. He studiously ignored their evil glares.
“He’s a sweet guy. Don’t let the gaslight bent throw you off.”
“Gaslight. It’s like steampunk without the steam. Or the punk. Victorian throwback, gothic without the emo?”
“Are you speaking English right now?”