Welcome to What-To-Read Wednesday. Each week our Fiction Vixen reviewers will tell you about a book they think you need to read ASAP. This week Angela recommends:
Stygian by Santino Hassell
I think I’ve found the perfect Halloween read for y’all. Creepy, haunted mansion out in the middle of nowhere? Check. Mysterious neighbors who aren’t what they appear to be? Check. Dead bodies, strange happenings, and ominous surroundings that lend to an overall feel of eeriness? Check, check, check. Throw in a hot, tattooed rocker, a drummer who is confused and angry and some dirty sex scenes and I don’t know what else you could possibly ask for.
Blurb from Goodreads:
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 Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.
Santino Hassell is a relatively new to me author. I adored his last release, Sutphin Boulevard and was anxious to read something else by this obviously talented writer. I’ve heard Stygian described as a southern gothic m/m romance with paranormal aspects and since I can’t remember reading anything remotely close to that lately I was all in from the get-go.
Can we all just take a minute to look at that cover… seriously, I can’t stop staring. So gorgeous.
I tried writing a full-length review, but soon realized I didn’t want to give away any hints or spoilers simply because I think the beauty of this type of story is that readers have no idea what to expect. I know I enjoyed being kept on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what the heck Mr. Hassell would throw at me next and how he would get these characters safely out of the mess they found themselves smack dab in the middle of. Or who would even make it out alive, for that matter. I was stressed and angry at Watts and wondering what the heck was up with the Caroways, but in the end I was glad I had an early copy and hadn’t read any reviews. I think it made the story itself that much more sinister. Which means you guys need to go one-click and read for yourselves.
P.S. I am still counting down the days to the next release in the Five Boroughs series, Sunset Park releases in December and I CAN NOT WAIT.
Naked and lacking a hint of modesty, Kennedy stood up and moved closer. He was so broad and strong that it was difficult to picture their bodies crushed together on the bed. They were completely different, but they’d still fit perfectly.