Saturday, October 28, 2017

ARC Review: Soul Searching by A.J. Rose

Soul Searching
Something lurks within the walls of the house Trevor Mathews and his best friend Merrick Taylor share. It watches them and their friends. It needs them. It knows their weaknesses.

Trevor’s in love with Merrick and hasn’t got the nerve to tell him. Merrick’s relationship is already failing, but he doesn’t believe he deserves what he truly desires. And the dark presence enjoys their suffering.

The entity wants to exploit them, push Merrick’s boyfriend into fits of jealousy and possessiveness, encourage Trevor to avoid the man he’s stood by most of his life, and frustrate their friend Tempest who’s tired of knowing Trevor and Merrick are perfectly matched souls, but they’re too scared to try.

The entity needs them to fight, to hurt, to scream at each other in anger and pain. It thrives on their helplessness and targets their insecurities. And it won’t stop until it has devoured their joy, destroyed their hope, and eventually, shattered their souls.

Jewel's rating:

It's almost Halloween, so I think it is a good time for a spooky story!

Soul Searching takes place in Manchester, England and, at least from my American perspective, seems authentically British. The Author's wife is British and undoubtedly helped with the Brit-speak. Well done.

I enjoy the best-friends-to-lovers trope quite a lot, and I while I liked the progression that Trevor and Merrick took in becoming "more", a bit more romance would not have been remiss. I don't know that I'd call it a slow burn, exactly, because although we see plenty of pining on Trevor's part, Merrick is dating someone else for 60% of the book. Merrick did have feelings for Trevor, as well, but since Soul Searching is told from Trevor's POV, we don't really see it -- until they get together, that is.

The steam in this one is pretty light, as is the romance, with the focus being more on the haunting of Trevor and Merrick's flat and the resolution of that. Their relationship was secondary. I did enjoy the story, but I admit I would have loved more romance.

Trevor and Merrick's best friend Tempest plays a big role in the story, too, and I thought she was present too much. I felt she got in the way of the romance. She does have a tangible purpose in the plot, but she was pushy and very interfering and after a while she kind of annoyed me some. I mean, her nickname is "Pest", so that should tell you something.

Overall, I enjoyed Soul Searching, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it would have had a little bit more romance, a little bit more steam, and a lot less Tempest.


ARC of Soul Searching was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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