Rating: 5 stars
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Series are tricky things. Stories pulled out of the same created world often begin to fall flat, as if the author has begun to run out of steam. A few novels ago, author Susan Laine created a fantastical world where a rending in a mythical veil that separated the human world from the magical world created a host of interesting and sometimes deadly problems. With each story borne from this earth she dreamed into existence, Laine solidifies her standing as an intriguing storyteller. From that incredible imagination now comes a new installment, Monsters Under The Bed.
Unfolding from the chapters of former police officer Sam Garrett’s journal, the investigation into the death of child prodigy and genius toymaker Mo Chance comes pouring forth in extraordinary detail. Sam and his former partner, Rex Ford, both retired from the force after a near fatal accident which somehow left the formerly “narcissistic asshole” Ford a changed man. This also marked the beginning of their now five-year-old relationship and the love they have for each other which grows stronger each day. When Sam is contacted by Mo’s estate attorney, he has no clue that it will be to receive a letter penned by the deceased himself, prior to his supposed suicide, engaging Sam to investigate Mo’s suspicious death.
One by one, Sam must contact those who stand to inherit Mo’s empire. His cousin and only living relative, Cecil; his butler/housekeeper, Parkinson; his nanny, Giulia Capello; his driver, Luther Lovell; and, of all people, Ford, Sam’s lover. Now Sam must ferret out who had reason to see Mo dead and the surprising twists and turns this story takes on are fairly stunning to behold. Each person has something to hide, and one after another, Sam begins to find out the secrets that each person holds dear to them, including his own precious Ford.
Oh how I wish I could tell you more about this story, but honestly to do so would be to spoil the fun you would have in reading this incredibly well crafted little gem. I was so impressed by the way in which author Susan Laine layered each aspect of this mystery. With an eye for the magical and a bit of Greek mythology thrown in for good measure, the characters in this story took surprising shape. With each stone Sam overturned, there was another huge revelation to be discovered about one of the key players in this story.
By story’s end I had really fallen in love with both Ford and Sam. Their love for each other was not only filled with extremely hot bedroom moments, but the joking and teasing dialogue that the author created for them was really just sweet and funny. To add to that the mystery elements of her novella were really top notch. I am a huge mystery fan and I must tell you that this story had me guessing right up to the surprising reveal at the end. When I looked back at passages I had highlighted for this story, I began to see the trail of breadcrumbs the author had so carefully laid out for me to follow. But this was no clumsily written detective story, no; in fact, it was quite a shocker of an ending that left me shaking my head in awe of Laine’s clever story telling abilities.
The novella Monsters Under The Bed by Susan Laine has it all in my opinion. A fantasy world created with just enough realism to make it work, a twisting and surprising mystery that holds you involved to the very end, and a sweet romance with some very hot sex thrown in for good measure. I highly recommend this novella to you. It can be read as a standalone, independent of others in her Lifting the Veil series. However I am a huge fan of this author and this fascinating world she has created so I recommend you read them all!