The Bone OrchardRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

It’s the 1870s and U.S. Marshal Ambrose Shaw is on the trail of a serial killer.  He’s finally caught up with Boone Jennings and he knows this is his last stand.  He’s going to put Jennings down, screw due process, because Jennings is just that evil.  When they meet in a saloon, bullets fly.

Ezra Johns is a Pinkerton agent who investigated one of Jennings’ killings back east.  He travels to San Francisco to testify in Jennings’ trial.  He knows he’s the only one that has evidence that can put Jennings away.  He meets Ambrose, and though he’s a little confused about some of Ambrose’s behavior, he doesn’t think much of it. Until, at the trial, he realizes that Ambrose is dead and he’s been interacting with a ghost.  It takes some work, but Ezra gets over the initial shock.  When Jennings is hanged, both Ezra and Ambrose think that Ambrose will be able to move on.  When he doesn’t, they know that Ambrose’s mission isn’t yet complete.

Another murder, complete with Jennings’ MO, means that the ghost of the serial killer has figured out a way to hang on and to keep killing.  Ambrose and Ezra have to figure out a way to capture the malevolent ghost for good.  Otherwise, people will keep dying and neither man can allow that to happen.

This one was really good, you guys.  It just was.  I loved the world that Roux created here and the rules she set down for how ghosts can react with the people and things around them.  It was a really clever way to handle things and I liked that it was very consistent throughout.

I simply adored Ambrose and Ezra.  Ambrose is a laid back and easy going kind of guy, but he has a strong moral compass that never wavers.  Ezra is the same, but more practical and intellectual.  These guys just fit together from the very start, both as partners as they work the case and figure out how to trap the ghost of Jennings and as love interests.  They use their limitations in a way that was clever, and they think things through in a methodical way.  Their relationship begins when Ambrose is a ghost and I was anxiously awaiting the answer about how they could continue.  Their affection and chemistry is clear on the page and I wanted to know how they would keep their relationship going.  I’m not going to tell you how though, because it was a surprise to me, one that I loved actually, and I don’t want to spoil it for you.  I was actually really pleased with the outcome, as it’s not something I’ve ever really seen before.

This story had great pacing, all the way through the first three quarters.  The build of the men’s relationship was coupled with them figuring out how the ghost world worked, what ghosts could affect, and how strong emotions played a role in that.  I was along for the ride every step of the way.  But I have to say that in the last quarter, I was a little sad to see the time jumps and lack of description.  While I understood Roux’s reasoning for it, it didn’t work quite as well for me.  After such a rich first three quarters, it felt like things were being glossed over just to get to a specific thing.  Once we got there, I was rather pleased.  Fans of Roux’s Sidewinder series are in for a special treat, though you if you haven’t read them, you won’t have any trouble following along.  But then the story just sort of ended.  It felt abrupt to me.  That dampened my enjoyment just a bit.

But really, I did like this story a great deal.  I loved the way the whole ghost thing was handled, I loved the progression of the romance, and there was so much to enjoy about the book that it’s definitely a worthwhile read.

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