Dominic Ashworth comes from a long line of witches and the protective rune he has tattooed on his wrist is necessary for his bloodline. With a cursed ancestor trying to wreak havoc on the mortal realm, Dominic’s legacy is important. But when his childhood home gets sold, the one that’s been in his family for generations, Dominic knows he must make sure the new owners are from the bloodline and protected too.
Meeting Caleb Jones is a surprise. Caleb has moved into the house with his best friend Zach, and Dominic is immediately attracted to the man. Their connection is instant and Dominic wants to get to know Caleb, even as he needs to find out if Zach has the protective tattoo. Dominic and Caleb hit it off and begin dating, even as strange things start happening at the house, including accidents, injuries, and the cat behaving weirdly. Dominic is reluctant to reveal the whole truth, even as it seems Caleb and Zach believe somewhat. When the truth comes out, Dominic must assure Caleb that he was going to explain.
Things take a turn for the worse the closer it gets to Halloween and Caleb and Dominic are temporarily parted. But the spirits haunting the house will not be denied, and it’s only with help that Dominic can save Caleb.
This story has a whole range of emotions. Sweet moments followed by creepy and spooky, sad and heartbreaking followed by tender and hot. While I wasn’t completely blown away, and honestly expected a little more of the creepy scary factor, this book definitely got my heart racing at times. The romance was especially nice, and I really liked the book overall.
Right off the bat, the reader finds out what happened in the past, though not the details behind it. Then the story jumps to the present and Dominic shows us exactly what kind of guy he is. Level headed and smart, he also holds on to the traditions that have been passed down and believes the history of his family wholeheartedly. There’s no doubt as to why he believes and how seriously he takes it. That’s what made this plot work for me. It could have read as too coincidental or as if it was working out just to make the plot work. But Dominic sold it and I was with him one hundred percent. While I didn’t always agree with the not-quite-whole-truths he told, I at least understood his reasoning behind it. I enjoyed Caleb as well, and I liked that he didn’t dismiss the supernatural happenings, that he was believably questioning, but ultimately accepting. But without Dominic, I don’t think this story would have worked as well as it did.
There are basically two major plot arcs going on in this book, but they are intrinsically tied together. The romance side of things had a love at first sight kind of feel, and these guys definitely had tons of chemistry. I really liked that we could see the connection between the MCs, while still questioning just a little bit if everything was as it seemed. And that was because of the ghosts/spirits/mystery end of things. Overall, this worked really well for me. I will say that there were times when I felt, just a bit, like things were being dragged out unnecessarily. However, the spooky side of things built up well throughout the book, and when everything came to a head, I was reading frantically to see how it was all going to play out. There was a bit of world building here and I liked seeing everything resolve within the confines of the rules of the world. So other than some small pacing issues, I really liked watching this story unfold.
Scary is not really my favorite thing, but this story doesn’t wander too far into that territory. Yes, there are some moments where things get intense, but ultimately, for me, it fell more into the creepy and spooky side of things. If you’re looking for a Halloween-y sort of romance, then this one should make it onto your radar. Good characters, great chemistry, and a spooky plot make for a nice read.