Book Review – Coldburgh Train Station by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee


RIPP #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 250
Characters: Brooks/Dane
POV: 1st
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb:
Do you hear bumps in the night? Get unexplained chills? Feel like someone’s watching you when you’re all alone? Don’t stay scared! Shoot RIPP a message for all your spooktacular needs!

Dane

I only go along with Rory and Thad’s crazy plan of checking out an abandoned train station because they seem so excited, and I honestly don’t care what we do for our film class project. Transferring colleges was supposed to be my escape from reality, anyway, so there’s no harm in doing a little ghost hunting, right? It’s not like we’ll find anything. I really just want to go through the motions, but these guys have a way of making me care—ugh. Even Rory’s older brother is able to get under my skin in ways I wish he couldn’t. I should stay away, but his sweet and caring nature keeps pulling me in—damn him.

Brooks

Helping Rory and Thad with RIPP is just something I do to spend time with them. Bless their little hearts, they really believe in ghosts and are determined to prove it to the world. When Dane gets assigned to their group for their class project, my worry they won’t need me anymore is overshadowed by my desire to spend as much time as possible getting to know the mysterious new man. I get my wish when we have an encounter that seems… unbelievable. As scary as it is, my life becomes less aimless when Dane and I team up to protect my brother and his best friend when they insist on returning to the train station again… and again.

What happens when two men experience something no one else sees? Can they stay alive long enough to fall in love or is seeing what lives at Coldburgh Train Station the beginning of the end?

Coldburgh Train Station is book one in the RIPP (Researchers In Paranormal Phenomenon) series. It’s a 90K word standalone MM romance with spooky fun, cute guys, apparitions, a hyper younger brother that won’t stay away from the coffee pot, a friend that cares way too much about his tan, spirits, a crazy mom, amazing friendships, love, and did we mention ghosts?

Intended for audiences 18 years and older.

Buy Link

Review

I loved the mix of romance and paranormal in this story. The characters are appealing, but not without their own past tragedies, and the scenes with the ghosts are scary and atmospheric. I’m looking forward to more cases from the Researchers in Paranormal Phenomenon!

Although this is Brooks’ and Dane’s story, family and found family plays an important role. I loved Brooks’ and Rory’s sibling relationship, and the friendship between Thad and Rory. I liked how it avoided the best friends to lovers trope and kept them as friends who have no interest in each other romantically. I loved how they took Dane under their wing and included him as family very early on. Poor Dane! I could understand why he was wary of starting another relationship, and I thought his fear was very realistic considering what he’s been through. I also liked how his past wasn’t fully revealed until later, with the hints keeping me guessing until the reveal. I liked Brooks and how protective he is of Rory and Thad, yet never treats them as younger and not knowing what they’re doing.

Rory and Thad’s enthusiasm for the paranormal is endearing and I loved how things swapped around after the disbeliever in their midst has an encounter, and they haven’t seen any ghosts yet.

The ghosts in this story are scary, especially the bad guy amongst them. I liked how the guys took the time to not only research the history of the station but dug deeper to get the true story. I also liked how they didn’t know how to banish spirits, and had to research that too.

Dane’s mother is wonderful. She’s a hoot, yet caring and doing her best to be there for Dane. Be sure to check out the bonus episodes at the back of the book. I loved the revelation about his mother. Perfect plot twist!

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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