Book Reviews

The Paranaturalist by Ki Brightly at Brightly Books

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Ghosts/Spirits/Hauntings / Psychic Powers / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Horror
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 26-March-2020

Book Blurb

As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.

When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and Owen realizes he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is reacclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2016.

Book Review

There are a few intriguing and rather unusual elements in this story about paranormal phenomena, and added to some prickly characters, more than one challenge to what each of them believes, and some ghostly appearances that had me shuddering, they made for an absorbing story. Hunting ghosts on TV is an unusual occupation, and working together changes both Joseph, who used to be able to see things hidden from most people, and Owen, who is the consummate skeptic where anything paranormal is concerned.

Joseph is easy to like: he was tormented by visions as a child and ridiculed for them because people did not understand he was serious, or because they just didn’t want to know. At some point his ability stopped working. So while he knows the paranormal exists, he can no longer see any of it. Taking into consideration that he makes a living by working for a TV show that focuses on finding proof that ghosts do exist, his lack of abilities came at the wrong time. His partner on the show is a truly horrible person, and Joseph just can’t seem to catch a break.

Owen is a different matter. He was hard for me to understand, never mind like. He was very dismissive of Joseph, based on a total of one of Joseph’s TV shows he had seen. It took me a while to warm up to him and I kept thinking he should learn how to be critical without being nasty. Then again, Owen does end up teaching Joseph about things he has long forgotten and/or suppressed, and once Joseph learns to deal better with his “gift”, both of them find it easier to define their relationship. Maturity comes with experience, and it just takes these two a little longer than most.

The secondary characters deserve a mention as well. Joseph's best friend seemed a little creepy for my liking, and I didn't understand why Joseph was so loyal. Joseph's mother is quite the character too. And I found the ghost hunting and how they approached everything very entertaining – most of the time.

If you like ghosts, haunting, and those who try to find the truth behind these visions, if two men with opposing beliefs sound like interesting candidates to fall in love, and if you’re looking for a read full of ghostly appearances, battles with extraordinary abilities, and a slowly developing passion that leads to a deeper relationship, then you will probably like this novel. I think it’s quirky and unusual enough to make it worth a try.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 432 pages/172000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-August-2019
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link