Book Reviews

Wight Mischief by JL Merrow at Sea Singer Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 27-March-2020

Book Blurb

A ghost of a chance at love.

Personal trainer Will Golding has been looking forward to a getaway with his best friend, Baz, a journalist researching a book on ghosts. But on the first day of their camping trip on the Isle of Wight, Will takes a walk on a secluded beach and spies a beautiful young man skinny-dipping by moonlight. Ethereally pale, he’s too perfect to be real—or is he?

Lonely author Marcus Devereux is just as entranced by the tall athlete he encounters on the beach, but he’s spent the years since his parents’ violent death building a wall around his heart, and the thought of letting Will scale it is terrifying. Marcus’s albinism gives him his otherworldly appearance and leaves him reluctant to go out in daylight, his reclusiveness encouraged by his guardian—who warns him to stay away from Will and Baz.

The attraction between Will and Marcus can’t be denied—but neither can the danger of the secrets haunting Marcus’s past, as one “accident” after another strikes Will and Baz. If they don’t watch their step, they could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.

First edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., November 2011.

Second edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2018.


Book Review

“A true relationship is having someone who accepts your past, supports your present, loves you and encourages your future.” ~ unknown

Will, of 'Wight Mischief' by J.L. Merrow, has been crushing on his best friend for years, but Baz is straight, although he doesn't hesitate to ask Will to pleasure him whenever he needs some relief. Even though there's no future in it for Will, he puts up with Baz because he is his best friend and he loves him, resigned to taking what little attention he can get. When Baz asks him to go on a research trip to the Isle of Wight for Baz's latest book about ghosts, Will happily agrees. When a beautiful man on the beach, Marcus, presents an opportunity to find love, Will has no clue that pursuing Marcus will be both difficult and dangerous.

Will and Baz decide it will be fun to make a camping trip out of their research project instead of staying in a hotel. While Baz is getting busy in their tent with a girl he just met, Will decides to search the area. Will ends up at a fence that encompasses a private beach. Will knows he is trespassing, but he is curious and continues on. When he sees the luminous figure of a naked man in the water, he is sure he is seeing a ghost. When the shape spots him, it disappears. Will runs back to the campsite telling Baz, who blows him off, that he's seen a real ghost. The next day, they begin their ghost-hunting. One of their stops is an ancient fort, some of which has been made into a residence where a famous but reclusive author lives. Baz talks his way into examining a tunnel that is on the property, purported to have spectral activity. When the owner, Marcus, of the residence comes into the room, Will sees that he's found his ghost. Marcus suffers from albinism. His white hair, odd eyes, and fair skin give him an otherworldly look.

Even though Marcus is distant, Will is strongly attracted to him and wants to get to know him better. When Marcus gives in to his desire for Will and tries to kiss him, Will is so shocked that he pulls away. In his mind, Will is being a gentleman, afraid to move too fast; Marcus sees his hesitation as rejection and is miserably self-deprecating as he reminds himself of what a freak he is and how no one could ever love him. Fortunately, it's not enough to discourage Will who goes back and shows Marcus what it feels like to be loved.

As their affection for each other grows, so does the mystery around Marcus’s parents’ death, his father killing his mother because he was jealous of her relationship with another man. Marcus's guardian, Leif, is upset that Marcus has invited Baz and Will into his home and sees Will as even more of a threat because of his possible influence on Marcus. When Will and Baz both have near-death experiences in the form of unexplained accidents, they begin to think that they aren't just coincidences.

This story felt like a gothic mystery with a romance threaded into it. The tension created by all the different twists and turns are similar to a roller-coaster as the tale winds its way to a climactic conclusion. The characters are wounded and capable all in one. Each one has their own baggage. I loved Will the most. He's sweet and considerate but I can't see what he ever saw in Baz who was selfish and arrogant. Marcus was mysterious and beautiful and oh so broken. If anyone needed love, it was Marcus and Will was there to provide it. Thanks, JL, for a very entertaining story that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 228 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-March-2020
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link