Thursday, May 20, 2010


Title: Revenant
Author: Connie Bailey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61581-454-1
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Paranormal, Horror
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

After weeks of negotiation, Bo Andressen, his partner Sean “Ardie’ Red Dog and the crew of Andressen-Red Dog Recovery Company arrives at a crumbling, centuries old castle in Wales. They’re anxious to get started looking for a Crusader’s treasure long thought buried somewhere within its walls and expecting a normal run-of-the-mill salvage operation. Instead they walk into more trouble than they ever imagined. There’s been a series of strange ritual murders the local police have tried to keep hidden and the only way they can start their work is to bring in a psychic to deal with so-called restless spirits inhabiting the castle.

When powerful paranormal liaison Tristan Lambert arrives, he discovers two things almost immediately. There’s a revenant—an angry spirit that feeds on sexual energy at work on the castle grounds and no one but Tristan believes in his existence, leaving him to fight the spirit alone. Events at the castle are further complicated when the current owner, Sir Rhys Turcotte, and his secretary, Chris, who happens to be Bo’s ex-lover, arrives.

Between the deaths, strange noises and apparent possessions and explosions, Gavin, the constable, and Bo don’t know how to keep their people safe. Later during a possession, Tristan and Bo discover they’re eternally bound together and it’s up to them to stop the revenant spirit human and ghostly allies before an ancient evil can gather enough stolen energy to be reborn in corporeal form.

Revenant by Connie Bailey is an expanded novel-length reprint of the original novella Revenant originally published in the Desire Beyond Death anthology by Dreamspinner Press.

There’s are several things about this story that I didn’t expect from reading the blurb and which made it impossible to easily categorize it. For one thing it’s far more intense and darker - with scenes of graphic ghostly rape, forced spiritual seduction and possession, so please be aware of these before you make a decision to read it. It also has aspects of suspense, thriller, action, fantasy, reincarnation and magic written into its pages. There were even a few tender scenes thrown in - both in the present and the past, but none, I would say, were graphic like the aforementioned rape scenes.

The plot of this story is complicated and at times confusing as the various characters move in and out of the various scenes, both in the present and ghostly scenes of the past. There’s also the issue of the vast number of characters—Tristan and Bo are definitely the backbone of the story, but so is the evil ghost of Sir Alun Turcotte. Many of the other characters play a small, yet vital role, but the sheer number of viewpoints only muddies the water (so to speak) and cause confusion. One such example is the number of men named Sean. I understand why the author did it - to attempt to keep the identity of the evil minion secret - but it just didn’t work for me.

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