Sunday, January 19, 2014

5 Star review for GRAVEDIGGER’S BRAWL by @abigailroux

Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.

Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.

But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.

Forgetting the fact that Abigail Roux is one of my favorite authors right now, Gravedigger’s Brawl was almost a perfect read for the mood I was in. It had a little of everything: romance, ghost stories, history, strong characters and an exciting plot.

Very few ghost stories scare me, and I’m not going to say that this one did, but I definitely felt creeped out as the characters slowly moved from skeptical to scared. In fact, I think that was one of the great successes of the story. For most of the book, the strange occurrences in the historic bar were completely explainable by every day things. As a reader, I wasn’t sure whether this was an actual ghost story or not. It made reading it fun, like I was participating in the mystery, and not just reading about it.

I am completely obsessed with the character of Ash. He was unique, well-developed and had loads of personality. He's one of those characters that I will continue to think about for years. Wyatt was likable, but he just didn’t resonate with me in the same way. I suppose that makes some sense since he was supposed to be the stodgy historian-type, but I found myself wanting more from him. The chemistry between Wyatt and Ash was wonderful, but then, I think Ash could have chemistry with just about anybody. Even with the minor flaw in Wyatt, the dynamic supporting characters helped to make up for it.

While I love series books, it was nice to read a well-rounded, stand-alone that gave me a sense of completion. Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing these characters again in their next home, wherever that may be.

Overall, I give Gravedigger’s Brawl...

Plot - 5 bookmarks
Character development - 4 1/2 bookmarks overall, but 6 million for Ash!
Love story - 5 bookmarks (though I would have loved to see more of the romance between Noah & Caleb.)

Dream Cast (Otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Aidan Turner (Ash), Hayden Christensen (Wyatt), Chris Hemsworth (Noah), Tom Hiddleston (Caleb), Taylor Kitsch (Ryan), Lizzy Caplan (Delilah)

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