Title: Cemeteries by Moonlight (States of Love)
Author: Hunter Frost
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 108 Pages
At a Glance: The end was exciting, the MCs are likeable and, for the most, part I liked Frost’s resolution. But, I do wish the mystery plot had been a bit more fleshed out.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: When a serious bout of writer’s block threatens to delay mystery author Drew Daniels’s newest book, his aunt offers her New Orleans apartment in the heart of the French Quarter as a writing retreat. She neglects to mention that it’s occupied by the enigmatic and sexy Finn Murphy, a cemetery tour guide with a penchant for Victorian attire and a Cajun accent.
A body discovered in an open crypt forces reclusive Drew to deal with Finn’s eccentric group of friends and his underlying attraction to the hot Cajun—despite warnings about Finn’s violent past. Drew might write this stuff, but he’s never had to solve a real-life murder. With a deadline looming and a killer on the loose, this retreat is proving to be anything but helpful for Drew’s novel. Drew can only hope he won’t end up a tragic tale for the Ghostly Legends & Lore, Inc. haunted tour.
Review: First things first…I have serious cover love going on here; AngstyG killed it with this one. The heart of the story is amazingly captured. Gorgeous, eye-catching goodness.
I snapped this one up because of the cover, obviously, but also because I’ve enjoyed Hunter Frost’s past work. I read and reviewed both An Angel in Eyeliner and Courage to Heal and really liked them both—especially Angel. Frost is good at creating memorable characters and backdrops that will hook the reader and reel him or her in. In the case of Cemeteries by Moonlight, for me, it was impossible to resist the allure of New Orleans, or a sexy, tatted Cajun named Finn Murphy.
Finn is the unexpected flatmate Drew Daniels encounters when he arrives at the apartment his aunt owns in New Orleans. She told Drew he could stay there for a few months, but neglected to tell him she already had a renter. Drew is supposed to be finding his muse…getting the words flowing again on his new novel…But, Finn is a serious threat to Drew’s fast approaching deadline. I loved this line:
“I couldn’t believe how smitten I was over a hot, straight, Victorian-dressed man with a penchant for the paranormal.”
It isn’t just Finn’s sex appeal causing the distraction, however. Someone in Finn’s eclectic but close-knit group of friends turns up dead, and Drew gets sucked into the mystery.
There were a lot of good things happening in this book. The characters were interesting, with intriguing and varied backstories. Frost does a decent job depicting Drew’s Tourette’s and his coping mechanisms. I was definitely drawn in by Finn’s story and personality. And, then there’s New Orleans—a character all on her own. I loved every bit of New Orleans lore the author packed in. I wish there had been more.
All of that being said, I did have a few mixed feelings on the story itself. It started out strong but fizzled a bit in the second half. It was also somewhat difficult to grasp all of the relationships and dynamics of Finn’s friend group. They ran hot and cold and, at times, didn’t act at all how you would think friends would act. Finn would go from flat out accusing one of them of murder to just calmly chilling around a table, sharing drinks. Some elements just didn’t quite work.
The end was exciting, the MCs are likeable and, for the most, part I liked Frost’s resolution. But, I do wish the mystery plot had been a bit more fleshed out. It felt like the storyline just got away from her a bit toward the last third of the book. I wanted a little more out of the romance, and even more NOLA—but, it was a solid 3-3.5 star read.
You can buy Cemeteries by Moonlight here: