Title: Rising Damp
Author: Christiane France
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages/Word Count: 55 Pages
At a Glance: Aside from a couple of hopeful moments, this short definitely fell flat.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: When Matt Jones takes a temporary job as a housekeeper/housesitter in an old and imposing three-story Queen Anne Victorian estate, he’s worried about patching up a misunderstanding with his new boyfriend. But he has no idea he’ll be sharing the premises with a ghost and, within the month, his life will drastically change.
Never in Matt’s wildest dreams would he have imagined that living with a sexy ghost could be so exciting and rewarding.
Review: I liked the idea of this story, and was intrigued by the blurb – surprisingly, I haven’t read any romances with ghosts, so was curious how it would play out – but I have to admit, Rising Damp just fell short. There were moments where I was sort of digging it…I liked Matt in the beginning, and I loved the idea of the haunted Victorian mansion in modern times. The writing style was light and fun, for the most part, and there were a couple of funny moments; unfortunately, there simply wasn’t enough substance.
Matt is in between gigs, and has taken this position as a housesitter through his temp agency. Immediately after arriving, the current housekeeper leaves for vacation, and gives Matt a very cursory rundown of the household and his duties. He is left more or less to fend for himself, including finding out about and dealing with Toby, the resident ghost. Toby has ended up at the Lawson’s house by mistake, and needs Matt’s help to get him back to the house where he died so he can get the closure he needs.
As the blurb suggests, Matt is also dealing with boyfriend problems. This part of the book, quite honestly, is ridiculous. We are given so little to go on, regarding any of the characters, really, but particularly regarding Matt and his relationship with Denis, that I found myself moving quickly from not caring about them at all to becoming annoyed with how gullible and whiny Matt was in dealing with him. Frankly, that whole part of the story could have been removed, the space better spent building up the sections with Toby, and turning them into more than a bizarre way to introduce some sexual content into the story.
I’m sad to say Rising Damp quickly took a turn from promising to silly. The book wasn’t long enough for the author to get across the story she was trying to tell. The storyline was so contrived, much of it completely unnecessary or making no sense. Aside from a couple of hopeful moments, this short definitely fell flat.
You can buy Rising Damp here: