Author: Jackie Keswick
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 112 and 300 Pages
At a Glance: This is an intriguing series and I highly recommend all three books.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Ghosts — Jack Horwood doesn’t do families. Or Christmas. From the time his mother sold him to her pimp to the moment he walked out on the man he loved, Christmas has always been about change and painful choices. This year seems no different. Helping Daniel and Nico recover from their imprisonment and hunting down those responsible puts Jack in a frame of mind he doesn’t want to inflict on anyone. Least of all Gareth and the tentative relationship they’ve started to rebuild.
But Gareth, for whom Christmas is all about new beginnings, won’t let Jack take the easy way out. He makes him face his ghosts instead. Even when said ghosts invade their bedroom.
When Daniel’s parents are found, Jack is determined to settle the matter without involving Daniel at all. But fate decrees otherwise, and it’s Gareth who helps him finally understand that the strongest bonds are those forged together. Once he gets that, Jack can step up and make a decision designed to lay his ghosts to rest—for good.
Blurb: House Hunt — Jack Horwood hates owing favors. But when a simple day out to treat Gareth to the best oysters in England leads to a discovery of drugs and counterfeit money—things that neither Jack nor Gareth have the jurisdiction to handle—he has to call in help. Help that doesn’t come cheap, and that forces him to do something he promised himself he’d never do again—walk away from Gareth and the family he’s starting to make for himself.
Three months undercover is a long time. After missing Gareth’s birthday, Jack is determined not to miss their first anniversary. But coming home and being home are two very different things. So when he is asked to assist with a corporate espionage investigation, Jack can’t say no, despite knowing it will impact his already straining relationship.
Except, of course, he’s walking into a trap….
Reviews: It’s the holiday season and Gareth Flynn’s favorite time of year: family, friends, food and celebrations, and especially cooking. Gareth has awesome culinary skills. But Jack Horwood is not totally comfortable with all the things that comprise family. The holidays just don’t bring good memories for Jack, and we find him taking a serious look at his ghosts from the past.
Jack is also facing the issues ahead, in Nico still having to identify people associated with the pimp who’d enslaved him and Daniel. Gareth’s mother, Roz, Nico and Daniel’s foster parent, believes she has come across Daniel’s biological parents. Jack becomes involved in finding another missing boy, and the more Jack examines his ghosts and starts to let go, we see him take a big step in his life. We also see a special bond really start to develop between Nico, Daniel, Jack and Gareth, which really gives Ghosts a very warm feeling.
This is a story of finding a place that Jack can be safe and call home, along with Nico and Daniel. I really liked Gareth’s part in this book, needing to keep Jack safe and building a stable life for Nico and Daniel too. Jackie Keswick gives more depth to Jack and Gareth’s growing relationship, and we get to see Nico and Daniel start to grow and become more expressive around Jack and Gareth.
There are points in Ghosts where there are setbacks, and we see the fragility of Daniel, Nico and Jack. Gareth proves to be that solid person that all three need as the bond between them keeps growing. I liked the way Ms. Keswick gave Gareth and Jack their own special wisdom too, with Gareth telling Jack, “The best families, the strongest ones, are always the ones we make for ourselves.” The special gift that Jack gives to Gareth really tells the story: “Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. All they’ve been. All they were. All they might ever be.”
And, I can’t help but mention Aidan Conrad once again; he’s there with his little tidbits of advice for Jack and Gareth. For me, he’s one character that always stands out.
I highly recommend that Job Hunt, book one in The Power of Zero series, be read before Ghosts in order to understand the full dynamics of this story.
In House Hunt, we find Jack Horwood surprising Gareth Flynn with a day to themselves. Gareth is willing to give Jack this special outing after all the chaos that occurred through the holidays, especially if this alone time will help Jack feel comfortable and tell Gareth what’s on his mind. Gareth has always worried about Jack and knows that Jack’s past still haunts him and makes him feel worthless. After all, Gareth is the only one who has a fairly good understanding of how Jack’s mind works.
After their day out, a particular vehicle piques Jack’s interest more than once. His curiosity gets the better of him and he discovers drugs. Gareth is not excited about this at all, and the discovery winds up dragging Jack back undercover for three months. Jack is torn about leaving Gareth and the boys for that long, as it isn’t something he wanted to do, but Jack can’t help the need to fight for what’s right. Gareth fears loosing Jack if he goes undercover again.
Nico and Daniel are finally going to school and getting more comfortable with their way of life now. We see Gareth’s closeness with Daniel growing as they share the joy of cooking. Nico is more like Jack and has interest in video games and learning more about the skills of protecting himself. Then there’s a slight setback for Daniel when an incident happens at school.
Jack is still working for Nancarrow Mining and he discovers another data thief. As he gets deeper in recovering the cryptic stick, he finds himself kidnapped. Gareth and Aidan make a stand and call in Mel and Khandi, two very interesting characters, to help get Jack out of this dangerous situation.
House Hunt is another double thriller from Jackie Keswick. It’s suspenseful, fast paced and action packed, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. And, once again, Ms. Keswick brings us an amazing cast of characters that will peak your interest. We also get to learn a little more about Aidan Conrad’s life.
I liked that she gave that little flaw of jealousy to Gareth in this story, but she also brings love and warmth with Roz, Nico and Daniel. No matter what Jack’s endeavors are, there is a family for him. I’m hoping Ms. Keswick is going to add another book to the Power of Zero series because there are two major questions that haven’t really been resolved. One does concern Nico and Daniel, and the other involves Jack, Garth and the boys. This is an intriguing series and I highly recommend all three books: Job Hunt, Ghosts and House Hunt.
You can buy Ghosts here:
You can buy House Hunt here: