Review: Fish and Ghosts by Rhys Ford

When his Uncle Mortimer died and left him Hoxne Grange, the family’s Gilded Age estate, Tristan Pryce knew he wasn’t going to have an easy time of it. He was to be the second generation of Pryces to serve as a caretaker for the estate, a way station for spirits on their final steps to the afterlife. The ghosts were the simple part. He’d been seeing boo-wigglies since he was a child. No, the difficult part was his own family. Determined to establish Tristan’s insanity, his loving relatives hire Dr. Wolf Kincaid and his paranormal researchers, Hellsinger Investigations, to prove the Grange is not haunted.

Skeptic Wolf Kincaid has made it his life’s work to debunk the supernatural. After years of cons and fakes, he can’t wait to reveal the Grange’s ghostly activity is just badly leveled floorboards and a drafty old house. The Grange has more than a few surprises for him, including its prickly, reclusive owner. Tristan Pryce is much less insane and much more attractive than Wolf wants to admit and when his Hellsinger team unwittingly release a ghostly serial killer on the Grange, Wolf is torn between his skepticism and protecting the man he’d been sent to discredit.

I think Rhys Ford wrote this book just for me.  My thinking is that one day Rhys sat down at her computer and thought, “You know, that Jenni Lea is one cool chick.  I mean, just look at that pink hair!  How can someone not cool sport that awesome hair?  She deserves a book with all her favorite things in it.  I will write her a story.”  Yep, I’m gonna go with that because I can’t explain how else she managed to incorporate ALL of my favorites into one book.  From enemies-to-lovers and hot, scorch-your-eyeballs sex scenes to a shout out to my all time favorite graphic novel series ElfQuest and my love of unicorns; she nailed it to the wall!

Wolf Kinkaid (love that name!) runs a ghost hunting business where he specializes in debunking haunted places.  His skeptic view on ghosts and the paranormal has come in handy many times over in revealing frauds for the attention whores they are.  He is contacted by a woman who wants him to investigate the family home and her nephew, the current owner, to obtain proof that there are no ghosts so her nephew can get the mental help he needs.  Wolf takes the job expecting it to be a simple hoax unveiling.  What he does not expect is the beautiful, fey-faced Tristan Pryce.

Tristan Pryce, proprietor of the Hoxne Grange, sees dead people.  Yes, you read that right.  He sees them, hears them and can speak to them.  He’s not crazy.  Oh no, he’s something wondrous.  And he feels all alone; cut off from an unforgivable world and an even more intolerable family.  A family who wants to see him put away for what they perceive is insanity.  That and the money grubbers want the house.

When these two meet it is an instant clash of personality.  Sniping and snarling at each other they reluctantly come together in the face of greater danger.  But they cannot ignore the fierce attraction they have for one another.  The bickering and banter finally culminates into a night of sizzling passion just as an evil darkness descends upon the manor.  What follows is action, adventure and horror just made for the big screen.  And romance.  You can’t forget about the romance.
 “…You and I… fit.  There’s something between us.  Even in this crazy nuthouse you’ve got going on, I feel like… it fits.  You fit.  Just… think about it, okay?  You and me.  Is that such a bad thing?  Can you see us?”
This book knocked my socks off.  I was blown away.  The writing is so descriptive I could actually SEE and HEAR the scenes in great detail.  From the way the house was shaking and the severity of the thunderstorms crashing down on them to the route of a single raindrop as it traveled down the side of Wolf’s face, I was not just reading about this - I was watching it and experiencing it for myself.  Now that’s talent!

I once said in a review of another of her books, “I shall read all of Rhys Ford’s books”.  This book just enforced that declaration.  The writing is superb.  The storyline flows beautifully and quite simply, I enjoy her stories.  It’s like she gets me.  We are on the same wavelength.  From the witty banter to all the feels, I get lost in her stories and I don’t want to be found.

Brava, Ms. Ford.  Brava.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.  And I was totally honest.  This book rocked!

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