Audiobook Review: The Charlatan's Conquest (Phantom Fixers #1) by Vivien Dean

A Phantom Fixers Story

With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.

Narrated by Simon Ferrar
Listening Length: 4 hours and 48 minutes

Just spooky enough for a Big Ole Chicken like me.

Story - 3 Hearts
Narration - 4 Hearts

I'm not much on ghosts or being scared. I don't do horror. Serial killers = YYYYAAAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!!! The Ring =

But this story was entertaining with just the right amount of freaky ghosty things that didn't push me into the blanket fort. The pacing is upbeat as far as the action plotline goes with the romance plotline being more of a slow burn, quiet. Dean did a good job of developing a connection between Cruz and Brody, though I think the romance took a backseat to the suspense.

Cruz is filling in for his best friend Étienne on a phony ghost eviction for Brody's father, Lauren. Brody drops in to ensure his father's not getting swindled when some freakiness starts happening. Soon Brody and Cruz are working together in an effort to literally try to exorcise Brody's ghosts.

Both Cruz and Brody are fairly well developed with Cruz being the quintessential caregiver and Brody being the skeptic. There were a few nice moments with Cruz's family that fleshed him out. There's only one sex scene but it was nice and sexy enough for me as far as this series is concerned.

But the standout for me was the phenomenal job Ferrar did with the voices. I particularly liked his voice for Étienne because that's how you do a Cajun drawl! I wasn't crazy about his Brody voice but he differentiated all the characters well and emoted, plus I enjoyed the cadence of his voice and I LOVED that he rolled that "r" in the sister's name every time! RAWR! I'll be listening to him again.

Recommend to paranormal romance fans.

A review copy was provided.

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