Review: Soul Searching by A.J. Rose

Something lurks within the walls of the house Trevor Mathews and his best friend Merrick Taylor share. It watches them and their friends. It needs them. It knows their weaknesses.

Trevor’s in love with Merrick and hasn’t got the nerve to tell him. Merrick’s relationship is already failing, but he doesn’t believe he deserves what he truly desires. And the dark presence enjoys their suffering.

The entity wants to exploit them, push Merrick’s boyfriend into fits of jealousy and possessiveness, encourage Trevor to avoid the man he’s stood by most of his life, and frustrate their friend Tempest who’s tired of knowing Trevor and Merrick are perfectly matched souls, but they’re too scared to try.

The entity needs them to fight, to hurt, to scream at each other in anger and pain. It thrives on their helplessness and targets their insecurities. And it won’t stop until it has devoured their joy, destroyed their hope, and eventually, shattered their souls.

This book was fantastic. Friends-to-lovers, set in Britain and a paranormal story, it ticked lots of boxes for me. Add to that great writing - I need to check out more by this author - and I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Friends-to-lovers, especially if it starts as a one sided longing, is my favourite trope in any genre. In every genre actually. I've mentioned this before, but there is something very special about friendship that speaks to me in romance. The friendship makes the longing, the bond, so much stronger as the foundation is solid. The anticipation of will it happen/won't it happen gets me every time. I just love it. So from the start I was rooting for Trevor. I wanted him and Merrick to move from more than friends... even though Merrick had a boyfriend. If things weren't already not going well in that department then I might have been more unsure, but it was clear from the start that Trevor and Merrick belonged together.

This longing, strength of feeling, gave the wraith something to feed off. As did the animosity that was building between Merrick and Will. Each strong feeling gave strength to the entity complicating the whole situation.

Trevor and Merrick, along with Tempest (Trevor's other best friend) are three great characters. The central storyline was the haunting, with the romantic storyline feeding into this and being secondary to it - and I really appreciated this. I love romance but sometimes less is more - don't you think? As a by-line to the main story, the haunting, it felt more real. More romantic in a strange way.

I have to admit, be a Brit myself, I do love books written with a British tone and set in Britain. This was a pleasant surprise as I was expecting it to American - not that I think it would have changed my liking of the story, but something just resonates more with me in the familiarity of the setting.

And the haunting element felt scarier because of the setting - closer to home? Maybe, I'm not sure. It was scary, if scary is what you like then this is for you. Haunting, grip the edge of your seat stuff.

I really recommend this book. I truly enjoyed it and will be seeking more by this author for sure.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I totally get what you mean about British setting and British reader.
    I do enjoy AJ Rose’s, I have this one so I shall see how much British she has absorbed!!

  2. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed Trevor and Merrick's story!

    My British wife would have divorced me if I'd messed up the English nuances, but given my best resource was just across the living room, she made it easy to research.