Title: Wight Mischief
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Characters: Will Golding, Marcus Devereux
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal
A stranger could light up his world…or drive him deeper into darkness.
Will Golding needs a break from his usual routine, and he’s been looking forward to a holiday helping Baz, his friend-with-benefits, research a book about Isle of Wight ghosts. When an evening beach walk turns into a startling encounter with Marcus Devereux, Will can’t get his mind off the notoriously reclusive writer’s pale, perfect, naked body. And any interest in ghostly legends takes a back seat to the haunting secrets lying in Marcus’s past.
Marcus, painfully aware of his appearance, is accustomed to keeping to himself. But the memory of tall, athletic Will standing on the beach draws him out from behind defenses he’s maintained since age fourteen, when his parents were murdered. While his heart is hungry for human contact, though, his longtime guardian warns him that talking to anyone—particularly a journalist like Baz—is as dangerous as a day in the sun.
As Baz gets closer to the truth, the only thing adding up is the sizzling attraction between Will and Marcus. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that someone wants to let sleeping secrets lie…or Will and Baz could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.
Warning: Contains perilous cliffs, elusive might-be ghosts, a secret tunnel, and skinny-dipping by moonlight.
A working vacation takes on a paranormal twist in JL Merrow’s Wight Mischief, the story of a journalist and his best-friend-with-benefits who travel to the Isle of Wight in search of ghosts, though they end up finding much more danger in the natural world than in the supernatural.
At the heart of the story is the relationship between goodhearted Will Golding and his best friend, journalist Edward “Baz” Barrie. The benefits part of their friendship is particularly one-sided on Baz’s part, taking without reciprocating, everything Will has to offer. Baz is nothing less than condescending toward Will for the majority of the time, making one wonder… with friends like that… but it works handily enough in preparing Will for a meeting with reclusive author Marcus Devereux.
Marcus’ solitary nature is prompted by a horrific event from his past, as well as a physical affliction that drives his self-imposed isolation. He trusts very few people in his life since his parents’ deaths, but the reader soon comes to discover that the one person Marcus trusts the most is the one person who could do the most harm.
Marcus’ and Will’s connection builds slowly, as Marcus’ surliness and mistrust causes him to push Will away; though ironically, Will has had good practice at dealing with rudeness in his friendship with Baz, and fortunately, possesses the patience and persistence to wait for Marcus to come around.
As Baz’s investigation into the island’s ghost stories threatens to reveal an explosive and dangerous secret, he and Will come perilously close to becoming a part of those stories themselves. When that secret is ultimately revealed, Marcus finds the danger for him is also very real and closer than he could ever have imagined possible.
Wight Mischief blends the paranormal with a good psychological thriller, then throws in a bit of romance to cap things off nicely. While the identity of the antagonist became evident fairly quickly, there was still plenty of tension to spare, watching and waiting for the next move. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, JL Merrow made it fun to imagine the Isle of Wight as a place the spirits might choose to reside.
Reviewed By: Lisa