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Secrets and High Spirits (Lou Harper)

Secrets and High Spirits - Lou Harper
2.5 stars

While the Secrets series might not be my favorite from Lou Harper (I prefer Dead Man and L.A. Paranormal), I liked the previous three books enough that I wanted to read this one as well. Harper wrote at her website that this would be the last installment in the series (for now). Teag was friend and roommate of Dylan, the hero from book #3. In my review for that one, I said that I was curious about Teag and would love to read his story.

Alas, apparently, Teag was the reason for me to not liking this book much. See, I found Teag to be irritable, uptight, and very defensive, it became offensive. I usually can warm myself towards bad-tempered characters because I deal with these people in real life just fine, but I had a difficult time making that connection towards Teag. Maybe because I also found Teag to be pretty judgmental, not only towards Bruce but his friends. It made him slightly unlikable for me. Bruce could be the antidote to counteract Teag's prickly behavior, however, he was too plain to be able to entice me.

I thought that Teag and Bruce didn't have the chemistry for me to care. Bruce was laid-back, he involved in Ren Faire, he betrayed his physique and actually liked being bossed around sexually, while Teag was determined and wanted to be in control of things -- it should matched up nicely somehow in opposite-attracts kind of way, but for me it just felt off, including the D/s tone. Their relationship slowly progressed - Teag's attitude majorly contributed to it -- and I usually like slow-burnt romance, but this one didn't make me feel like wanting to root for them. Heck, I thought this story barely passed as a romance. It was frustrating.

In addition, even until half-way through, I still had no idea where the book was going. It felt meandering. Yes, Teag and Bruce were busy restoring the bar and make it their own, but the sense of something more interesting just wasn't there. The blurb mentioned "miles of police tape" which somehow promised a crime happening or mystery looming, but I guess it arrived a little bit too late to keep me interested. It wasn't even the focus because the detective took care of that and not our main characters. There was also part mentioned about ghost and a probable satanic ritual, which made me go, HUH?

Bottom line, this is my least favorite of the whole series, sadly. Only my attachment towards Harper's writing style that helped me finish reading this book.

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.