Book Review: Seance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon

Rating: ★ ★ ★  
Genre:  Mystery / Romance
Publication Date: January 31, 2019
Format: Ebook
Length: 296 pages
Description from Goodreads:

Theater critic Artemus Bancroft isn’t sure what to expect when his aunt summons him home to California with vague but urgent pleas about being unable to cope with “the situation.”

The situation turns out to be the apparent haunting of Green Lanterns Inn—along with alarming rumors that long-suffering Auntie Halcyone may have murdered her philandering husband.

In fact, the rumors seem to have been started by the late Mr. Hyde himself—from beyond the grave.

I was a bit skeptical prior to reading this book because I don’t typically read romance. I don’t know why, but I guess they just make me a bit uncomfortable? I know that’s definitely not the intended effect, so I just avoid them. I’m happy to report that with this one, I did enjoy the story, though I did have some issues with the plot and pacing.

Characters

I think my favorite thing about this novel was the wide variety of characters. I love Artemus’ sass and levelheadedness, Cassidy’s charm, Liana’s craziness, etc.

Everyone had a very unique personality and it was so fun to see the interactions between characters.

This book definitely gave me a fun, small-town vibe, even though it all takes place inside the same house (albeit, a big house). It kind of reminded me of Gilmore Girls in a way, in the sense that the background characters have so much personality and add so much to the story.

I also loved the LGBT representation, and I believe that most of Lanyon’s other books center around LGBT characters as well.

Plot

I wasn’t crazy about the plot. I mean, I enjoyed the story, and was never really wishing for it to be over, but it just felt like there was something missing. I also didn’t really like the way that the mystery unfolded, and I wasn’t really left satisfied with the explanation of what was happening.

Pacing

My main issue with this book would probably be the pacing. It just felt like in the first half, things seemed to drag on and it was pretty repetitive. After arriving at Green Lanterns, it seems like Artemus has the same conversation with his aunt over and over again. I kind of wish those conversations were edited down a bit more so that the story could have progressed faster.

Fortunately, things do pick up in the second half of the novel, and I couldn’t put it down at certain points.

Overall

Despite my issues with the plot, I think Lanyon is a great writer. I loved the way the characters were written, and the novel did hold my attention for the most part.

If you’re into the supernatural, gay romance, or vibrant characters, maybe give it a try.

Thank you to the book’s publicist for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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