On a Bruised Road by Pepper Espinoza

Loose Id

Gay Paranormal

ISBN: 978-1-60737-430-5

Reviewed by Cassie

 

   

 

For his whole life, Edwin Masters has wanted a 1962 Alfa Romeo Spider.  When he gets the chance to buy one at an estate sale, he’s thrilled.  He takes the car despite the strange feelings he gets when he gets behind the wheel.  It soon becomes evident that the car is haunted by the ghost of Cooper James, who lost his life in a car accident at eighteen.  There’s some sort of connection between Edwin and Cooper that Edwin finds it very hard to resist.

Meeting sweet, sexy younger man Carson Heston helps keep Edwin in the here and now, but he can’t shake Cooper, or the ghost’s desire to be with him.  Cooper wants Edwin, and he’s willing to do just about anything to get him…

At its core, On a Bruised Road is an incredibly creepy and atmospheric ghost story.  There’s also romance, and some sweet emotion, but the main gist of the story surrounds the ghost, Cooper, and Edwin’s slow slide into darkness.  As a character, Edwin was easy to sympathize with.  He’s made mistakes in his past, huge ones, but he’s gotten past them to create a life he can be proud of.  He’s a little lonely, but so happy to get his dream car at last.  The first scenes when he learns about Cooper are spooky and kind of surreal.  His life quickly begins to spin out of control, and there were times I wondered if he’d be able to stop the downward spiral.  Carson is a bit less developed.  He’s younger than Edwin by quite a bit, driven to succeed in his career, and very caring.  He’s drawn to Edwin right away, and persists despite strange events and despite beginning to suspect about the ghost.  He’s determined not to let Edwin go without a fight.  In the end, though only Edwin can save himself, and Pepper Espinoza does a wonderful job of creating suspense as to the outcome.  On a Bruised Road isn’t a fluffy, light story—it’s dark, creepy, and unusual.  For me, that was a plus.  Readers who like the paranormal, ghosts, and suspenseful tales will be sure to enjoy On a Bruised Road as I did.

     

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