Only One Regret by Ali Katz

Only One Regret by Ali Katz
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (99 Pgs)
Other: M/M, BDSM, Interracial, forced seduction
Rating: 3 cherries
Review by: Cactus

Rock musician, Daniel Sanborn, has given his lover, Ramón Alvarez, too many opportunities to practice forgiveness. Their relationship is barely healing from the crisis that was Daniel’s wake-up call when someone from his past walks in to audition for the band.

Melanie is the widow of Josh Taylor, Daniel’s first and greatest love, and the woman who, a dozen years ago, unknowingly stole his lover. When Melanie’s talent proves to be exactly what the band needs to take them in the direction they hope to go, Daniel votes to hire her. Meanwhile, he avoids Ramón’s jealous streak by hiding the depth of his resurrecting emotions.

But since Daniel last saw Melanie at Josh’s funeral, she has come unhinged. She never smiles, and she talks to her dead husband when she thinks no one is listening. Daniel shrugs it off to eccentricity and grief—

Until Josh’s ghost makes an appearance!

Apparently, Daniel and Josh have unfinished business, and not the kind Daniel feels comfortable sharing with Ramón. As far as Daniel is concerned, that past is as dead as Josh himself. But Josh’s ghost, however, has other ideas. Daniel’s twelve-year-old secrets could be the last straw for Ramón, but keeping them buried might prove impossible…

If your ex-lover came back as a ghost, what would you have to say to him? Would you forgive him, yell at him, have sex? This is the unique situation in which Daniel finds himself when confronted by the ghost of his ex-lover Josh who he left more than a decade ago. Add in the ghosts’ widow and Daniel’s new sexy partner and this rock band’s tour just got more interesting.

As the story is told almost exclusively from Daniel’s point of view, he is the best characterized of the group. Daniel is a reformed playboy, having given up his various vices to help his relationship with his lover Ramon. Daniel thought he was over his ex-lover Josh’s death two years ago when they hadn’t seen each other since Daniel walked out twelve years ago, so he’s thrown off balance when Josh’s widow auditions for the band. Daniel struggles with unresolved feelings as Melinda is the woman Josh married, causing Daniel to leave over Josh’s objections. Daniel’s happy and loving relationship with Ramon is tempered by latent confusion and anger over seeing Melinda again.

Ramon and Melinda are both solid supporting characters in the story, though it would have been nice if more attention and focus was paid to both of them. Neither are stereotypes and both add depth to their connection with Daniel and Josh, yet at the same time the focus of the story is really Daniel and Josh resolving the problems from their past relationship so everyone can move on in their lives or death, as the case may be. Ramon is loving and supportive of Daniel while dealing with his own problems of jealousy and mistrust from Daniel’s past painful actions. Ramon is the opposite of Josh, he is able to show his love and devotion to Daniel in a loving and caring way whereas Josh sought to dominate and control Daniel.

Josh’s treatment of Daniel in both their previous relationship and as a ghost is painful at times to read. Josh takes advantage of Daniel in his ghost form to dominate the other man and force him to react sexually, against his will. This aspect of the story felt forced and unnecessary as Josh and Daniel’s physical connection was never the problem. Furthermore although Daniel still occasionally craves rough treatment, he revels in the loving care Ramon is able to show. Josh is clearly a tortured ghost, haunted by his past and present actions and confused as to how to make amends and move on from languishing around the living.

The pacing of the story is rather quick so the plot and characters move along swiftly; making this an engaging read unless you are bothered by non-consensual sex. This is a prominent aspect of the book, and one I felt was unnecessary and did not strengthen or further the plot. However, if you are one who can read forced sex without a problem and enjoy paranormal romances, then this might appeal to you. I gave this story 3 cherries based on the interesting and well-written characters, but suggest readers heed the warning.

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