Guitar Man by Marie Treanor was released this month. It’s a novella and a sequel to Undead Men Wear Plaid. I enjoyed Undead Men Wear Plaid, that featured Jenny and her Romanian lover, Charlie. Guitar Man is set in Glasgow and tells the story of Ellie, Jenny’s friend who has had her share of bad luck with men. Two weeks before her planned wedding, her fiancé dumps her. So, Ellie has sworn off men for good and decides to contact her friend and get some R&R.
Meanwhile, Jenny is continuing her torrid love affair with a sexy vampire that she manages to keep under radar from her friends. Jenny works at the Scottish Center in Glasgow. Jenny’s a psychic and is sensitive to anomalies that include ESP, vampires, poltergeist activity and the like. Ellie also has psychic abilities where she’s able to use energy to throw objects among other things. Ellie comes to Glasgow to visit her friend but ends up helping Jenny and Jim (another psychic) with a case that’s turned personal. Ellie has no idea that the case brings her back into the life of a previous lover, Chris Swan.
Chris Swan is a musician and a busker. He’s also nomadic and had always avoided laying down any permanent roots until he inherits a house in Glasgow from his estranged father. It is Chris’s home that has sparked unusual, high energy readings that brings Ellie, Jenny and Charlie to his doorstep. Ellie and Chris have a history. They shared a one night stand several years ago in Italy and decide to rekindle their feelings for each other in Glasgow. The complications to their journey to love is rather complicated. They involve a malevolent spirit and Chris’s precariousness. In other words, he’s not marriage material. So, Ellie and crew must find the causative source of this evil malevolence so that Chris and Ellie can achieve their happy ending.
Guitar Man was somewhat enjoyable. In other words: I finished it. I like Ms. Treanor’s authorial voice so she had that already going for her when I cracked open the ebook. Her greatest strengths as a writer for me is her characterization and chemistry which she does very well. The story started off promising. Don’t they all? However, the blend of romance with the paranormal was a bit uneven to me. It just didn’t quite come together for me and it’s rather hard to explain. The story was not as tightly written as it could have been for me. How about that? Undead Men Wear Plaid was a much more engaging and enjoyable read. The chemistry was electric, the leads were interesting and the pacing was excellent. When I saw that there was a sequel I immediately bought this title. Unfortunately, Guitar Man pales in comparison to the prequel. Ellie is a boring narrator. No humor, no charm. She’s not as engaging as her predecessor, Jenny. The romance failed in that I didn’t buy that the couple loved each other. I realize that this was a novella and things have to be sorted out quickly but I didn’t believe it even had potential. They seemed more in lust than love. The “I love you” was more or less blurted out when the reader least expected it, like right out of left field. That’s not always a good thing but then this is a short story. Also, I’ve noticed that this author seems to have a interest in the occult and as a reader that doesn’t seem to bother me like it should. What else…oh, the sex was hot and the story is a stand-alone. As much as I despise paranormals as a trend of late, I like Ms. Treanor’s paranormal stories for some reason. They seem original and different to me. Overall, Guitar Man wasn’t a terrible read, just disappointing. I hope we get to revisit Charlie and Jenny again despite the fact that as a couple they were more or less on the sidelines in Guitar Man. However, Jenny had a more significant role in the plot than Charlie. I really liked their characters more than Ellie and Chris. My grade, C+. Excerpt of the story can be found here as well as purchase information.
Side note on the Triskelion Plubishing website. In one word: atrocious. Triskelion has been updated but it is not user friendly. When I searched for Guitar Man under ‘Marie Treanor’ it listed all of her book covers but none were linked to the purchase page. If the reader wanted to peruse the ‘New Releases’ page, one has look for that link and then scroll down in a descending manner. All of these are navigational irks for me as a consumer. When you update a website, the first goal should be for functionality. Anyway, this was my purchasing experience. Your mileage may vary.