Book Review: Pale as a Ghost (Duncan Andrews Thrillers Book 1) by Stephen Osborne

Duncan is a private detective and no stranger to the supernatural. He still loves his dead ghost boyfriend, Robbie, but dating a ghost comes with a unique set or problems that Duncan isn't sure he can handle anymore. But when a seemingly supernatural serial killer in his city starts targeting strippers, which the missing girl he's been hired to find just so happens to be, Duncan and Robbie's relationship problems might be the least of their worries.

Title: Pale as a Ghost
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 200
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

I thought this was overall a solidly good and enjoyable urban fantasy.

First off, the characters were all likeable and people you just want to root for.

Second, I enjoyed the humor. Duncan made a great protagonist/POV character because of his snarky/sarcastic thoughts and remarks.

The plot was also well done—it flowed, it made sense, and the detective stuff and paranormal aspects made it fun. There were even a few action-filled fight scenes here and there to keep things exciting.

The writing was easy to read and flowed well too.

Last but not least, I liked the relationship issues between Duncan and Robbie. Duncan is human, but Robbie is a ghost (he died ten years ago while they were dating), so that brings a unique set of relationship problems, namely that they can’t have sex or hardly touch each other at all. And after ten years, much to Robbie’s unhappiness, Duncan isn’t sure he can deal with that anymore and is considering dating again.

Unfortunately I did feel the book lacked some oomph, and the relationship issues didn’t pack the emotional punch I was expecting (and wanting) them to. But I’m someone who likes to drown in emotion in books. So if you don’t like heart-wrenching but still enjoy a touch of emotion, it will probably be perfect for you. And even us emotional masochists enjoy something a tad lighter and more fun from time to time 😉 I think I just had incorrect expectations from all the reviews I read stating how emotional and bittersweet and heart-wrenching it would be (not that I’m saying anyone’s opinion was wrong, just that maybe we’re accustomed to different types of books and have different perceptions).

So as I said, even though this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I thought it was really enjoyable as a quick, light urban fantasy read with likeable characters and snarky humor!


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  1. verushka

    Aw 🙁 Reviews can be misleading even as much as I rely on them the most to let me know whether I want the book or not. But I hear you in needing an emotional oomph.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Reviews are so subjective that sometimes it’s hard to really know what you’re getting. And since I have such a high threshold for emotion and darkness, I find that oftentimes reviews will talk about how emotional or dark a book was only to leave me disappointed when I consider it light lol. Not that light is bad, sometimes it’s exactly what you need and it’s some people’s preference. And I still enjoyed this book, it just didn’t give me the oomph that I wanted.

  2. Lola

    I haven’t read a lot of romances where one of the characters is a ghost, but it sure brings some challenges to the relationship. That’s too bad the relationships lacked some oomph for you in this book. But then again it is true that you like a lot of emotions in a book. Did that aspect get better in later books? if I remember correctly you already read later books as well, right?

    It does sound like a good read with the detective aspect and the urban fantasy parts. I think I might enjoy this one. And I don’t mind a lighter read, so that part sounds good to me ;). And I have to say I really like the covers for this series!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think this might’ve only been my second? The only other one I can think of off the top of my head had a love triangle that involved a ghost, but the ghost sex was very interesting lol. Anyway, yeah, books and reviews are so subjective that I do often end up with books that lots of other people describe as dark or emotional, but I find them to be rather light. You’re right, I did read the rest of the series that’s out so far, but unfortunately the relationship aspect never did get any more emotional for me. I gave some of the books 4 stars because they were better in other ways, but this is really just a mostly light, fun series. Honestly my reviews are a little repetitive lol.

      I think you might like it since it was good but never got too heavy or gruesome. The fifth book or something was a little more violent, but not super bad.

  3. AngelErin

    I “aweeeed” at dead ghost boyfriend. lol. Sorry this one lacked oomph for you. I’m glad you still liked it though. Sounds somewhat interesting.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol yeah they loved each other so much that even death couldn’t stop their relationship! 😛 Thanks, even though it lacked oomph, it was still a good read, no real flaws or anything, and I did continue the series.

  4. Rowena

    I don’t read too much urban fantasy but I’m easy to please so I would probably love the hell out of this book like the others. Ha! Thanks for the review though.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol if you’re easy to please with urban fantasy then you might really like this one! There weren’t really any flaws, it did everything well, like I said it just lacked the emotional punch I was looking for.