Book Review: The Haunted Pub by Melanie Tushmore

When Fizz gets kicked out of his parents' house and moves into an unused room at the bar where his cousin Ginger works, his depression feeds the ghost whose been trapped within the walls and frees him, allowing him to wreak havoc on the bar and its occupants. Fizz starts coming out of his shell little by little as he starts what could be his first relationship and the other men at the bar are close to forming relationships of their own, but tensions get higher at things keep going wrong, and the ghost of Finlay just might ruin it all.

Book Review: The Haunted Pub by Melanie Tushmore | books, reading, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, lgbt, ghosts
Title: The Haunted Pub
Pages: 364
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon,


*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

When you stick to reading almost entirely fantasy and science fiction, it can be kind of limiting in terms of diversity. So I love that I got to read a paranormal book with ghosts and M-M romance and generally just lots of things I like PLUS a main character struggling to overcome depression.

However, that itself is not the reason I’m giving the book a good review. I decided to read it simply because it sounded good, and I liked it simply because it was good.

I have become really awful at reading blurbs lately though, so I thought it would be about a ghost-human relationship. Instead it was about human relationships and a ghost who was simultaneously a sneaky jerk and an amazing matchmaker but who ultimately went full-on poltergeist and wrought havoc upon the bar and everyone in it—*MILD SPOILER ALERT* possessing people, making blood rain from the ceiling, the whole nine yards. *END SPOILER ALERT* I really loved the ghost aspect exactly how it was though because it wasn’t scary for me as the reader, but it was definitely scary for the characters as things just kept getting crazier and worse and they were confused with no idea what was going on. The writing was really well done in that I felt so tense just reading it!

But though I thought the story and the way it was written were great, I wasn’t so crazy about the ending. The climax came early and things still seemed kind of eerie after that which made me think some more ghost-y stuff was going to happen, but it didn’t. And then I was left confused about certain things that weren’t explained, like how it was that *SPOILER ALERT (it’s obvious this is going to happen, but just in case)* Fizz was suddenly cured *END SPOILER ALERT* or what the sigils were about. Another review mentioned the explanation for the rifle thing *SPOILER ALERT* (that Martin was helping Fizz, which I suppose means Martin was possessing him at that point but just kind of hanging back?) *END SPOILER ALERT*, which makes sense, but I hadn’t even figured that out. So maybe there was an explanation for everything at the end, but I feel like I just didn’t have quite enough clues to make all the connections. However, the ending did at least give a resolution and wrap up the main threads. It was in a kind of “this is how things are for now and where they most likely will go from here” way, but I prefer those kinds of endings to “here’s the names of everyone’s kids 15 years from now” epilogues.

As for the characters, there were quite a few, all young males, but they were all so different in both looks and personalities that, once I memorized their names, it wasn’t hard to keep track of them.

So overall, I think certain parts of the ending could’ve been better explained, but it was still a great story that I enjoyed!


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  1. Lola

    This one sounds intriguing, with the ghost and the pub and it sounds like it deals with some diverse topics. And I like the cover, very atmospheric with the brownish colours.

    Ghosts human relationship can be a bit tricky as no one else can see the ghosts and that’s always a bit sad, so that sounds nice there is a ghost, but the relationships are human-human. I don’t read a lot of ghost books, as they aren’t my favourite paranormal creature, but I’ve read some good ones.

    I can have some trouble keeping side characters part sometimes, but it definitely helps if they all have a different personality and look. And different first letter for their names is very important to me, somehow that makes it easier for me to remember who is who already.

    I do usually like an early ending, when after that things get wrapped up and finished nicely, but it sounds like here the climax was a bit too early if it felt eerie after that. It’s too bad some things don’t get fully explained. I like both those type of endings, where things end and we show where they go next or the epilogue where we see them happy a few years later. Especially with romance focused books I love a good epilogue, it just makes me happy and gives me that warm fuzzy feeling when done well. But a few of my favourite series had that other type of ending, which also works great and leaves it open enough that the author could write more books if they want. I guess it also depends on the book which works best. Great review!

    btw I have subscribed to your blog by e-mail and I get notifications for all posts, except for the reviews. So I was wondering if that’s something I did wrong or if that’s how you set things up?

    1. Kristen Burns

      It really does have a lot of diversity actually since it has gay characters, an Indian character, and a character with depression. And I love the cover too! It’s pretty and I like dark brown, and you’re right, atmospheric is the perfect word.

      I think I’ve only read one book with a ghost-human relationship, but whether other people can see it or not depends on the book. But still, ghost-human relationships are hard since ghosts generally aren’t corporeal. I do have a book/series I’ve been DYING to start that has, I think, a ghost-human couple, but I’m trying to wait til I’ve gotten through some more ARCs so I can binge read all five books or whatever that are out if I like it without getting stressed about falling behind on ARCs lol.

      I agree, names that start with the same first letter do get confusing. And both endings can work when done well, but I still prefer the non-epilogue kind.

      Ugh, no, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s *supposed* to send an email for every post. Since it’s only book reviews though, I might have an idea what’s causing it, so thanks for letting me know 🙂

  2. Daniela Ark

    wow I don’t think I ever read a book where someone’s depression feeds a ghost and frees him! That’s pretty cool (well, you know what I mean). I like somber, depressive reads (man!). Like LOVE Edgar Allan Poe. 🙂 So I think I would really like this one! I haven’t read many M-M romance, mostly because I’M NOT A ROMANCE READER KRISTEN!!! humph! *wink*
    BUT because of you review I’m adding this one to my TBR 🙂
    I love how blogs actually HIDE spoiler now because as soon as I read the label “spoiler alert” I was reading what was coming next! Couldn’t help it 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hmm not that I don’t want people to read this since I thought it was good, but I’m not sure it’s the best book for someone who doesn’t like too much romance. It has the ghost-y stuff, but the focus is really on the numerous relationships. And it’s not really depressing :-/ If something I read is dark and depressing, you’ll know lol. Obviously you’re still welcome to read it, just want you to know what you’re getting into. But if you’re willing to give m/m a try, you ought to check out the review I have coming up on Thursday! And lol to the spoilers. I almost never read them before reading a book!

  3. Daniela Ark

    I reads TONS of romance! I’m just shy too blog about it and not sure why lol I guess I’ll have to write a “confession post” to figure it out lol

    1. Kristen Burns

      I knew you were at least in somewhat denial about your romance reading, but I didn’t think you read a lot. In that case maybe you would like it lol. You should still check out my post on Thursday though 😛 and you should totally write a confession post!