Past Tense by Ethan Stone

Past TensePast Tense by Ethan Stone

The Blurb…

Jason Holt was a young man when he lost everything; his family, his boyfriend, and his safety. He’s been on the run since, hiding from an evil man bent on revenge. Las Vegas was supposed to just be another pit stop in his travels but when he learns the very man he’s hiding from is in Sin City Jason decides it’s time to stop hiding.

Private detective Quinn Reynolds lost the man he loved several years ago and since then he has been hiding from life. He can’t move on and is obsessed with making the man responsible for his lover’s death pay for the crime.

When Jason comes to Quinn for help, Quinn finds a reason to move on. The dangerous situation around them quickly escalates and together they face an unimaginable evil. Can they survive the darkness and make it through to the light on the other side?

So what did I think?

First let me start by saying that I did enjoy reading this book – great characters, interesting plot and a bit of twist. However it is one of those books where I loved part of it but didn’t enjoy other parts of the story quite so much.

The book tells the story of Jason who is desperate to escape from someone who is out to kill him. He is tired of running and approaches Quinn, a PI, for help. Quinn has personal reasons for wanting to protect Jason from the bad guy, reasons involving the death of his lover.

The story is told in first person, with the telling of the tale alternating between the main characters, Quinn and Jason. It is interesting to gain insight into each characters thoughts and to understand their feelings. In this case, equal time is spent with each character’s POV, with minimal overlap of events.

However I did feel that there was a little too much back and forth and would have preferred more time with each character before switching. At times I also felt that I was being told what was happening in the story, a pure account, rather than losing myself in the book/experiencing it.

I think this book had one of the most unique introductions to one of the main characters I have seen in a while, with Jason’s first impression of Quinn – asleep with drool down his chin, uncombed and unwashed hair, unkempt beard and stained clothes! “…..he looked like life had been beating him up for a while.” Over the course of the book, we see changes in Quinn from having little interest in life to returning to his old self, assisted by his feelings for Jason. We also see Jason start to think of a future, rather than running.

Things are complicated with Quinn having to come to terms with his feelings for a man other than his lost lover and he has to reassure Jason that he sees him for who he is. He needs Jason to trust him. Similarly Jason needs to learn to trust Quinn after years on the run and trusting no one.

I loved the characters and their backgrounds. I was hoping they would get together and overcome the bad guys. I enjoyed the first 50% immensely. But here’s where my opinion of the book gets slightly divided.

**Warning the below might be considered slightly spoilerish but probably not once bookshelves and more reviews are added**

Things started to get a little strange (the blurb doesn’t give any hint , I didn’t look closely enough at the sub-genres and the Goodreads bookshelves had no reference) as the story starts to become about the supernatural – monsters, evil fairies, superpowers and the like. The change was reminiscent of the movie From Dusk Till Dawn. At this point I went from loving the book to liking the book.

There are a couple of potential reasons for this. It could be because it was unexpected. It could be that as a rule I usually prefer contemporary romance. It could be because the supernatural change didn’t happen until halfway through the book so when it occurred it seemed a bit more unbelievable than if the situation had been set up from the beginning.

My rating for this book is therefore 3.5 stars although I believe that people looking to read a paranormal/fantasy may rate this higher.

4 Stars

This book was supplied by the publisher, Wilde City Press, in return for an honest review.

For more information about Ethan Stone and his books visit his website.

Buy the book from Wilde City Press.

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