Book Title: Sort of Dead
Author: Rob Rosen
Publisher: JMS Books
Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs
Release Date: October 31, 2020
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Paranormal M/M Romance,
M/M Romantic Comedy, M/M Mystery
Trope/s: Ghost story
Themes: Redemption, unfinished business
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 65 200 words/ 182 pages
It is a standalone story.
Because sometimes it takes dying to have the time of your life.
Nord wakes up to find himself sort of dead. Well, that is to say, he’s dead, alright—murdered, in fact—but not in heaven, at least not yet. In this limbo-like state, he meets Max and learns that everyone there is waiting for the final poof, hopefully to a better place. Only, with unfinished business back in the real world, like bringing his murderer to justice, Nord’s poof is nowhere in sight. And so, he and Max set out to find the killer and make things right again. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re nothing more than a couple of randy spirits.
With the help of Voltan, a diminutive mystic with a predilection for turbans, and Clark, a nerdy computer geek eager to shed his loner past, plus a ghost accountant, Bruce, Bruce’s drag queen brother, Eve O’Destruction, and Nord’s kick-ass mom, the newly enamored pair set out to hunt for the murderer, and are quick to discover how much they’d taken for granted when they were alive.
In this hysterically funny and often poignant mystery about fate and love and family, it ultimately takes dying for our heroes to have the times of their lives.
I woke with a start and stared up at the ceiling. “That’s weird,” I said. “Where’s my ceiling fan?” I blinked. I blinked again. I thought to make it a trio, but then realized I hadn’t blinked the first two times—which is to say, I blinked but there wasn’t that whole ceiling, no ceiling, ceiling, no ceiling thing, which is what happens when I blink and I’m staring up at my ceiling. Not that what I was staring at was a ceiling to begin with, but still.
I continued staring up. I supposed what I was staring at was white, given that it looked white, and I supposed that what I was staring up at was a ceiling because, give or take, most ceilings are white, mine included, but the white I was staring at sort of shifted around a bit. FYI, my ceiling didn’t do that, except perhaps when I was drunk.
“Did I get drunk last night?” I asked myself. Only, I couldn’t remember last night. I couldn’t remember going to sleep, even. I remembered waking, but that was it. And I didn’t feel drunk. In fact, I felt great. Better than great, actually. Blissful would’ve been a good word for it. Light, too. As if I’d been weighed down and now I wasn’t. “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty—”
“You can try, but He doesn’t seem to listen,” I heard, then jumped in place.
My head whipped right. Nothing. My head whipped left. “Um, how did you get in my…” My what? This wasn’t my room. This wasn’t my ceiling. Was what was above me a ceiling anyway? “Wait, who doesn’t seem to listen?”
The man to my left grinned. He looked about my age, early thirties, give or take, nice looking guy, too. Very Bradley Cooper like, stunning blue eyes and all. He was prone. He was lying next to me. He was naked. I stared down at my body. I, too, was naked. I continued staring down. There was no bed. There was my body, there was his body, there was that shifting white. “Don’t freak out,” he said.
My heart wasn’t madly pumping in my chest and I wasn’t sweating, but I felt like I was freaking out, nonetheless. Especially because my heart should’ve been madly pumping and I generally start to sweat when I’m freaking the fuck out. All that is to say, I was FREAKING THE FUCK OUT!
“I’m freaking the fuck out!” I shouted his way. “Who are you? Where are we? Why is the wall and ceiling and floor shifting?” I blinked. It felt like I blinked, but I didn’t get the right effect again. “And where are my fucking eyelids?”
“You get used to that,” he replied.
I sat up. That is to say, I tried to sit up. Only, I didn’t think I was actually lying down, and you can’t sit up if you’re not lying down to begin with. “Stop the ride,” I squeaked out, “I want to get off.”
I was still staring at him. He was still grinning. “Give it a minute,” he said. “Takes about five minutes for all of it to right itself.”
“All? What all?” I continued staring. It seemed like a minute went by. I was no longer lying there. I was standing. He was standing next to me. The not-a-ceiling was now not-a-wall, and it was still shifting, and I was, duh, still freaking out, fuck and all.
“You were lying down before you got here, so it seemed like you were lying down when you arrived. Get it?” He said it very comfortingly. I felt less than comforted. Very.
“Max.” He held out his hand. I shook it. I felt his hand in mine. There was indeed comfort in that.
“Nordstrom,” I said.
He laughed. He had a nice laugh. He had a nice grin. Max seemed nice. “Did your mom have a penchant for upscale shopping?”
I shook my head. “I was born in one. And my mom had a penchant for making sure I was teased well into adulthood.” I let go of his hand. “Nord. My friends call me Nord. Otherwise, they don’t get a Christmas present.”
This was a fun book and I enjoyed the ghostly shenanigans. I did find the humour a bit childish but that’s just me. I just thought it a bit silly.
This is not focused on the romance as most of the book is about solving the reason behind Nord’s death. But there is a romance, actually two. Nord and Max are cute together. Voltan and Clark are adorable too. Both are insta love but really sweet.
If you’re looking for a fuuny, fast, pick-me-up with a mystery this ghostly season, then you should definitely pick this up.
*ARC provided by the author via Gay Book Promotions in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
About the Author
Rob Rosen is the a author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, Mary, Queen of Scotch, Ted of the d’Urbervilles, and Sort of Dead, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Social Media Links
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win
a PDF copy of Sort of Dead