Etta

Book Review: Black Moon Rising (Paranormal Hunters #2) (ARC)

Expected publication: April 23rd 2021

Author: Mila Nicks

Philadelphia. Boston. New York City.

Selene Blackstone is finally getting the chance to explore like she’s always dreamed. Once stuck in her hometown Brimrock, with the curse broken, she’s a free witch. Together in their trusty caravan Ghost, she and her paranormal investigator boyfriend Aiden O’Hare are traveling cross-country filming for their show, Paranormal Hunters.

Their first case brings them to the colonial town Maresburg, Virginia, where the Mhoon Hotel is said to be one of the most haunted in the country. At the century-old hotel, guests experience nightmares so frightening they’re heart-stopping – literally. Selene and Aiden only have a couple of weeks to figure out if this case is a scammer at work, or if there’s some truth to what they say: dreams do come true. And so do nightmares.

Black Moon Rising is the follow-up novel in the Paranormal Hunters series. The events in this novel take place after Black Witch Magic. The novels should be read in order as there are spoilers from the previous novels that are discussed in this one, however, you could potentially read this one without reading the first and be okay. It was lovely returning to check-in on Aiden and Selene after their crazy meeting and first adventure in the first novel.

Selene Blackstone is now free of the curse trapping her to remain in her hometown of Brimrock, Massachusetts. She is now finally able to travel around and see all the sights that she previously only read about in books. Now that she has Aiden O’Hare by her side, the two of them can continue Aiden’s work as a Paranormal Investigator for their YouTV show. Their first show together is going to investigate a haunted hotel in Maresburg, Virginia. As Selene is having difficulty sleeping while on the road, she is looking forward to sleeping in a real bed, even if the place is full of potential paranormal activity.

The Mhoon family has owned the hotel since the 80s, but the unexplainable events have been occurring well before in the 1960s with guests mysteriously dying in their sleep, even though they seemed healthy otherwise. Previous investigations believed the people to be dying of natural causes, so now it is up to our team of Selene and Aiden to see if that is the truth or if there is more to the story. I admit to myself that this might not have been the best book to read at night in the dark as it felt a little too on the nose for the subject they are investigating, especially as I live in a very old house that makes all types of noises in the middle of the night.

In addition to investigating, the story also continues to focus on Aiden, Selene, and their growing relationship. As a newer couple, they are still learning to fully open up to each other. This is especially true for Aiden who has never been fully able to express his feelings in words, but he is trying to grow and change. He continues to be his sarcastic self that fits his character and is a great balance to Selene’s more sensitive side. They experience the learning curve that almost all couples face, but they have great communication skills that help them work through it. Their relationship feels very natural and I love how the author wrote each character to stay true to the personalities that were first introduced in the original novel.

The author does a great job balancing the mystery and the romance. Selene and Aiden’s relationship does not stop for the sake of the potential monster. They are working on trying to film their first episode together and Selene is fearful about not being liked by the public. Aiden was a great support and he was there with Selene every step of the way. The two of them stayed true to their opinions on the paranormal with Aiden being open to the possibility, but still skeptical, whereas Selene is more prone to believe.

Overall, the author did a fantastic job creating a small town setting and described it well, so the reader feels immersed in the story. The hotel and the characters were all fitting for the story, as they all seemed amazing yet suspicious. I loved the build up to the reveal of the mystery and how it all came together to try to solve everything.  It fit very well and I love how this novel sets itself up to get the reader excited to read the next one in the series. It looks like in Black Siren’s Song our couple will find their way to Arizona and California for another mystery. This novel was a great addition to the series and I greatly look forward to reading the next one!

**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the author, Mila Nicks, for a review copy of this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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