Spirit, John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal/Ghost
Jason Day, brilliant designer of video games, is not only a confirmed bachelor, but he’s as gay as a maypole. One wouldn’t think being saddled with his precocious four-year-old nephew for four weeks would be enough to throw him off-kilter.
Wrong. Timmy, Jason’s nephew, is a true handful.
But just when Timmy and Uncle Jason begin to bond, and Jason feels he’s getting a grip on this babysitting business once and for all, he’s thrown for a loop by a couple of visitors—one from Tucson, the other from beyond the grave.
I’m sorry. Say what?
Toss a murder, a hot young stud, an unexpected love affair, and a spooky-ass ghost with a weird sense of humor into Jason’s summer plans, and you’ve got the makings for one hell of a ride.
If someone were to ask my blog partner or me what the perfect “Cindi” book would be, each of us would say the same thing. It would have to have at least one child in it, humor, romance and a ghost. That is the perfect book for me, and it’s rare to find one that has all of those in it. There aren’t many, I assure you. Trust me, I’ve searched every list you can imagine trying to find just that. Ghosts and humor don’t usually go together, so my searches usually amount to nothing. I lucked out with Spirit, as it has it all. I especially lucked out because John Inman is the one who wrote it. I know going into every book he writes that I will be entertained. Spirit is no exception. My initial plan was to read a few pages and pick it back up later, as I had other things I was supposed to be doing away from my Kindle. The ‘few pages’ thing didn’t work out so well, because by the time I got to 4% on my Kindle, not only was I laughing so hard I was in tears, but I was totally sucked into Timmy and Jason’s story.
Jason Day is a video game designer. Single, he commits to babysit his four-year-old nephew Timmy, while Timmy’s mother, Sally (Jason’s sister), goes on a four week vacation with her
loser boyfriend, Jack. To say that Timmy is a handful would be an understatement. Jason may be the so-called adult, but it’s obvious from the first few pages that Timmy is the one in control. Uncle Jason doesn’t stand a chance.
“Timmy accepted with stoic resignation, although I did hear him mumble something about chicken poop and peckerheads.”
“Mommy only makes me take a bath once a month.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Nice try, Timmy. Get in the tub.”
He glowered and snatched the pj’s out of my hand. “Don’t watch. I know you like boys.”
Timmy is a blast. I can’t remember the last time I giggled so much over a kid in a book. It started on the first page and didn’t stop until I got to THE END.
It doesn’t take long after Timmy’s arrival at Jason’s house before he starts talking about the man in the basement. Thinking it is just Timmy’s four-year-old imagination, Jason thinks nothing of it. The house Jason owns is old, built in 1923. Jason purchased it from Sally only a few years before, after Paul, Sally’s husband and Timmy’s father, disappeared one day without a trace. It didn’t take long for Sally to move on with her life after his disappearance, and that included getting rid of the house she and Paul had lived in during their marriage.
Jason and Timmy quickly develop a routine – meaning that Jason is completely run over by the bundle of energy that is Timmy.
“Does your mother make you wear a straightjacket at home?”
“Only when we’ve got company.”
A surprise visit by Timmy’s other uncle, Sam, changes everything. Sam is Paul’s brother and hasn’t seen Timmy in a long time. In town on
secret business from Tucson, Jason offers to allow him to stay with him and Timmy, instead of at a hotel. It has nothing to do with the fact that Sam is hot. You know, Jason is just being friendly. *grin*
“You’re pretty,” Timmy said, and he wasn’t talking to me.
Sam had the good grace to blush. “Thanks, kid. You cruising?”
My God. Is Sam gay?
Jason has only met Timmy’s other uncle one time and that was five years before at Sally and Paul’s wedding. Not only is there now a mutual attraction, but there is also another connection – one the two men aren’t aware of until strange things start happening around the house during Sam’s stay. I mentioned Timmy’s ‘friend’ in the basement. This ‘friend’ makes himself known. Often. Not only is Jason’s house haunted, but Jason’s ghost has an agenda – to avenge what happened to him.
As the days and weeks go by, the ghost makes itself known more and more. Timmy has conversations with the ghost and even plays with him. Sam and Jason are seeing things as well. A friendly ghost, there’s nothing to fear unless Jason’s phone rings. During those times, Timmy is not in any kind of danger, but the ghost makes it clear in a very big way that Jason is not to answer the phone for specific people. To say more than that would be too telling.
Jason and Sam quickly begin a sexual relationship, that turns into much more as the story plays out. Caring only for Timmy’s welfare, and being together, they finally decide to work together to find out who the ghost in the basement is and how to get their lives back.
There is much, much more I would love to say about Jason, Sam, Timmy and even the ghost, but I can’t. That would be spoiling the mystery of the entire book and I refuse to do that. Suffice it to say, that things aren’t all as they appear early on and it takes a lot of help – mostly from a rambunctious four-year-old boy – to finally solve the mystery of the ghost in the basement. While I can’t say I was overly surprised by the outcome, I can say that I was extremely satisfied with the way everything played out.
There are other characters who make the story. There’s Sally, Timmy’s mother, and Jack, her loser boyfriend, who is a homophobic jerk. Sally and Jack aren’t in the book a lot, but they don’t have to be. They are both critical to the story as a whole. Then there is Thumper, Jason’s ancient dog who immediately becomes Timmy’s constant companion. Thumper doesn’t get around well on her arthritic legs, but she never leaves Timmy’s side. The most important character, however, is the ghost in the basement, who only wants his story to be known.
Overall, this is yet another outstanding book by John Inman. It is hilarious throughout, but yet it does have many serious moments as well. The story behind the ghost is a sad one, but the author doesn’t bog the story down with a lot of down moments. The reader will get the seriousness of that part of the story, but will also appreciate the humor of the rest of the book. It helps that the ghost has a sense of humor.
I sat down to read a few pages and before I knew it my Kindle was dying and it was long past midnight. I could have easily read this book in one sitting. Highly recommended for those who love humor, romance and a really good mystery involving a ghost. If you’re already a John Inman fan, you’ll love this book. If you’ve never read his work before, I can’t recommend it enough.
This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.