Tag Archives: author: jamie fessenden

Murder on the Mountain by Jamie Fessenden

Murder on the Mountain

Murder on the Mountain by Jamie Fessenden

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on August 22, 2014
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Jesse Morales expected his time volunteering for a week on the summer of Mt. Washington to be somewhat uneventful. But when he discovers a corpse out in the wilderness in the middle of the night, the aspiring mystery novelist finds himself right in the center of a real-life murder mystery. And when he meets one of the investigating police officers, Kyle Dubois, he wonders if there might be even more in store for him before he goes back home.

When Kyle heads out to the crime scene, he’s not entirely sure what to expect. And he certainly doesn’t expect to find himself drawn to the young man who found the body. But despite his annoying penchant for wanting to get involved in the investigation, Kyle cannot deny that Jesse is attractive. So much that he thinks he may need to do something about it–something he’ll have to explain to his partner, as Jesse would be Kyle’s first relationship since his wife died.

Despite Kyle’s better judgment, he decided to give Jesse a chance. And despite what should probably be Jesse’s better judgment, he inserts himself among the suspects, hoping he might be able to find out who committed the murder to solve the mystery and help Kyle–even if it means putting himself in grave danger.

This is probably one of the lighter murder mysteries that I’ve read in a while. It doesn’t have that dark feeling overshadowing it from the beginning like so many books of the genre tend to have as a feature. That’s not to say there aren’t some dark themes; they do crop up pretty strongly as one approaches the end of the book. But there’s space here for Kyle and Jesse to develop a relationship without it seeming completely morbid. And I have to say that I didn’t see some of the twists coming, which is something I appreciate in a good mystery novel.

The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden

The Christmas Wager

The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on December 22, 2010
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

When Lord Thomas Barrington left his family home six years ago, he expected he might never return. His father, the duke, made it very clear that if Thomas was unwilling to follow his duty to the family, he was unwelcome in their home. Of course, duty to his family being marriage to a woman he didn’t love meant that Thomas could never oblige.

But Thomas has lost a bet to his best friend, Andrew Nash. And it’s a bet that Thomas can’t pay. Andrew is willing to accept something else in return: a Christmas at Barrington Hall. A Barrington Hall Christmas has always been a spectacular affair. So Thomas can understand why Andrew wants to witness it. But he’s still very unhappy about the prospect of once again coming face-to-face with his father.

The big surprise when they arrive, however, is not the duke’s attitude. It’s that Christmas is no longer celebrated at Barrington Hall. And Thomas could let that go, except that he’s disappointed that his niece, Susan, doesn’t get to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year. So he sets out on a mission to bring Christmas back to his family home.

Brewing alongside all of this, though, is Andrew’s unspoken attraction to Thomas. And then there’s the feelings Thomas has when he looks at Andrew that he can’t explain. Exploring and giving in to those feelings isn’t part of Thomas’s plan. And then there’s the fact that doing so would be a crime. But can someone deny their passion even if they strive to bury it in the deepest recesses of their being?

What a fun historical! Yes, there is the m/m romance element, but this is about so much more than that. It’s about family, expectations, grief and loss, discovering yourself, forgiveness…the list goes on and on.  The fact that Thomas is already on uneasy footing with his father is also an interesting element. (So often, it’s the whole dating a man thing that leads to estrangement in a historical novel.) That really brings the family issues to the forefront of this story. And they are handled wonderfully.

Solid recommendation from me!