Rating: 3.5 / 5
This is one of those unusual books where I can say that it wasn't quite my thing, but I can appreciate its creativity and uniqueness. I didn't dislike it in any way, really. I liked it to a certain degree, but it just wasn't really my kind of story. It's classified as an erotic romance, but I'd consider it more erotica with some romantic overtones.
The story is about two IRS investigative agents who go undercover to check out a possible scam artist who is running a supposed haunted train tour through the South. A tour that also always ends up being a bit of an orgy. Agent Catalina Montoya had hoped to do the investigation alone, but she is paired up with Agent Nick Ames - a man she had a drunken encounter with the year before. Once aboard the train, the two become embroiled in the various goings-on - seances, sexual escapades, paranormal occurrences, and of course, checking out their quarry. It's soon apparent there's a lot more to this train ride than they thought. There's a fifty-year-old murder plaguing them as well.
Bingham tells a very interesting and unique tale in this book. It certainly never bored me! Lots of detail and a well-thought out story gives this book more depth than your average erotic romance/erotica book. There's still plenty of sex; it's a huge part of the storyline, but the plot keeps things from being repetitive or boring.
Where this story lacked for me, where it just didn't do it for me, was the romance angle. There's definitely chemistry between the two, but the supposed romance is more like a case of serious lust. When the end rolls around, they're together, but there's no feeling of them being in a committed relationship or being in love. It's implied - I think - but it doesn't come across in the writing. It seems more like they're just two people who have decided to keep screwing around with each other.
Part of the problem there is the character of Cat. Who while interesting and a strong female character, wasn't heroine material for me. She's too hard. There's practically no sweetness in her at all. And sexually...well, more than once I thought of her as robo-slut. She screws around with the bad guy multiple times without a care. She just does it because she's either so horny she can't help herself or is using him for some purpose. Not really a turn-on. Nick at least is a little softer, and you at least get a small sense of his feelings. But for Cat, she's kind of just this over-sexed robot. It left the romance angle of the book falling more than a little flat.
There's also a little, hmm, weirdness in the way the book reads. I believe the author may be British (or possibly Austrailian, I guess) and her phrasing, word choice, and whatnot shows it. Which, nothing wrong with that! But when your used to American English phrasing, it reads a bit weird. Especially since the tale is told in the U.S. and all the characters are American. It took me till about halfway through the book until I stopped noticing it as much.
So would I recommend this book? Well, it depends on what you don't mind reading...if you want a unique, sex-filled, mildly suspenseful, mildly romantic book then I say go for it. I mean, I'm glad I read it even if it wasn't quite my thing. But if you need a solid romance in a book you read, then skipping this one might be best.
Sexual themes: graphic sex, f/f sex, voyeurism, exhibitionism, anal, group sex, bondage, spanking, and probably some others!