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The Ghosts Between Us

(The West Hills #1)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Dr. Christopher Allen knows how to deal with death. He’s a psychiatrist who works with hospice patients and their families, helping them cope with grief and letting go. But Chris’s job doesn’t prepare him for the sudden death of his devil-may-care brother Cal.

At Cal’s funeral, Chris is completely thrown when he meets Elliot Rawlings, an artist Cal has been dating. Chris i
Kindle Edition, 372 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Two Peninsulas Press
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4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Apr 09, 2019 marked it as not-4-me-dnf
DNF @ 23%

Sorry, but I'm not feeling it...

Mar 06, 2019 marked it as didnt-finish
Good premise, but I had to quit this.

This book is like that acquaintance you (probably) have whom you reluctantly meet for coffee every once in while, but you know she's gonna tell you stories, and these stories probably have a point but to get there you first have to find out the backstories of every person even tangentially involved and every irrelevant conversation said acquaintance has had with any tangentially involved person, and by the time it threads back to the original story you have
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew going in this book would require a box of tissues. I was not wrong. This was a difficult story and journey, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. I really don't want to rehash the plot because the blurb is pretty clear. It was an emotional and worthy read for me. I can't wait for the next book in this series!
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really love a hurt/comfort/healing and this was a perfect example of that trope.

Chris, having always looked up to his younger brother, Cal, is devastated at his funeral. Soon after, he realizes that his relationship with his brother wasn't at all what he thought and he's reeling from all of the questions and dishonesty surrounding his new found information.

Elliot loved Cal, but after six months of dating, he wanted more than just being his dirty little secret. And then suddenly, there was no
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it

The Ghosts Between Us is not an easy book to read, at least for me. From a mourning, to a slow burn, and some aspect I didn't really comfortable to read, but read it anyway.
This is a little heavy story, hurt/comfort, and a maddening slow burn, I almost gave up. Glad I didn't.
Turned out, this one was worth my time and heart-ache.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it

Cee Brown
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
♡🌟(.•♥🌟5 stars for this not so new to me author.

When a story starts with death and a mystery, I know the words inside would hold my attention. Chris was a Psychiatrist who made his living bringing peace with holistic care. And then his only brother died and his life was thrown in a spinner. The day we buried my brother, I'd slept with his lover. Gasp!! How did one go from mourning loss to the guilt that Chris was now suffering?

For Elliot, he had come to say goodbye and la
Joyfully Jay
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

This book packs a lot into it. Chris is devastated after the tragic and sudden death of his brother, Cal. Cal was everything to everyone and his absence leaves a hole in everyone’s lives, but also reveals secrets that Cal was hiding. Cal was not an on-page character as he is deceased as the book opens, but the author does a fantastic job of bringing him to life between the pages. Chris is further devastated that the brother he thought he was so close to didn’t co
Lena Grey
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Dr. Christopher Allen, of ‘The Ghosts Between Us’ by Brigham Vaughn, always tries to do everything he can for everyone he’s involved with. In his job as a psychiatrist for hospice patients, he is compassionate, but is still able to be objective. In his private life, not as much. At a young age, Chris h
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to be honest, when I picked up The Ghosts Between Us, I was not in the mood for a full length drama at all, nothing against dramas because I love them I just didn't feel like one at the time. However, I went ahead and opened my kindle and got stuck in. Now it did take a couple of chapters to really pull me in but that was more me not ready to let go of the couple from the book I read previous. All of sudden I was right there, like someone flipped a switch and before I knew it I was halfwa ...more
Funzee Shu
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing

…despite the guilt and regret, there was no denying that a big part of me still responded to Elliot. And the more common ground Elliot and I found, the more difficult to ignore the attraction I felt to him. Nothing about him was my type and yet something about him drew me in.


This book come with super maddening slow burn pace, but trust me it’s worth every second of your patience and time!

I know that this book will gonna be something since the first time the blurb caught me. And I’m so glad
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whenever you lose someone that's really close to you, a family member, a spouse, whoever, it's extremely devastating. Some people can learn to deal. Most often, though, they can't. It's too much. Even people trained in dealing with death often can't deal with it when it comes to themselves. This is that kind of journey. It's a story of death, grief, and all that comes with it. The anger, guilt, despair. But it also shows that there is still life after death. Still hope and a chance to be reborn. ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A 4.5 star review by The Blogger Girls

Hurt-Comfort. Heart Wrenching. Heart breaking. Grief ridden. Guilt ridden. These are just some of the adjectives to describe this book. But never fear, there is also self -forgiveness, self-discovery, acceptance, and learning to love for one character, and learning to love again for another. This book made me cry, more than once, and it made me a bit uncomfortable, a lot, but I got past that and it settled into a story of new beginnings and hope. I doubt I w
Kaye Hallows
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-romance
I love reading an emotionally intelligent character, especially when that character is the younger one in the couple. I didn't expect Elliot, the artist, to be the mature one in this pairing - Chris is the grief specialist, after all - which is why Elliot snuck up on me and completely stole my heart. I love the way this author takes her time with their story, never rushing the characters or pushing them easily through difficult, emotionally charged situations. Grief is a messy journey at best. A ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I choose to read a romance novel I set my expectations low, and usually breeze through a story of superficial fluff. This is not what you get with The Ghosts Between Us. Brigham Vaughn has crafted a beautiful story with real, fully developed characters with great emotional depth. I cried at one part, cursed under my breath at the main character, Cal, at another, and was transported to another place during a gorgeously described travel montage in yet another. (I actually felt warm sunshine o ...more
Brenda Moser
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written book with a deep emotional story. The author does a wonderful job building the story , describing the characters ,scenes and events in vivid detail , pulling at your emotions and into the story , making you feel their pain. It's a story of dealing with the pain , grief and loss of a loved one. It's a gripping story that held me fast right to the end.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own and freely given.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it

This is an excellent, emotional read. If you’re looking for a load of sex and romance, this isn’t it. It is a well-written story about, love, family and grief.
Pat Nelson
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fantastic, bittersweet, poignant, raw, gritty, gripping, intense, hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking yet hope, emotionally charged, grab-you-by-the-feels, simmering, and totally awesome story. Filled with tears, jeers, fears, and cheers, it pulled me in from the very first page, leaving me with a massive book hangover because I just could NOT put it down. It is now at the top of my "re-read over and over again" list.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am volun
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So painful and yet so beautifully moving, 4.5 stars rounded up

Tears. Actual tears came out of my eyes. The was so much pain and yet it was so moving and beautiful I couldn't bring myself to care that I usually have a harder time with books filled with angst and suffering. Even the whole brother's-ex-lover thing wasn't as difficult for me to swallow. This was a long story and while I thought I would be skimming to get to the point of most passages, I was riveted. With the depth of the story's the
Smut Librarian
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not known as a particularly emotional person and pride myself on not crying at sappy movies or sob stories. It takes a lot for me to ride along with a character’s emotional journey. But The Ghosts Between Us by Brigham Vaughn is so well put together that I was completely drawn in and lost count of how many times I teared up, sobbed and downright bawled my eyes out during my read.

Elliot’s life has always been rough but losing Cal could be the biggest blow he’s faced. Elliot accepted being Ca
I would rate this 5 stars.

This starts with the funeral of Chris's 28 year old baby brother Cal. A stranger at the funeral, Cal's lover Elliot, upends everything Chris (also called C.J.) thought he knew about his brother. Drunk and in pain, they connect, adding a load of guilt to the grief. Chris is unhappy with his life and feeling the burden of keeping secrets from his parents. Although he is a psychiatrist working with terminally ill patients, he feels overwhelmed and unable to help himself, l
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Grab a box of tissues and jump right in.

The last week or so has been one where I've read books by new-to-me authors. The Ghosts Between Us is the first one I've read by Brigham Vaughn and I loved it so much. It was a fantastic introduction to her writing.

It's a wonderful story but I must warn you there is more than a little angst so it may not be for everyone. I happen to enjoy a good angst-y story and this one was perfect. The blurb for the story describes it so much better than I ever could. Y
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, reviewed, sci-fi
The ghost between Chris and Elliot is Chris’s brother Cal. When Cal died Chris lost part of heart. When he had sex with his dead brothers boyfriend the same night he buried his brother he lost his soul. Everything he knew about his brother crashed and burned. Watching his family fall apart, losing a patient, and desperately needing something to save himself he turns to Eliot, knowing that it’s wrong and that it will ultimately infuse his life with more pain.

I didn’t care for Chris. He was just
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The emotions run very deep in The Ghosts Between Us. Like there are some ugly cry moments in here that deal with death and loss. It's beautiful and so bittersweet with a satisfying ending.
This is a first-person narrative told from the POV of the main character Chirs, who is mourning the sudden loss of his brother, Cal. Through his grief Chris makes a number of questionable decisions, starting with sleeping with his brother's grieving secret lover, Elliot.
I know a lot of readers might not like t
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an emotional read that was constant. Chris lost his brother to a terrible accident. His family is grieving. His brother's friends are grieving. Everyone is grieving for Cal. Including Elliot, the lover no one in his circle really knew about except Dave and even Dave did not know a lot. Chris and Elliot connect awkwardly at the reception at Chris' family home and there, once he learns about the fact that he might not have known his brother as well as he thought he did, he starts a journe ...more
Kera Gould
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

This was definitely a long book. There were times that, honestly, I wasn't sure if I would be able to finish this and give it the review it deserved. But, I am so glad that I did.
This was a story about immense loss, but also about love too, and so, so many other things. It touches on addiction, betrayal, death, guilt...
When Chris' brother dies suddenly, he discovers that the very straight man had a gay lover
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dealing with loss is tough. Learning your much loved younger brother lived a double life is gut wrenching. The story of CJ'S journey is filled with roadblocks of his own making and he causes his own problems. Ugh, it is rough to think of how CJ and Elliott became a thing because yep, I probably would have lost my mind if this was a brother or cousin and that is the whole point.

Told from CJ's POV, the pacing did move a little slow, but it fit. CJ just looks well-adjusted - as we find out. So we
Ravenclaw Silverstripe
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a hurt/comfort and healing romance. It also features a brother falling for his late brother's lover (they were dating for 6 months). That little tidbit grosses me out, but I tried to put that aside and focus on the story itself.

This only features Chris's point of view and I wished we had some insight into how Elliot was feeling and what he may or may not have been thinking; he came off a bit mercurial and enigmatic because of that.

Brigham Vaughn explores the attraction between these tw
Kelly L
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I knew (eventually) that they cared about each other I felt no real chemistry. And Chris talked my ear off most of the book with his nonstop inner dialogue. But I will read more of this author’s work, maybe I’m just not used to her writing style yet.

There are some interesting premises throughout the book. It’s just that it took so long to feel any connection with the MCs. Them to each other & me to them. By that time I wasn’t that invested anymore.

The next book is about a character I
Elaine Gray
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Ghosts Between Us is such a wonderful, beautifully emotional written book. Once I read the blurb I knew I was going to enjoy this book. The raw emotions that were coming off the pages had me reminiscing about the loved ones that I've lost in the past and you wonder do you really know a person. Chris, Elliott, mom, dad, and Dave, Brigham Vaughan really made you feel that you were there experiencing what the family was going through.
I can understand why everyone was hurt and why they felt the
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Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store fur ...more