Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dead Man and the Army of Frogs by Lou Harper

Title: Dead Man and the Army of Frogs
Author: Lou Harper
Purchase at Amazon
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Genre: paranormal
Length: 40k est
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf

All Denton wanted was a few minions. He got frogs instead.

Web developer by day and necromancer by night, Denton Mills is used to seeing things nobody else can. When he starts hallucinating frogs, he simply assumes they have something to do with his boyfriend Bran's obsession.

Bran Maurell is a witch, who in a youthful outburst, accidentally turned his then-lover, Peter, into a croaker. Bran has been trying ever since to reverse the spell. A fresh amphibian encounter only spurs him to double his efforts.

As if Peter's ghost coming between them weren't enough, Denton and Bran are forced to deal with several errant spirits stalking the citizens of Chicago. Between a French chef who refuses to admit he's dead, and malevolent creatures bent on causing mayhem, jealousy may be the least of Denton's problems.



~*~*~*~*

Oh what fun, “Dead Man” Denton (who sees death traces and has other interactions with the deceased and/or paranormal) and his witch/herbalist boyfriend Bran are back for another round of stories. We first meet Denton as a bit player in the excellent “Sanguine” books, and he’s been given the star turn in his own series.

Denton’s sweetly exuberant and ready for adventure, which he and more pessimistic Bran find both in the course of daily life and in Bran’s line of work. Their skills complement each other as we’ve seen in “Dead Man and the Restless Spirits” and “Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit”, and here too it takes both of them to accomplish their goals. Told in the now familiar format of linked short stories with an overarching theme, this is a great continuation of this couple's story.

I started giggling when I saw the title; the frogs hop through the stories and also through Bran’s past in a tragicomic way. Meanwhile, Denton’s a little creeped out by the bulgy-eyed specters. We learn a lot more about Bran in this book, from his family life to his homeschooling with an unusual curriculum to his magical abilities and past love. He’s a prickly guy, but he has reasons, and he’s evolving into someone less dour under the sunshine of Denton’s love. It’s not an easy transformation, and certainly not a linear one. “Men,” says Joy, Denton’s BFF and business partner. “Can’t live with them, can’t bury them under the porch.”

The paranormal adventures are a mix of the humorous here, from a haunted Dutch oven to the seriousness of murder, spiced up with Joy, other characters from previous stories, and Bran’s parents. Gabe from the Sanguine stories appears again. Heh.

The series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment, although if you wandered in at this point you wouldn’t be totally lost. Still, don’t give up the pleasure of watching Denton and Bran grow into their love and their power. Much fun. 4.5 marbles







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