Monday, June 18, 2012

ARC Review: Hawaiian Gothic by Violetta Vane & Heidi Belleau

Hawaiian Gothic by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Novel: 168pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Ori and Kalani were childhood friends too afraid to be lovers. Now in their darkest hour—Ori disgraced and Kalani a wandering spirit—they’ll fight the world and death itself for a second chance.

Gregorio “Ori” Reyes thought there was nothing left for him in Hawaii. A former Army Ranger and promising MMA fighter, his dishonorable discharge turned him into the family disgrace, and his childhood best friend Kalani never could love him back--not the way Ori needed to be loved--even before Kalani’s doctors declared him to be in an unrecoverable coma. Ori’s return to Hawaii seems fated to be a depressing reminder of every chance he never took... until Kalani himself impossibly welcomes him home.

Kalani’s body is bedridden, but his spirit is free to roam, and it turns out it’s not just Ori who had unspoken yearnings. Kalani is eager to prove that he can still savor all the pleasures of this world. Together, they remember all those years of surfing, wrestling, touching and aching but too afraid to act; now, they cross that final barrier and struggle against each other in an entirely different way.

Passionately but tenuously reunited, the pair must solve the mystery of Kalani’s unlucky life, sorting through dark family history and even journeying to the Hawaiian ghostworld. And the greatest terror of their journey is that Ori might have to put Kalani to rest.

I am going to honestly write, that I do not have the freaking words to describe this book. I am huge fan of horror and crazy, since my mom had me watching Twilight Zone at four. The book isn’t scary in a ‘there’s a boogeyman in the closet’. The fear lies within the risks one is willing to take for the person they love, because sometimes it can be bad things, it can be good things, and it can be great things.

With Hawaiian Gothic, there is greatness in this love story. Kind of fucking unbelievable, but made to come alive with the wonderful writing offered up by two authors everyone should be keeping their eyes on. They manage to do a little something new with every book they write, and I can never predict the outcome in their books.

Ori is a Filipino-American who has just been released from the army on a dishonourable discharge. He’s now back home in Hawaii, struggling with some shame and guilt. His visit is bittersweet because he closest friend of many years lies in the hospital in a coma. The best-friend he has loved for many years, the friend he still loves even now, the friend he is willing to give everything for.

Their story is told in a series of flashbacks, and you experience teen Ori and Kalani. There is an organized way to these flashbacks so the reader does not become confused. It’s through the flashbacks you see how important these men are to each other.

With Kalani now in the hospital, Ori and his family has to decide what to do. Others have already given up but Ori refuses to believe that his smiling surfer boy is gone. This is where the story takes a turn, when Ori starts seeing a very real Kalani. His body still remains in the hospital but his spirit wanders and can become corporeal for Ori. Trapped between the living world and the spirit world Kalani finally confesses his real feelings for Ori and the men come together in a passion so explosive I lost my pants numerous times.

Ori finally having Kalani, he now desperately refuses to let him go, and concludes that it has to be some kind of a curse that probably can be stopped. So he goes on a mission to save the man he loves. What he learns about Kalani’s past is sad, and what he has to do to secure Kalani’s future is dangerous. Ori must make his way to the Hawaiian spirit world, and bring his man back to land of the living.

I enjoyed reading this book so much! Hawaii came alive for me, and the characters became so extraordinary. I have always been in love with the paranormal/supernatural, and this book had it tenfold and I was so captivated. It really freaked my freak sometimes, but it’s a good thing when books can throw you a curve ball and then hit a home run.

This book is not traditional in the romance or the writing. So be aware that you will not be getting romance built on rainbows on sunshine, because without the supernatural trope. It’s a hard-hitting book battling real emotions and dealing with loss.

Love, love, and love the interracial love! Filipino-American/Hawaiian-American seriously no pants were invited in the reading of this. I am trying to think of when I read a Filipino in m/m??? I don’t think I have, and this book was a wonderful representation of them as someone with Filipino children, I approve this message.

The sex in this one is hot enough to burn all the hairs on your body. Like dirty, sexy, powerful wrestling, the desire to be on top was just beautiful. Ori and Kalani are very male, and I would pay good money to see them together. The ending of this book is so beautiful, love it to death, and just loved the whole story. If you are looking for a different read? Something that will remain on your mind days after reading it, then Hawaiian Gothic might be it for you.

4.5 Pants Off


  1. Curse you, I've just added another one to my buy list! Great review :)

    1. You can check out my interview with the authors and enter to win a copy.


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