Book Review – Oleander House by Ally Blue (Bay City Paranormal Investigations, Book #1)

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance / Paranormal
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (April 17, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599983559
ISBN-13: 978-1599983554

About the book:

“Sam Raintree has never been normal. All his life, he’s experienced things he can’t explain. Things that have colored his view of the world and of himself. So taking a job as a paranormal investigator seems like a perfect fit. His new co-workers, he figures, don’t have to know he’s gay.

When Sam arrives at Oleander House, the site of his first assignment with Bay City Paranormal Investigations, nothing is what he expected. The repetitive yet exciting work, the unusual and violent history of the house, the intensely erotic and terrifying dreams which plague his sleep. But the most unexpected thing is Dr. Bo Broussard, the group’s leader.

From the moment they meet, Sam is strongly attracted to his intelligent, alluring boss. It doesn’t take Sam long to figure out that although Bo has led a heterosexual life, he is very much in the closet, and wants Sam as badly as Sam wants him.

As the investigation of Oleander House progresses and paranormal events in the house escalate, Sam and Bo circle warily around their mutual attraction, until a single night of bloodshed and revelation changes their lives forever.”


I’m adding this to the ‘I wish the author will rewrite a version without all the erotica’ so other people not into the GBLT books might give it a try. I think it’s a total waste of the author’s imagination to have its readership limited to a small group of readers when it could strike a chord with the general reading public.

I really like that Ally Blue went completely out of the box of the gay erotica genre when writing her Bay City Paranormal Investigations series. In this case, the romance between newcomer Sam Raintree and the closeted head of Bay City Paranormal Investigations Dr. Bo Broussard is almost a subplot – the main plot being the mystery of how terrible monster creatures from another dimension end up in our world. This is on top of the more conventional ghost apparitions that also occur during the group’s investigation of the titular Oleander House. In other words, it reads almost like a mainstream good scifi/ fantasy/ paranormal novel!

Why do I mention this? I was just comparing how Ally Blue’s Oleander House comes across with say, Ariel Tachna’s Alliance in Blood where the sexual encounters actually detracted from the overall story. I still say this – when the plot or story itself is unusual enough or interesting enough, I really hate it when the author falls back on pages and pages of erotica that does nothing to move the story along. Maybe things will be different in future books from Ally Blue’s series, and maybe it’s because this is a new budding romance limited due to Dr. Bo being so far inside the closet, but I did like how the romance was mostly in the background and only served to move the story forward. An example would be how it was revealed that Sam’s frustrations with Bo was instrumental in unleashing his full mental / paranormal powers and opened the ‘door’ to other-dimensional worlds and monsters.

I don’t know much about paranormal activities and such, but I appreciated how Ms Blue tried to portray the group not as some crackpots, but who are trying to investigate the paranormal as scientific as possible with the use of modern technological tools like electromagnetic sensors and the like. I mean, okay, they were all probably talking out of their asses, but I liked how Ms Blue did do research and showed there is a kind of science to this.

As far as the genre goes, I think Oleander House shows that Ally Blue could be a superstar within it. I just wish that with some judicious editing, closing of plot holes and a more mainstream approach, this could also be a big hit for those outside the GBLT bubble.

Other reviews of Oleander House are found at Good Reads and I Read What.

Check out Oleander House and help support Ally Blue.


~ by RandomizeME on January 23, 2010.

One Response to “Book Review – Oleander House by Ally Blue (Bay City Paranormal Investigations, Book #1)”

  1. […] Book Review – Oleander House by Ally Blue (Bay City Paranormal Investigations, Book #1) ( […]

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