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Stumptown Spirits

Legend Tripping #1

by E.J. Russell

A life in hock.

Seven years ago, Logan Conner and his legend tripper college roommate stumbled into the middle of a ghost war. Logan escaped. Trent did not. Guilt has driven Logan to hunt for answers ever since—not only for why Trent was trapped, but how to return and save him.

On the verge of abandoning the search as hopeless, Logan discovers the solution at last thanks to folklorist Riley Morrel, the man he never expected to fall in love with, and the man he’d do anything to keep safe, including leaving him behind.

A life on hold.

When Logan disappeared in a puff of motorcycle exhaust, Riley’s life took a nosedive. After dropping out of school, he’s not entirely sure it’s not still diving. Sure, he has a job—one that’d send his thesis advisor screaming. Still, there are perks to his gig as the researcher for paranormal investigation show Haunted to the Max: He’s in the ideal position to propose projects for the team to tackle.

Like their latest episode in Portland, for instance, where Logan just happens to be bartending. If nothing else, confronting the big jerk will give Riley some closure.

A life’s last hour.

But as the two men take tentative steps toward each other again, they begin to realize that their relationship, the shoot, and Logan’s quest to free Trent are hopelessly entangled with one tragic day at the riverside, over a century and a half in the past.

And when the smoke finally clears? Not everyone will walk away.


Stumptown Spirits is a second-chance, opposites-attract, supernatural suspense romance featuring a TV show one step past jumping the shark, a narcissistic TV personality, a craven ex-ghost, annoying bosses, interfering (but well-meaning) friends, personal redemption, and, of course, an HEA.

Note: This book was previously published. It has been lightly revised and re-edited, but the story remains the same.

This book is on:
  • 6 To Be Read lists
  • 4 Read lists
Reviews:Queue on Prism Book Allian wrote:

This book was a roller coaster of emotions and action. I picked this book because I’d read and enjoyed Northern Lights by E.J. Russell. Stumptown Spirits was another excellent story. Russell has a way with words that can truly pull you into the story.

There’s a lot going on in the book, sometimes too much, but at the heart of the story are ex-lovers Riley and Logan. Riley hasn’t gotten over being dumped and hasn’t gotten closure. Riley’s back in Portland working on an episode of the show he works for—Haunted to the Max—one of those fake haunted house shows.

The location of the supposed haunting Russell chose is based on true reportings. Like Russell I live in the Pacific Northwest and the story of the Witch’s Castle and Danford Balch is a true one and there have been reports of unexplained happenings. Russell takes these tales and spins a magnificent and mysterious story.

Riley and Logan are interesting characters as are the supporting characters. Russell created many fully drawn people here and everyone had their purpose. From the arrogant to star of the show to Logan’s boss at a bar where the book gets its title—Stumptown Spirit.

Though I loved the book there are a few things that niggled at me. Firstly was Logan and Riley’s relationship. There wasn’t a lot of romance in the book, which isn’t a bad thing, but that meant I before Logan and Riley get back together I didn’t feel their bond. However, once the men did kiss and make up I was fully invested in their relationship.

Russell excels at showing instead of telling but there were times the strong prose got in the way of emotions. This is more of a personal issue though, so it shouldn’t stop anyone from trying this book.

The first quarter of the book dragged then got faster and by the time I was at the halfway mark I didn’t want to put the book down. The final action scenes and denouement of the paranormal tale was downright amazing. I can’t say much without spoiling things but there was more than one surprise thrown at me.

Overall this was an incredible ghost story with a sweet romance thrown in.

About the Author

E.J. Russell –grace, certified geek, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings.

Reality? Eh, not so much.