Title: The Rivals of Casper Road
Series: Garnet Run: Book Four
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Length: 258 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars
At a Glance: There are so many cute little details Parrish throws into this book, including Zachary’s address, and obviously Casper Road must be honored in ghosty Halloween ways. There’s a “the gang’s all here” sentiment to the story, too, that those who’ve read the previous Garnet Run books will appreciate.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: He’s in it to win it
Until he falls under his neighbor’s spell.
Bram Larkspur’s rugged, sexy looks belie his fear of all things horrifying. But as Casper Road’s newest resident, he’s excited to join the annual Halloween decorating contest. The competition is keen, especially from six-time champion, architect Zachary Glass. But when enigmatic Zachary sparks a prank war, it’s game on—until one sizzling kiss turns these rivals into allies. Now only one thing scares Bram: how quickly he’s losing his heart to Zachary.
Review: After unabashedly adoring the big-hearted holiday feels of Roan Parrish’s The Lights on Knockbridge Lane, I was excited to see what the author would do with another fave holiday, Halloween. I was most certainly not expecting a horror novel, of course, and that’s not at all what The Rivals of Casper Road is. In fact, the story revolves around a not-so-scary decorating competition leading up to Halloween more so than it embraces the spooky, the change of seasons, and the cozy autumn vibes associated with the time of year. “Rivals” is even downplayed to maintain the light and breezy romance that takes place between Zachary Glass and Bram Larkspur, so don’t expect the enemies-to-lovers trope to figure prominently.
Zachary is a disciplined and ordered character (I read him as neurodivergent) who dresses in suits to work from home, keeps to a strict routine, and isn’t one for idle chit-chat with his neighbors. In contrast, newby Bram is laid back, down to earth, and a ray of sunshine who dares to chat up Zachary one morning at his mailbox, throwing him off-schedule. Bram’s major faux pas, however, comes when he announces he’s planning to participate in the Casper Road Halloween decorating contest—a competition Zachary has won six years running, and one he takes ultra-seriously. When Zachary becomes upset over his new competition, he defaces one of Bram’s decorations in a way that some might consider vandalism, but Bram chooses to charitably label it a prank, which sets off a lighthearted contest between the two of them more so than an all-out war, which leads to them growing closer.
There are so many cute little details Parrish throws into this book, including Zachary’s address, and obviously Casper Road must be honored in ghosty Halloween ways. There’s a “the gang’s all here” sentiment to the story, too, that those who’ve read the previous Garnet Run books will appreciate. At its heart, this is a story of contrasts and the way two people who shouldn’t mesh can complement each other. While Zachary and Bram’s romance didn’t necessarily sweep me off my feet, Zachary’s backstory coaxes some sympathy even if I didn’t feel it augmented the overall story.
If you’re feeling sentimental about Garnet Run and want to revisit the town and its characters and the lovely sense of community, The Rivals of Casper Road will take you there.
You can buy The Rivals of Casper Road here:
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