Review: Medium Rare by Meg Benjamin + Giveaway

Medium Rare by Meg BenjaminFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Ramos Family, #2
Length: 305 pages
Publisher: InterMix
Date Released: August 20, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Rose Ramos was a reference librarian, until she inherited her grandmother’s house—and the family talent for connecting with the other side…

Moving into the lovely Victorian in San Antonio’s King William District is a dream come true for Rose—and also a nightmare. That’s the only explanation she has for the man hovering above her bed. But Skag is a ghost who’s been part of Rose’s family for generations. And now he’s all hers.

When Evan Delwin, a reporter out to debunk the city’s newest celebrity, posts an ad looking for a research assistant to investigate a famous medium making his home in San Antonio, Skag suggests that Rose apply for the job. Delving into the dark side has its own dangers for Rose—including trying to resist Delwin’s manly charms. But as the investigation draws them closer together, the deadly currents surrounding the medium threaten to destroy them all…

My Review:

Inheriting a Victorian pile in the snooty King William district of San Antonio from her grandmother comes as an unexpected shock to librarian Rose Ramos for any number of reasons.

First of all, she could only remember meeting her Grandmother Caroline Riordan three times at most. Secondly, her mother, meaning Grandmother Caroline’s daughter, was very much still alive, so Rose couldn’t figure out why the house hadn’t gone to her. Third and foremost in her mind, as much as she was enjoying the pleasure of owning the beautiful old monstrosity, grand old houses need a lot more money to maintain than she could imagine squeezing out of a librarian’s paycheck. (A thought to which I can only say “Amen sister!”)

Then the family ghost appears above her bed in the guise of Hannibal Lecter (he switches his appearance when she shrieks in terror, and who wouldn’t), and Rose discovers how Grandmother Caroline, as well as Grandmother Siobhan before her, really kept house and home together. The ghostly Skag coolly informs Rose that she, just like all the women in the Riordan family, is a powerful medium. The family business is talking with the dead.

This should descend into camp, but it doesn’t. Rose does not become the kind of medium who conducts séances, for one thing. Instead, she finds stuff for people. And there’s a money back guarantee. People will pay quite a bit to find out where their dead relatives hid the equivalent of the family silver.

Medium Well by Meg BenjaminMedium Rare fast forwards two years. The recap of those two years sounded like so much fun I bought a copy of the first book in the series, Medium Well, and reviewed it over at Book Lovers Inc.

Even though Rose makes her living by finding stuff for people, with the family ghost asking the dead for assistance in the finding, there are still plenty of mediums around San Antonio who hold seances. It’s easy for Rose to make her talent look like good old-fashioned library research.

A séance looks like woo-woo. It can look silly, or it can be fraud. There’s a new guy in town who might have tipped over the line from magic tricks to outright fraud, and there’s a psychic debunker in San Antonio who’s out to catch him.

That’s where the fun begins.

Evan Delwin is an investigative journalist who is just positive that all psychic practitioners and mediums must be frauds. Evan knows how all the tricks works. His dad was a famous magician, The Great Dell–until a trick went horribly wrong.

Now Evan works with the police to expose fraudulent so-called psychics, and he has his eye on one William Bradford, who has recently set up a very expensive operation in San Antonio. But everyone knows who he is. He needs an assistant.

Skag wants Rose to work with Evan, because Skag senses that there is more going on than just a worldly fraud.

Skag may be right, but the minute that Evan and Rose meet, they want to do one hell of a lot more than just work together. The problem is that Evan distrusts all psychics, and Rose isn’t telling him that she is one.

Then the hellhounds come to call…

Escape Rating B: A paranormal romance without either vampires or werewolves. And a hearty thank you to the author for not having the ghost be the love interest! I like my romances with a reasonable chance of happy ending. (Stacey Kennedy managed it once and terrifically with Supernaturally Kissed, but let’s not all go there)

Anytime a librarian is the hero or heroine, it’s cool with me.

But speaking of Rosa and Evan, these are two people who shouldn’t get together, but not for any of the usual reasons, which was a very interesting twist. He debunks what she is. Very cool. It’s not just that he doesn’t believe, it’s that he’s sure she’s a fraud. She starts out lying to him, and as the story goes on, we discover that he’s kind of lying to himself.

Two of the most fun characters in the story are Helen and Lenore. Especially Helen. She is an absolutely marvelous piece of invention; an over-protective hellhound who is invisible to everyone but Rosa and Evan, but who is still eating the very real furniture. I adore her, but I’m glad my couch is safe from her.

The third book in this series will be Happy Medium. My mind was going to the steak metaphor; medium well, medium rare, and I had a mental block about what the third state of “doneness” might be. So happy to have that resolved, and I’m looking forward to the book, too!

Meg BenjaminAbout Meg Benjamin

Meg Benjamin is writes contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing and paranormal romance for Berkley InterMix. Her books have won an EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the New England Romance Writers Beanpot Award, and the Holt Medallion among other honors. Meg lives in Colorado.To learn more about Meg, visit her website and blog. You can also follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Meg loves to hear from readers–contact her at


Meg will be awarding a $15 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and E-copies of Medium Well (the preceding book in the series) to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

For other changes to win, please visit the other stops on the blog tour.

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***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

13 thoughts on “Review: Medium Rare by Meg Benjamin + Giveaway

  1. This is the first I’ve heard of this book :). I really want to read both of them. My daughter and I have some psychic abilities and every house we have lived in here in the US and in the UK have been haunted.

    So this book series sounds right up my ally

  2. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

  3. Marlene (and Meg)…I’m also a librarian–at a community college. YES, I see how Rose would worry about being able to afford a big old Victorian manse! LOL.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. Medium Rare sounds like a fascinating book. I enjoy paranormal romance and will be adding this book to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing the great review.

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