Published by: Dreamspinner Press
Format: epub, paperback
Genre: mm romance, paranormal
Reviewed by: Sara Beth
What to Expect: An old fashioned, beautifully written, skillfully rendered ghost story. This tale is perfect for a chilly autumn night, tucked in under the covers, with every single light on. If you enjoy paranormal romance, with a dash of mystery, this is the Halloween read for you.
Plot: When lonely artist Siôn Ruston retreats to the seaside village of Rosewick Bay, Yorkshire, to recover from a suicide attempt, he doesn’t expect to encounter any ghosts, let alone the one who appears in his bedroom every morning at dawn. He also doesn’t expect to meet his ghost’s gorgeous, flirty descendant working at the local museum… and the village pub, and as a lifeboat volunteer. But Mattie’s great-great-grandfather isn’t the only specter in Rosewick Bay, and as Siôn and Mattie investigate an ill-fated love affair from a bygone era, they begin a romance of their own, one that will hopefully escape the tragedy Mattie’s ancestor suffered.
But the ghosts aren’t the only ones with secrets, and the things Siôn and Mattie are keeping from each other threaten to tear them apart. And all the while, the dead are biding their time, because the curse of Rosewick Bay has never been broken. If the ghosts are seen on the streets, local tradition foretells a man will drown before the summer’s end.
Secrets. This book is all about them. They weave in and out of the story, much like the ghosts that populate Rosewick Bay. Durreson does a flawless job of creating a suitably haunting an atmosphere for this tale of loss, hope, and redemption. The town is by turns quietly unsettling and incredibly peaceful, reflecting where each character is at in the story itself as it moves forward.
Sion and Mattie, both individually and as a couple, are very relatable. An easy match to get behind. Their relationship runs parallel to that of the ghosts that haunt them, Matthew and Joshua . The ghosts themselves are as enthralling as the main characters, and I found myself grieving for them, even as my heart unfolded with hope for Sion and Mattie.
On the surface, Mattie is the sun to Sion’s darkness, but it becomes evident that things aren’t always as they seem – not for these two, not for the town, and not for the ghosts that haunt them all. Everybody has things they hide, even from themselves, and that’s what this story is really about: confronting the most painful parts of our past in order to reclaim the future that we are sometimes determined to cheat ourselves out of, before it’s too late.
What you might not like: I really feel there is a place in this genre for quietly passionate relationships, the sexy parts of which are left to the reader’s imagination.
However, I know some romance readers are very attached to steam on page. If that is the case, this is not the book for you. While Mattie and Sion are tender and gentle and flirtatious and obviously falling in love, the more physical parts are not described or included in the text.
What you will love: Simply put, Durreson is an amazing author. I enjoy her style and technique, and haven’t been disappointed yet by any of her books, though this one is standout for me. The truly haunting ghost story, and the feelings it draws from you, aren’t easily forgettable. I know I still find myself shaking off a tiny shiver when I stop and think about the atmosphere Durreson has created, and the flawed, lovable characters she has populated it with. And that cover….GEEZ!!!!
Sara Beth loves to read, write about what she reads, and really, really loves to talk about what she’s reading. So, she looks forward to many hours of conversation with you all surrounding books, books, and more books. Connect via: Twitter: @sarathebeth