Author: Keelan Ellis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/06/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Historical, Paranormal, Romance
The summer after high school, Eli Dunn and Jess Early explore an abandoned brothel in the rural Florida Panhandle. They’ve always kept their mutual attraction unspoken, but in an upstairs room at the end of the hall, everything changes. Suddenly, all the longing Eli and Jess have tried so hard to conceal bursts free, and passion like they’ve never experienced comes to light, along with the ghosts of Clay Bailey and Silas Denton, murdered owners of the brothel. And Clay and Silas have no problem possessing Eli and Jess in order to express their love for each other, without thought for the living.
Deeply disturbed by the experience, Eli and Jess part and try to get on with life as best they can. But after several years, Eli returns to Florida, only to find that Jess has made some questionable choices. These eventually lead him back to the abandoned house and a confrontation with Eli. Old scores are settled and Eli and Jess reunite. But Clay and Silas’s ghosts aren’t finished yet, for they’ve always believed in the power of open and honest love.
This book is something of a surprise bag—it contains two beautifully bittersweet romances, a touching ghost story, and two absolutely fascinating comparative socio-biographic pictures. Not to mention lovely characters and some unexpected yet all the more delicious sparks of humor.
Chapter by chapter, this story alternates between two couples, between Jess and Eli in the present and Silas and Clay in the late 1930’s to the late 1960’s. I found it very well-written and the quite distant narrative style fitting for the subject matter.
Particularly the historical parts were really gripping; once I’d gotten past the slightly dragging beginning, I was totally immersed in Silas and Clay’s story. Time and place were as fabulously drawn as the characters, even the minor ones.
Jess and Eli paled a little in comparison, but that might be me and not the book at all. The background setting of Jess and Eli’s story isn’t as well-drawn as Clay and Silas’s, perhaps because reader’s familiarity with the setting is taken for granted, and since I’m from a different cultural background… anyway, once the two storylines merged until the fully satisfying ending, I didn’t find much to complain anymore. 😉
This book is really more “Canterville Ghost” than “Poltergeist”, and I liked its rather quiet atmosphere a lot. If you pick up this book, just endure the info-dump tell-not-show beginning, it’s totally worth it.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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