Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/22/2011
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, BDSM, Fantasy, Gay, Historical, M/M Romance, Romance
Symbols have power…
Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths – mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around.
Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.
Unusual. If I had to only use one word to describe this book that is the one I would choose. If I could add a few others they would be: surprising, unique, spooky, and fantastic. Oh, and naughty, it’s definitely got a naughty streak!
I originally read this story in 2011, and have always wanted to do a re-read, so this was the perfect opportunity. I think that one of the things I really love about this book is the way Marie Sexton creates a strange, mixed up, bizarre sort of fantasy world and makes it feel so realistic. There is a dark and harsh edge to it, and a slow burn of friendship and then love, all with a kinky factor thrown in that sets it off perfectly.
If I had to list all of the elements that this book has from paranormal to cowboys to BDSM, it would look like such a mess on the surface, but Marie Sexton somehow puts it all together in a perfect blend and balances each piece to make it work beautifully.
In addition to the very solid world-building the characters are what make this book so special. There is so much strong character development I felt like I personally knew the men in the book. Aren and Deacon are very memorable. They go through a lot together and create a strong bond that is hard fought and not easily earned. I love it when I am reading a spooky story and it really gets into my head and stays there!
I will say this book may not be everybody’s cup of tea. I think you need to be able to enjoy stories that have a historical feeling along with fantasy, paranormal and some kinky stuff. It may be a bit How the West Was Won meets X-Files meets “The Red Room,” but if you enjoy a great escape and don’t mind a bit of whipping and submission along with your specters and ranch hands this maybe the perfect cocktail for an fantastic escape from reality.
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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