Author: Amy Rae Durreson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/12/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Paranormal
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.
Siôn Ruston is a painter. Mattie Jopling is a local, in the town Siôn is spending some time, and works at the local museum, an ice cream stand, and volunteers with the lifeboat service.
They both have things from their past they’re wanting to keep from people, forever secret, including each other. The big question is, will this tactic work for either of them, especially as they begin to realize the feelings developing between them? Hmmmm…
As with most of the stories I’ve read by Durreson, her sense of place is a strength, and one she succeeds in demonstrating here from page one. Atmosphere, always laden with emotion by the way it physically and mentally impacts the characters, is always one of the things I enjoy most about her books. Same here. Well done.
Siôn is thirty years old, though his attitude and the way he carries himself would have you thinking he’s closer to 80. Well, not really, because he’s not fooling anyone, least of all Mattie. As for the man himself, he’s twenty one and trying to save money in order to complete his thesis and move on to graduate work. Don’t let their ages fool you, they each exhibit atypical traits regarding them… sometimes. 😉
Siôn is pessimistic (though, again, not really, just like his continual professing to being old – not really) and Mattie is an optimist. What’s interesting is, we slowly learn what is fueling their individual outlooks on life at the moment, and how complicated they really are, how the surface doesn’t always reflect what’s underneath.
I did feel like there was something missing, or a disconnect somewhere that rose to the surface of this story now and then. I still can’t quite put my finger on it. This is a contemporary story, while most of the others I’ve read by Durreson are not. It could very well be me and not the story, missing that extra indefinable magical something that usually accompanies and ups the enjoyment factor for me.
It is enjoyable, though, never you fear. Experiencing as Siôn and Mattie attempt to navigate something neither of them has legitimately done before: share in a relationship that is honest, expecting realism instead of perfection, and feeling those things that sometimes surprise us in how much someone will do for us when they love us.
Also as usual Durreson’s writing is so much fun to read. To touch. It’s tactile and interactive, making me feel like I’m in the mix, right inside the room when the ghosts are approaching and acting a fool, or trying to warn the living.
Oh. Did I not mention the ghosties yet? Yup, they’re here for the mystery, humor, fear, revenge, joy, heartbreak, suicide ideation, comic books, and ultimately love that make up this story and these characters. Durreson likes including the supernatural and I like that she does. 🙂
The heat between Siôn and Mattie builds just like the rest of the story, becoming unrestrainable like the tide and fog that barrel their way into the bay, wreaking havoc, reuniting old flames, as it were, and providing opportunity for resolution.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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