Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.
There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.
But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.
Ever looked at a cover, read a blurb and just known, known that the book had a story you just needed to read? Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton did that for me. I’ve long held a fascination with snow globes, especially the idea that the people and things inside them were alive, existing in a world we could only look at. Add to that the elements of love and a man trapped out of time and I was hooked. Plus it was Marie Sexton writing the story!
Marie Sexton’s character of Jason comes across as believably real and lost, his old career dying or maybe its Jason who tired of dealing with being a Hollywood actor and the problems that comes with it. We feel his weariness, his loss, and his uncertainty now that he’s fled to the backwoods and this peculiar house. Because quite frankly we are wondering if he made the right choice too. As charming as Sexton makes the house seem on first appearances, she also manages to bring a air of eeriness and oddity with it as well.
With those elements flowing through the narrative from the beginning, when Jason’s actor friend with benefits, Dylan, makes his appearances into the scene, its acts as a jarring, albeit lively, interruption into Jason’s new isolated life. Just as I suspect Sexton meant it to be. At first we welcome Dylan short visits into Jason’s new life, and then slowly everything changes when Ben and the globe enters the story.
Such a magical element. A snow globe. All those possibilities of what could lie inside. Here they contain a young man, trapped outside of time, the reason why I will let the story explain for itself. The romance that develops between Ben and Jason is so real, so heartfelt and fragile that each moment they are together in the story is one you treasure as much as they do.
How does it end? With stunning danger, heartbreak, tears and laughter. And love, so much love. I adored this story. Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton is its own delightful treasure. One to be taken out, reread for its magic and romance, and love against all odds relationship. Perfect for the holidays no matter what holiday that would be. I highly recommend this story and this author.
Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center. Love for the Holidays: A Charity Bundle Benefiting the GLBT National Help Center – See more at: Riptide Publishing
Cover design by L. C. Chase is perfect, just perfect for this story. I loved it because it drew me in and made me need to see what was inside.
Sales Links: Riptide Publishing preorder Other links to follow closer to release date