Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jason Walker, former child star and now B-movie regular is sick and tired of Hollywood and the paparazzi cameras that seem to be present wherever he goes, so he buys a ranch in Idaho in the hopes of finding peace and serenity. That may have worked, except for the ghost haunting his guest house who can’t be seen by anyone but Jason.
He nearly passes out when he discovers that the young man, dressed in 19th century clothing, is actually trapped in a snow globe. It seems that the only person who has seen him in over 150 years is Jason, and they eventually discover that it’s likely that Jason is a descendent, and decide that’s the only possible reason for it. Benjamin Ward would have been nearly twenty-one when his sister put a spell on him and trapped him in the globe. She was trying to keep him from enlisting in the Confederate Army when the Civil War began, but before she could let him out, the globe was stolen, and he’s been trapped ever since.
He’s sweet and funny and loves discussing just about everything. He’s been manifesting outside the globe for years, usually in an empty room because he’s confined to the room where the globe is located, but occasionally he’s in a room where someone is watching TV, so he’s hooked on sitcoms, especially those from the eighties when he spent a lot of time living with an elderly woman who loved to watch TV. When Jason accidentally winds the globe in Ben’s presence, they discover that he can also be heard by Jason. He keeps Jason company, helping him work through the issues of feeling lonely and abandoned by his family and the best friend he loves but can’t have. Dylan has been Jason’s best friend and on-again-off-again lover for years, but he’s not interested in commitment, and it breaks Jason’s heart to see him with other men and women when he longs to be the man’s only companion. But he slowly discovers that by spending all his time with Ben, he’s formed a stronger bond with him, and it soon occurs to him that he’s falling in love with the young man.
When they discover a way for Jason to enter the globe and be with Ben sexually, it’s not a simple solution because on his return to the real world, Jason suffers traumatic headaches and severe nausea and vomiting, which when witnessed by the local police chief, lands him in the hospital. Ben is frantic, not knowing where Jason has been taken and even if he’s alive, so when he returns, they decide to stop trying to find a way to be together in the globe. In the meantime, Dylan has also discovered that Jason seems to be talking to himself a lot and that he’s extremely possessive of the snow globe. Fearing his friend is losing his mind, he takes steps to separate Jason from the globe.
There’s so much drama in this story that I wanted to read it with one eye closed. As it was, I had to put it down and walk away a few times because my nerves were shot. I was very afraid for both Jason and Ben, both individually and as a couple. Jason appeared to be losing his grip on sanity, and I thought he was going to be taken from Ben, but the culminating action of the story was even more dramatic and traumatic than I envisioned, and I thought I was going to scream before the finale. I can’t begin to describe the tension I felt and the fear I had for both men, and I honestly could not figure out how the author could possibly resolve this drama. But resolve it she did, and in a most spectacular and satisfying way.
I actually had to wait a few days before writing this review because I was concerned that the stress I felt while reading was going to negatively influence my rating of the story. Now that I’ve had time to breathe and relax, I can only sit back and admire the mind of an author who can be so ingeniously creative. This was a wonderful love story and a unique one at that. If you like paranormal or even just a creative twist to your MM romances, you should love this one. Don’t hesitate to buy it.
Cover Art by LC Chase depicts a winter scene with a young man inside a snow globe. It’s beautifully done and very attention-getting, though it doesn’t quite represent the snow globe described in the story that contained only a log cabin in the woods.
ebook, 325 pages
Published November 28th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
original titleWinter Oranges
ISBN 162649357X (ISBN13: 9781626493575)
Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.
Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.
To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/