Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Mikal has just broken up with his boyfriend of three years, quitting his job working for him as well. Mikal now wants nothing but to get away, out of the city, away from his usual summers at Fire Island, and go someplace where can be alone. When he finds a beautiful old farmhouse to rent in the isolated countryside it seems just perfect. But when Mikal asks how it is so cheap and still available this late in the season, the realtor tells him no one stays for long. Rumor is the house is haunted.
Mikal sort of laughs this off, not believing in ghosts, until mysterious crying, weird cold spots, and other unexplained happenings change his mind. When Mikal’s best friend suggests he call a ghost hunter she knows, he readily agrees. Mikal does a little research and finds the house was originally owned by a man named Thomas and his new bride. No one seems to know what happened to Thomas, but it becomes clear he never left. With Seth’s help, Mikal begins to uncover what Thomas really wants. And at the same time they begin to learn the truth of Thomas’ heart, Mikal and Seth find that there may be feelings growing between them as well.
I am not always a big ghost story fan in my romance, mostly because I don’t like when the ghost is one of the partners in the relationship (the whole non-corporeal thing being too much like Imaginary Sex for my tastes). But I was intrigued by this book where the ghost is someone outside the primary relationship, but still a major part of the story. Fenraven does a great job creating a mystery that really draws you in. I was just as interested as Mikal to learn about Thomas’ past and to find out what was keeping him here. The truth ends up being both sweet and heartbreaking. I also enjoyed seeing Mikal make his progression from nonbeliever to someone completely committed to helping Thomas and figuring out what had happened to him. It gives him a chance to focus on something other than his own life and the disappointment he has faced, and put his energy to helping someone else. It was a great ghost story and it really captured my imagination.
I think the relationship with Seth really takes a backburner, which generally I think is fine. Both men recognize a strong attraction to one another, but agree to hold off on anything until the ghost problem is solved. This makes total sense and is much more realistic than crazy sex amidst all the drama. It just means that there isn’t a lot of time for relationship development except for the very end, especially since the story takes place in only a couple of days. So even though I get it story-wise, I wish we had a bit more time to see things develop between them.
But overall I really liked this one. I loved the ghost story aspect and I think there is a really poignant message at the end. Mikal and Seth are sweet together and I was definitely invested in their future. Very nicely done.