Rating: 5 stars
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There are truly times when I just want to write a simple yet heartfelt review. Times where the story was just so good…so very right and perfectly drawn and executed where to overanalyze it would simply not do it the justice it deserves. Rather I should just utter phrases such as “delightful characters,” “hauntingly beautiful story,” and “a definite must read.” Perhaps I could take just one more poorly phrased sentence and try to impart the warning that the characters in this story Once Upon a Haunted Moor by Harper Fox will stay with you, burrowing into your heart, and leave you wanting ever so much more of their tentative future.
Once Upon a Haunted Moor is part scary Halloween story, part mystery novella, and part m/m romance. It is all rolled into one deliciously hair-raising tale about a lonely, closeted policeman investigating the disappearance of a little girl who was last seen on the moors near his home. Several days have gone by since she disappeared and the home office has sent a psychic along to help with the investigation. Gideon is more than skeptical when it comes to Lee and his abilities to see the clues good old detective work may have missed, but nonetheless he tolerates the man’s presence in his town.
Before a day has passed, Gideon will not only find his belief in Lee, but also find the spark of a love that long lay dormant since his previous partner left him. Not only does Gideon want Lee, but he also finds that being with the man gives him the courage to break free from the closet that ruined his former relationship. Now, together, the two men race to find the lost girl and soon encounter more than just human evil out on the moors. There is something hunting there and it has turned its sights on Gideon.
Author Harper Fox is a consummate storyteller. Her ability to weave a tale that is entertaining and fully developed has long been a hallmark of her writing. Her characters have a depth often unseen in romance novels, primarily because it is the inner workings of the heart and mind of the men who people her novels that drive the story—not just the romance angle. Gideon and Lee are no different. I wanted to alternately wrap each of these men up in my arms and tell them theirs was a growing love that I knew just had to last. Along with the intimacy that Fox liberally laces her stories with, there was the fiercely violent unknown foe that seemed to spring from the dark and shadowy moors. The threat of that evil was palpable throughout this novella and certainly made me turn on a light or two whilst reading!
All in all this was an excellent story that captured the imagination and touched the heart in equal measure. Harper Fox is an incredibly gifted writer and her stories never fail to leave an indelible mark on her readers. I highly recommend Once Upon a Haunted Moor to you!