Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Hollywood circa 1950s. A young man with stars in his eyes, desperate to be someone, to be important, latches onto a Hollywood director and becomes his boy toy in an era when being known a queer was tantamount to a death sentence. Frustrated by bit parts and wanting so much more, Jack Dayton finally confronts the man who is using him and demands a starring role. When he is denied his shot, Jack begins the journey home to a soul-sucking job in a meat packing plant and furtive one night stands with other desperate men. He lands in a motel not far from home and makes one more attempt at forcing his director’s hand, which ultimately leads to his death. Now sixty years later, another traveler, broken and weary of life, is sent to the ghostly remains of the same motel to sleep for the night. When he awakens in the morning, he is met with the very real presence of one Jack Dayton and Tag Manning begins to realize his luck is about to change.
What if you suddenly found the one thing that had been missing all your life, that one person who sparked an indefinable something inside you and managed to awaken a piece of you that you thought might not even exist? Now, what if that incredible person just happened to be dead…a ghost. Corporeal in fact, but still, most assuredly, on borrowed time. Would you risk opening your heart to him?
These are just a few of the realities that currently plagued the otherwise unflappable Tag Manning. Having grown up with an alcoholic father and a schizophrenic mother, Tag at first questions his own hold on sanity and rightfully so. After all, it is not every day that a ghost appears in your car while you are driving across country. But Jack is not just a ghost, he is a man who is trapped, trying to discover what it is that is so unfinished in his life that he has been forced to haunt this realm for over six decades. Tag excites him in ways no other man has ever done and when he realizes that he can actually travel beyond the confines of the deserted grounds that once housed the motel where he died, Jack leaps at the chance to travel with Tag. Thus begins the journey that will be both exhilarating, risky, and, in the end, bittersweet for both men.
MOTEL. POOL. by Kim Fielding is so much more than a simple ghost story. It is, in fact, a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, forgiveness. Tag is haunted by a past that has left him sure that he is not deserving of more than the dregs the earth has to offer. He gambles not only with his money, but also with his very life, choosing seedy motels and less than savory casinos where he chases away the pain of his past and his self-loathing. But Jack sees none of that, in fact, he sees only the beauty inside Tag and his growing affection for the man makes him realize that though his time may be limited, he wants to be remembered—to be missed. He wants Tag and is determined to have him. But Tag grapples with so many demons, and his poor battered heart is slow to respond. We watch as these two men dance around that indefinable thing called love and all the while are kept so aware by Fielding that even if these two choose to succumb to its charms there is a big price to pay.
I really enjoyed this novel. Author Kim Fielding took us deep into the minds of both her main characters. In doing so, she made the possibility of ghosts a reality and gave them a depth of emotion beyond what I ever expected. Torn and weak, her men sprung to life on the page and made for a strong story straight to the end. All in all, MOTEL. POOL. by Kim Fielding is a wonderful paranormal story not to be missed.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.