Jamie Kincade sees ghosts, and has since he was a child. So when he sees the flash of something, or someone, sneaking into his shed during a horrible rainstorm, he thinks that’s what it might be. But it turns out that it’s a young man. Sebastian Rhydderch is bedraggled by the storm and Jamie offers him a place to warm up. Sebastian doesn’t talk, and Jamie doesn’t know why. Until he realizes that Sebastian can see ghosts too. No only see them, but he can hear them. And Sebastian learned a long time ago not to talk back. In fact, he doesn’t talk at all anymore.
Jamie offers Sebastian a place to stay, and the fact that there is someone else who understands brings both men comfort. The two men grow closer and learn about each other, sharing difficult and scarring things from their pasts. Their relationship becomes physical and it only serves to bring the two men closer together. Sebastian is starting to heal, and he is able to talk again when it serves the purpose of communicating with a ghost. Though his recovery is slow, he is bonding deeply with Jamie. When tragedy strikes, Jamie travels to his sister’s to be a support for her and Sebastian goes with him.
But in the wake of Jamie’s brother-in-law’s death, something seemingly more sinister rises, and it’s up to Jamie and Sebastian to deal with it. In the end, it becomes a journey about laying the past to rest and moving forward. And that’s exactly what Jamie and Sebastian aim to do.
My very first reaction when I started reading this book was to groan. It’s written in third person present, and honestly, that’s not a tense that I enjoy. But guys, about a page in, I’d completely forgotten about the tense and was sucked right into the story. The characterizations are wonderful, the pacing great, and the plotline very good.
What we get in this story is a tremendous amount of growth on the part of the MCs. Both Jamie and Sebastian go through substantial changes as the story line progresses. Yes, their meeting and subsequent connection takes a bit of a leap, but take that leap and you’ll thoroughly enjoy the story within. Jamie is a bit of a misanthrope, and has shut himself off from the outside world. Until Sebastian comes into his life and he’s given the chance to care for and help the younger man. I loved that this story was about healing for both men in different ways. Both Jamie and Sebastian had some hard things in their past, and they needed to move forward. By being together, sharing with each other, they were able to do that.
This is a fairly long book, and it needs to be to get all the emotions and story across. The writing is tight for the most part, and there were only one or two small instances where I was ready for the plot to move a little faster. These guys needed to move slowly. For both their healing and growth, as well as their romance. Because of the way the story progressed, I found myself whole heartedly believing in their journey. I was impressed that the author managed to convey so much, and make it so believable. There was a steady rate of growth for these characters, each scene not only moving the plot forward but also helping these guys to move forward as well.
Sebastian is definitely the more broken of the two men. And he has a lot he needs to work through. What I really enjoyed here was that Jamie wasn’t a magic fix and that falling in love didn’t make him miraculously better. It absolutely helped, of course. Having Jamie’s support did wonders. But Sebastian still had to take the steps himself. I liked, too, that even though he began to talk again, that was slow as well. And I really appreciated the fact that once he began talking, it wasn’t as if he was fine. His voice was rough from being unused, and it took a lot of time and even some obliviousness on his part before he was speaking a lot. It was handled so well throughout the whole story.
The only part I found a little tedious was that Jamie often harped on the age difference a little too much, and that Jamie seemed to be relying on his insecurities to drive Sebastian away. But when Sebastian put his foot down, they were suddenly on the same page and then it didn’t come up again. It seemed slightly incongruous with their characters, but it was only a little quibble for me.
Guys, I can absolutely recommend this book to you. There’s the right amount of emotions and feelings, coupled with two incredibly well-crafted characters, and just enough paranormal to make this an absolutely worthwhile read.