When one is in the mood for a good old fashioned ghost story it is so very nice to turn to an author who is able to weave both romance and mystery into a chilling tale that had me reading late into the night—with lots of lights on. I am, of course, speaking of the talented author Amy Rae Durreson and her latest novel, Spindrift. To say that there were more than the fair share of scary moments in this story is really to speak ill of such a delicious fright fest, which is what this novel turned out to be for me.
Sion Ruston is not on holiday, although the villagers of Rosewick Bay know no differently. In fact, he is recovering from a near fatal suicide attempt that found him leaping off a bridge one foggy night in the fierce grip of a miasma of loneliness so deep he felt he no longer had a reason to go on living. Now he was carefully putting his life back together, spending time in the upper floor of a small cottage and painting the rolling seaside that was both a livelihood and a curse to the small town. You see, like any quaint little town that boasted a lively summer trade, there were bound to be some secrets—some hidden ghosts in the closet, so to speak. So imagine Sion’s horror when just such an apparition appeared in his bedroom one early dawn begging forgiveness from Sarah and garbling some mysterious message about someone named Joshua.
While his first inclination was to question his already questionable sanity, Sion soon met up with the offspring of the most recent generation that claimed ownership of said ghost and that is how Sion met Mattie, a fresh from university graduate who flirts with Sion outrageously until he finally is able to break through the tight hold Sion has on his heart. Together the two begin to explore the ghostly legend and are soon wrapped up in the unfolding mystery. However the ghost is not the only one with secrets and if Sion and Mattie are to survive—if their relationship is to become stronger, firmer, then they will have to trust each other with their darkest demons that once exposed may indeed mean the end to their summer romance. When things turn dangerous and the two men are still reluctant to trust each other, all may indeed be lost at sea.
I can honestly say that there were more than a few moments when I wanted—no needed—to close my kindle and stop reading this story. As the ghosts made themselves more intrusive into Sion and Mattie’s lives, the fear factor ratcheted up rapidly and I found myself silently begging the boys not to go near the windows even in broad daylight. But beyond the ripping good scare this novel delivers, it also sends up a most beautiful and tender love story. The loss that both these men have borne—their shame over their mistakes from the past and their desire to remain hidden from the light that would have to be cast on those same mistakes in order for them to become more than a summer fling, all combined to make this one stirring romance that tugged at the heartstrings.
I simply loved Mattie’s carefree spirit, his humor and his flirtatious ways. He was the breath of fresh air Sion so desperately needed at this stage in his lonely life. But oh the fear—the reluctance to open himself up to the potential pain of falling too fast and too hard made Sion the most vulnerable of characters. This wounded man who was so desperate to find a reason to continue on despite the crippling knowledge that he had very few friends if any due to closing himself off from everyone who once cared about him. These two were a match made in literary heaven and when the demons from hell came knocking at their door you genuinely feared for their lives. What a great story!
Spindrift by Amy Rae Durreson reminds us of those days spent around the campfire when we were young listening to the ghost stories that made us quiver with fear and yet thrilled us to the core. When you add in some wonderful romance and a delightful cast of characters, you get a splendid novel that has rightfully earned a place on my reread shelf. I highly recommend Spindrift to you—but remember—keep the lights on.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.