The house has stood vacant for some time. It is a grand house with a back garden, a fireplace, three bedrooms, and a reputation for being haunted. Two owners had already died and even on a warm summer morning, there is a chill that can’t be explained. It is the rumor of ghosts that convinces René to buy it. He loves ghost stories and horror movies and the idea of sharing his new home with specters and spirits makes him shiver, not with fear, but anticipation.
When he feels the cold caress of phantom fingers, René knows his dreams have come true. All it takes is a Ouija board and a bit of patience before he’s rewarded with an answer. It’s not one ghost, but two that have been watching him, moving his things while he isn’t looking, and reading his books while he sleeps. Their names are Bastian and Marcus, two musicians who lived, loved, and lost their lives at the bottom of the staircase. Two spirits who are very interested in the young man who isn’t afraid of them.
René seems to have some special sensitivity towards the pair. He can already tell Bastion and Marcus apart — Bastion is more graceful, more prone to teasing while Marcus is more likely to push, to taunt, and to take charge. Soon their ghostly touches grow braver, from teasing, to tickling, to something … more and it isn’t long before René thinks of them not as roommates, but as lovers. Their cold touches and freezing kisses leave him breathless, and when the three of them come together it’s something like magic. The more they’re together, the more René begins to miss what he’ll never have: the chance to hold his lovers in his arms and see their faces, hear their voices and feel the heat of their embrace. Can the living and the dead ever truly find peace together?
Cold Like Snow is an erotic adventure of one young man and his non-corporeal companions. There’s a ghost of a story, a hint at something, but it never materializes. Instead, this is a steamy romp between the sheets between René, Bastion, and Marcus as the heat of mortal flesh comes into contact with the icy touch of ghosts. It’s an interesting idea with a novel twist to it: the more time René spends with his poltergeist pair, the more real they become, the more he can see of their shapes, the stronger they get — with their ability to carry a glass or pin René to the sheets — and it’s not one I’ve seen before in a ghost story.
René is a youngish man who has a collection of horror movies and an interest in the otherworldly. He has a house and a libido an incubus would envy. He’s had boyfriends before, not that he remembers their names, and his previous relationship didn’t end happily. Perhaps that’s why he’s more than willing to take up with the idea of ghostly lovers. He can’t see their faces and the three of them have to rely on the slowness of an Ouija board — later a laptop — to read what Bastion and Marcus have to say to him. Not that he’s all that interested in what they have to say, not when their actions are so much more enjoyable.
Bastion and Marcus were band mates, Marcus on guitar (or bass?) and Bastion on vocals. They lived a fast life of drinking and drugs before deciding, one morning, that they were old enough to settle down. They stopped the parties and the indulgences, kicked out the boy toys and guests, and settled down to simply be with one another. Unfortunately, before they could do too much more than decorate their house, they died, falling down the stairs in each others arms and dying. There might have been a broken neck, but it’s never said.
In this book, a lot of things go unspoken, unresolved, and unquestioned. René never shows much interest in Bastion and Marcus. He neither asks about their lives, nor tells them anything about his own. He never asks the name of their band, if they had another member, what happened to their estate after they died, and if they wanted him to do anything for them. René didn’t even have much interest in who they were before deciding he wanted to lure them into sleeping with him. Neither Bastion nor Marcus show much interest in René either, beyond their games in the bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, or on the couch. May, René’s best friend who is eventually introduced to the ghostly pair, volunteers that René never gets close to his lovers, but even with that opening, neither Marcus nor Bastion do much with it. We never know what René’s job is, what television shows Marcus or Bastion like to watch, what music they played or listened to, what their hopes and dreams are… or anything. The characters in this story have as much substance as the ghostly forms of Bastion and Marcus. The love they confess for each other then feels hollow, as well, since they don’t really know each other as people.
This isn’t so much a romance as much as it is a series of amorous adventures between mortal René and his paranormal paramours. If you want well-written sex, then you’ll enjoy this book. If you want a ghost story, a love story, or any real storyline at all, you might want to look elsewhere. For what it is, it’s a fun, smutty read.