Max has just won an Oscar for his first screenplay, an autobiographical story of a young man raised by his grandmother after being abandoned by a drug-addicted mom. But such a personal story is hard to follow and Max is stuck on what to write next. When his boyfriend dumps him, Max figures a change of scenery and a quieter life may be just what he needs, and so he moves from LA to a small southern town, buying a house sight unseen. Max is surprised to realize he has ended up with a gorgeous coastal mansion for much less than what he made on his two-bedroom LA apartment. Now, Max just needs to settle in to his new home and drastically different life.
Max isn’t sure how accepting this small town will be about him being out, but he is determined not to go back into hiding. While he does encounter a couple of homophobes, most folks are surprisingly accepting. Even better, Max meets the gorgeous Gentry Fox and the men strike an easy connection. Gentry is friendly, warm, and solid in ways that start to make Max long for what might be between them. Fortunately, Gentry seems to share Max’s attraction. The two men fall hard and fast for one another and Max starts to hope that there could be a real future between them.
Just as Max is beginning to think his move is all smooth sailing, he encounters a ghost in his house; Max isn’t sure if he is losing his mind or if there really is the ghost of an old woman living with him. He also notices an abandoned house on his property that people either seem to know nothing about, or else they deny its very existence. While Max is mostly able to take this all in stride, things take a dangerous turn when someone tries to kill him. Max has no idea who he could have angered after just arriving in town, but when the attempts continue, it is clear something serious is going on. Max has finally found a real connection with a wonderful man and he can imagine a future with Gentry, but with a killer on the loose, Max’s life is on the line.
Where Foxes Say Goodnight is a warm and sexy contemporary with a dash of mystery and a hint of paranormal. I completely loved this one and couldn’t put it down. The book has a lovely cozy feeling that let me just sink right into the story. We meet Max on a night of both a huge career high and then a big relationship low. He realizes that needs a change of scenery and buys a mansion of a house by the sea without even visiting and suddenly finds himself adapting to a totally new life. Despite Max’s fears about acceptance, he finds himself almost universally welcomed by friendly locals — including the super sexy Gentry. The two men have such an immediate buzz between them and wonderful chemistry as they circle each other a bit before finally giving in to their attraction. There is a nice heat between Max and Gentry, but also a super sweetness. They fall fast and hard for each other and you have to just go with the speed of it all, but it worked for me because I just loved them together. They are open with how much they want each other and are not afraid to share their feelings, and things just spark between them.
Alongside the relationship, there is a mystery here as Max tries to understand what is going on with this abandoned house on his property. Younger residents in town seem to have no idea it is there, and older folks all deny it exists, even as Max is staring out his window looking at it. I found it fascinating as we learn the secrets of the mysterious house and it ties so nicely into other aspects of the story. There is also the question of who is trying to kill Max and why, and this gets exciting and suspenseful as the threats increase. And on top of that, we get a light paranormal, as Max meets the resident ghost and learns more about who she is and her connection to the house. The story largely feels like a contemporary, but there is just enough mystery/paranormal to add some spice and provide balance to the sweetness of the romance.
There is also a minor plot here involving Max’s ex-boyfriend, which primarily serves as an impetus for Max to recognize he deserves better in life. He comes to realize that he has a rich and happy new life and he doesn’t owe anyone free space in his head to make him feel miserable. As Max settles into town, he comes to bond not only with Gentry, but also Gentry’s brother, his best friend, and Nadia the ghost. After losing his grandmother, someone clearly important to him, finding this surrogate family really makes a big difference in Max’s life.
I really loved this story and found myself just sinking into it. It is cozy and warm and just so lovely, I enjoyed it so much. Burns has done such a great job with this style and created a really engaging story that I didn’t want to stop reading.