Author: Natalie Vale
Length: 12,000 words
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: m/m paranormal romance
Haunted by a recent breakup, compulsive traveler Sean finds himself trapped in a sudden blizzard. Near death, he’s rescued by a man for whom the cold holds no danger. A man with losses of his own and memories he’s never been able to share. For one night, in a tiny cabin deep in the woods, these two lonely souls will find refuge in each other.
** This review may contain spoilers **
I’m not a huge fan of ghostly paranormal stories so I have to admit my heart sank a little when I realised where the story was heading. However, this turned out to be a poignant and delightful story and I was glad that I had read it.
The story starts with Sean whose itchy feet and hatred of being tied down causes him to hurt the man he loves, Zack, ten months previously. Sean’s now reached a cross-roads as he realises that all the experience and travelling cannot fill the empty void left by Zack. It may be too late for Sean though as he gets caught in a snow-storm. Just as his life is slipping away he is rescued by Ezra and brought to a warm cabin.
The part that worked for me mostly with this story is the way that both Sean and Ezra have parallel lives, both loving and losing someone. Ezra’s experiences are so much worse than Sean’s and it’s that which calls to Sean and shows him what a huge mistake he has made. The paranormal aspects are handled well and I liked that Ezra was no ghostly apparition, but warm – flesh and blood, but also not quite alive either.
Ezra’s story is told though the eyes of Sean as he sees visions of the past. This happens as the men become intimate and at first I wasn’t sure how well this would work. It seemed odd to mix a sex scene with visions of the past but in the end it did work for me as it allowed a greater emotional intimacy to develop between Sean and Ezra. Neither man is what the other wants, but their shared grief and loss of what could have been draws them together. The visions allow the reader to see exactly what Ezra has lost, and what he hopes to gain.
Overall, I found this story to be a deftly written story of love, loss and second chances. It may have been mostly centred around a sex scene, but it was in no way crass as the sex is more about comfort and hope than lust. I enjoyed it a great deal and will be sure to look out for other offerings by this author.