Life and Love Beyond the WINTER ORANGES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for WINTER ORANGES, a paranormal M/M Christmas romance from Marie Sexton. This is a tender romance between a “washed up” child star and the time-trapped man who “haunts” his guesthouse. Check out the cover below, and get a hint for the paranormal aspect which is handled amazingly!

It’s really such a lovely story, and has a great feel-good vibe to it. I highly recommend.

Please note that twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Winter OrangesAbout the book:
Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

My Review:
This is a beautiful, Christmas, paranormal M/M romance.

Jason is a Hollywood-has-been, a former child star who’s become a B-list actor in slasher flicks, and he’s plain tired of it. The tabloids have been hounding him for years, capturing and exaggerating every foible of his life, so Jason’s moved out to rural Idaho to escape and regroup. He’s got one close friend (with benefits) Dylan, who Jason has secretly loved for the better part of ten years. Dylan’s bisexual, and not the monogamous type. He gives Jason what he can, which is never enough.

While moving in, Jason observes a stranger in his guest house. Believing it’s paparazzi, Jason calls the local sheriff, but no one is found. It is then that Jason realizes that he is the only person who can see the man looking back at him through the guest house window. A ghost then?

Not so much.

Ben, as Jason soon learns, was trapped in a snow globe by his sister, to avoid enlistment into the Confederate Army. Yup. Ben is 170 years old, and has spent 150 years trapped in the barren landscape of the scene in the globe. Jason is the first person he has spoken to since the Union deserter stole him from his family home in Tennessee.

This is a paranormal romance, and one must make some leaps of faith to love this story, but only in the scientific realm. The emotional landscape is richly textured, and the realities of Ben and Jason’s growing affection are well-sorted by the author. Over the course of two months, Jason and Ben become very close indeed, and it leads to big trouble.

Dylan is afraid that Jason’s losing his mind, and at times Jason agrees. One thing is for certain, Jason cannot imagine his life without Ben–and he doesn’t want to. Experimenting with their boundaries leads to health problems for Jason, however.

I will admit to sensing the exact path this story was going to take, and that’s totally fine because the journey was excellent. I didn’t want to miss a step, walking beside Ben and Jason on their snowy treks or movie theater escapades or dreamscapes. These are two guys who needed real love, true acceptance, and they gave and gave and gave of themselves–to each other. Jason could have easily thrown Dylan off his suspicions by simply giving in to his normal relations with Dylan, but once he had developed intimacy with Ben, he couldn’t accept Dylan’s less-than-ardent advances.

Throughout the book I has a sense of expectation, for both disaster and happiness, and both were satisfied. The climax is a bit of a thriller, and the epilogue made me chuckle. I wanted a little bit more sexytimes, but, hey, the book has tons of emotional moments, so my heart soared and plummeted along with Jason’s. I wished I had the chance to know Ben’s sister Sarah. She seems like a fantastic gal.

In all, this is a most enjoyable paranormal read, with a great small cast and a love that defied all boundaries.

Interested? You can find WINTER ORANGES on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

Marie SextonAbout the Author:
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Visit Marie’s website, follow her on twitter, friend her on Facebook, or join her for Coffee and Porn in the Morning.

Thanks for popping in my friends, and keep reading!

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