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REVIEW: Carillon’s Curse – Sionnach Wintergreen

Carillon's Curse - Sionnach Wintergreen

Genre: Paranormal, Historical, Western, Thriller, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

In 1888 Austin, Texas, a shy medium with clubfoot is visited by the horrific ghosts of murdered children and enlists the help of a surly Texas Ranger to pursue their killer. As the two men hunt the murderer, they find themselves not only in the grip of a taboo love that could—at best—send them to prison, but also in danger of becoming the killer’s next prey.

In the twenty three years of his life, Thomas Carillon has known nothing but unrequited love. People don’t notice him; they only notice his clubfoot. He has given himself up to a solitary existence with only the companionship of his cat and the ghosts who visit him. When a rare child ghost, her massive injuries evident, asks Thomas for help, the only law man that will listen is a hard-bitten Texas Ranger who reawaken’s Thomas’s secret desires. The two grow closer as they chase the killer, but can they hold onto their fragile, budding love in such hard times?

Hadrian Burton thinks Thomas looks like an angel, except for whatever horror he’s hiding in that strange boot. Temporarily leaving life on the range and his complicated past to track down a killer with Thomas, Hadrian finds himself doing something he vowed never to do again—falling in love. Their “congress,” as Thomas calls it, is more intense than he has ever experienced. After a lifetime of virginity, the clubfooted man is going wild, and he doesn’t balk at Hadrian’s unconventional appetites. But they’re too different; Hadrian fears he will only hurt Thomas in the end. And yet, he has never fallen so hard for another man. How can he keep both his and Thomas’s hearts from being broken? And how can he bring the elusive Child Slayer to justice with only the help of a medium and ghosts?

This dark, erotic gay romance contains violence, period homophobia, period racism, period ableism, and graphic sex scenes.

The Review

Carillon’s Curse by Sionnach Wintergreen holds its own in the paranormal genre.  

Thomas Carillon lives a very comfortable life. He inherited his mansion from his father, and the townspeople look down on him for that. But his father was never a carpetbagger, just a very smart businessman. The townspeople also look at Thomas as a freak because of his clubfoot and his claims that he is a medium. He helps ghosts change their appearance, and guides them to cross over to the Great Beyond. Thomas also has a special companion, his cat Gracie.  

Thomas and Gracie are sought out by five year old Rebecca, who has comes to Thomas for help and also tells him of a boy who is in danger. Thomas has no choice but to go to the Sheriff, but Jed and Texas Ranger, Hadrian Burton don’t believe him and, like many in the town, think he’s a freak.

Hadrian Burton tries to be a sly dog and only has thoughts of lust on his mind. He wheedles his way into Thomas’s confidence, but then realizes he’s not going to get what he really wants. As Hadrian learns from Thomas, he decides to stick around and help him.

Hadrian accuses Thomas as being the child slayer, but the tables turn quickly when Thomas comes face to face with the actual killer.

As the only one to ever see the murderer, Thomas’s reputation as a hero in the newspapers starts to grow, putting a target on Thomas’s back that could lead to his death.

Will the townspeople come to see Thomas in a different light? Can he call upon the ghosts to help him in finding the violent revenant? Will Thomas and Hadrian overcome their physical and mental burdens that could slowly destroy their trust and confidence in each other?

Wintergreen addresses the homophobia and bigotry of the era with his characters.  People of color are constantly blamed for killings, no matter what Thomas tells them. If Thomas and Hadrian’s relationship is discovered, it could lead to severe punishment or even death. But they also find others who have relationships that they keep secret.  

I also enjoyed the author’s description of the paranormal events in the book. Although it may seem a little gory, Thomas’s ability as a medium makes the passing over for the spirits into a beautiful journey.

There are many secondary characters here too, mostly ghosts:  Mary, Rebecca, John, Otto and Mukwooru. They come from vatious cultures – Native American, Chinese, and Mexican – and they all bring their own lore to the story.

Carillon’s Curse is fast paced, with humor, suspense, drama, danger, a wide range of emotions and it gets very steamy! Sionnach Wintergreen is a first time author for me – I enjoyed it and was very entertained.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

 

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