Genre: Romance, Paranormal
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Reviewer: Aethena, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
One: Granville’s Folly, a ramshackle, hundred-and-fifty-year-old Victorian house high in the Rocky Mountains.
Two: Two men. Kieran, the owner of the Folly who plans to restore it, and Layne, who first saw the Folly when he was thirteen and has returned twenty years later to find out if it’s still standing.
Three: Three ghosts. Granpa K, who built the Folly with his brother, Thom, and Thom’s wife, Lizabeth — with the help of freemen Granpa K released from slavery.
Mix all these elements together and what could go wrong? Nothing, if you don’t count the fact that Kieran doesn’t want Layne, a professional photographer, to do a story about the restoration. Or that Lizabeth is bound and determined to play matchmaker for the two humans.
This isn’t your typical haunted house story. The ghosts in this book are more interested in matchmaking than they are in scaring people. That doesn’t mean they won’t cause trouble for anyone who ventures near the old Victorian house hidden in the woods.
Having grown up in the woods near old ghost towns, I appreciated the setting of this story. A haunted Victorian house in the woods is an interesting backdrop for a slow-burn romance. The idea of two lonely people finding a connection with one another in this setting makes for a story worth exploring.
Kieran and Lane make an interesting match. They both seem a bit reserved, but they are also personable when they are approached. They are from different backgrounds, but the rundown Victorian house connects them. Lane’s discovery of the old house when he was a child visiting his grandparents was an inspiration for his career choice.
Traveling back to that house years later, he finds something, or rather someone else, who catches his interest in more than just architecture. I found myself a bit conflicted about Lane’s career path. I wanted to cheer him on for picking a career that matched his interests, but I wanted to yell at him for letting that career interfere with a possible romance.
The book reflects both Kieran and Lane’s perspectives and shows the motivation behind their choices. Kieran’s motivation for rebuilding was explored a little, but I would like to know more about his personal reasons for choosing to live so isolated from other people. The choices both Kieran and Lane make don’t change the growing connection between them, which fuels a persistent tension throughout the story.
The straightforward language and tone of the story make for an easy read. The character interactions are sweet with a dash of spice, and the ghosts add some interesting history to the story. This is an excellent choice for a low-angst slow-burn romance in which the characters take their time getting to know one another, and the lack of internet may be scarier than the ghosts.
Aethena lives in the Pacific Northwest and vacations in the desert as often as possible. She is allergic to garlic, sleeps during the day whenever possible, and breaks out in an allergic rash when exposed to excessive sunlight. She has a degree in engineering, works at a comic book store, and goes for long bike rides at night during the full moon because of the sun allergy. Aethena was forced to switch to mostly e-books and audio books when the last floor to ceiling bookcase started to overflow. She is on her fifth e-reader, and is contemplating using her engineering degree to design an e-reader that can withstand her capacity for destruction.
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