Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton #Review

Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton #ReviewWinter Oranges by Marie Sexton

Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Riptide on November 30, 2015
Pages: 325
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
    add to goodreads
five-stars      four-flames

A tale that was tender, sweet, and poignant, of long-time crush and doomed love, and of a man finding himself and a chance at happiness. I was touched by this heartwarming, gently moving story set in the holiday season. The author made me feel the magic and wish for a Christmas miracle.

The story opens when childhood star, teen heart throb, and now B list actor, Jason Walker retreats to his newly purchased home in Idaho to escape the tabloid photographers. He isn’t there long when he discovers something amazing. He shares his home with an enchanted snow globe and the younger man cursed to be trapped by the globe. Jason is the only one who can see and hear Ben who has been trapped for a hundred and fifty years.

Ben and Jason form an unlikely friendship. Ben’s sweet nature soothes Jason’s weary spirit and Jason is eager to do what he can to ease Ben’s imprisonment by giving him new experiences to see. More and more, the two long for the ability to touch. Jason is determined to see Ben freed from the snow globe and is frustrated as there seem to be no answers.

Meanwhile, Jason’s friend, Dylan worries about his long seclusion and his odd secretive behavior. Jason has loved Dylan for years and now that Ben is in the picture, he sees that he wants more. Dylan grows more suspicious as Jason distances himself. Photographers stalk his every move and Jason is now being offered a strong role in a new picture. And Ben seems to be giving up. Jason can only hope for a Christmas miracle to see his way clear and get the happy ending for him and Ben.

As I said, this was a sweet, touching story and set the perfect tone for a holiday reading experience. It’s a little something different and carries a slight bittersweetness to it because of Ben’s entrapment to the snow globe and the limited ability the two men have to connect and want more.

I enjoyed the friends to lovers development even as Jason has to decide if he takes the real world yet limited situation with Dylan or the chance of something more if he can find a way to free Ben. This is not an angsty love triangle though it shares traits with that.

Jason is the main character and the narrator of the story. I enjoyed the depth of his character. He has experienced a lot and is a jaded, weary man by the time he moves to his old, comfortable home to make peace with his circumstances. He both loves and hates acting, he has few friends and only a distant relationship with parents who exploited him for years. It is through Ben’s interest and Ben’s way of seeing life that he learns to cherish what he has and renew his love for his acting craft.

The story is told nearly in isolation with just Jason and Ben and occasionally Dylan and the sheriff around. I liked how the author set a nice tone that kept it interesting and pacing forward. These other characters around Jason are interesting and likeable, but not drawn with as much depth save Ben.

Ben’s past is known and a bit about his present, but he is still a bit of an enigma. However, it worked. The reader learns more about Ben right alongside Jason. Ben seems too good to be true, but then the author reveals his vulnerabilities and his despondence. Ben grows fatalistic as he comes to love Jason. I wanted him to be freed from the snow globe so badly. I wanted these two guys to have a real chance. They were very good for each other.

And by the way, I’ve used words like ‘sweet’ and ‘heartwarming’ and the story is that, but with a little surprising twist and some ingenuity, Jason and Ben figure out how to get up some steamy passion, too. Whew! The guys helped Ben scratch a hundred and fifty year old itch. Loved it!

All in all, I was enchanted with this magical Christmas story. I got teary-eyed and swoony. I would love to see a story about Dylan now. I can heartily recommend this one to those who enjoy spicy-sweet m/m contemporary romance with a dash of magic.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #393 LGBT

About Marie Sexton

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.

The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I’m not generally into sweet and swoony, but hey, you managed to convince me. I’m adding it to my list 😉

    • Haha! Sweet, swoony, and it packs some heat after a little twist. 🙂 Hope you like it, Iza!

  • oh i love how different it sounds, Christmas miracle stories can be heartwarming.

    • Yes, it was neat how she used the Christmas snow globe that kept Ben trapped and Jason took Ben and the globe out to see and do Christmasy things while trying to figure out how to free Ben.

  • This sounds like a great Christmas romance to read. I love those sweet and swoony ones though. So gonna have to add it to my list.

    • It was very magical. I enjoyed the fairy tale feeling to it that was grounded in the real life stuff.

  • I really like that cover! Really glad that the inside is as great as the outside. Great review!

    • I thought the cover was perfect for the story. I imagined Ben would look just like the guy on the cover. It was a tender story.

  • I love christmas stories that really make you feel the magic of christmas. And the plot sounds pretty original and with a touch of real magic in the form of that snow globe. That must be such an unique way for the characters to meet and add something different to their relationship dynamic with how they can’t touch and one of them is in a snow globe. Now I am really curious whether Ben get’s out of that snow globe and how and why. Great review!

    • Exactly! I was dying to know how they were going to make it worked with Ben trapped by the snow globe. It made a nice magical touch to the Christmas story.