Author: Shira Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Kenneth Obi
The truth might ruin his dreams—or make them come true.
When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.
Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.
Zane and his twin sister have inherited an old gothic brownstone from an uncle, and though they initially think to sell it, Zane feels compelled to keep it, so he packs his belongings and heads out to see it in person. As it turns out, that’s the right decision as the house is the façade given to the Gate – the entry to the spirit world and Zane is its Keeper.
Kit is the Guardian and poses initially as the caretaker. Unfortunately, he never really explains everything to Zane—including his own attraction and the need to bind with the Keeper to complete the protection of the Gate.
That’s about as clear and concise and simple as I can make this. It’s very difficult to follow world-building when listening to an audiobook and even more difficult to go into detail in a review. At least with an e-book one can go back over the confusing pages. Trying to do that with an audiobook generally confuses me further.
In this case, the narrator didn’t add enough performance to the telling of the story to keep everything interesting and clear. The voices were different, but not so different that it was always evident who was speaking. There were also several points of character confusion. I’m not sure if the narrator mistakenly read the wrong name, or if the wrong name was present in the e-book, but there were at least two instances where, for example, Zane was speaking and instead of referring to the other character as Kit, he called him Zane.
As the story progressed, it was also difficult to get past all the self-sacrificing from Kit, who refused to tell Zane about his role as the Keeper and all the entanglements that would occur due to the responsibility of holding up that role. Though only about six hours long, I honestly couldn’t wait to get to the end of the audiobook so I could find out if Kit suddenly got his act together. Very frustrating, to be sure. And the answer is yes, he did. And as it turned out, Zane was more than a Keeper, but I won’t give away what they found out.
The story was good but I would recommend it in e-book format so that readers can take the time to process the world-building as it’s presented. I generally enjoy this author’s work so I do recommend this story because I think the story itself is likely better than my perception from listening to the audiobook. So if you are like some spirit world with your MM romance, try this one.