Review: Indra Vaughn – The Winter Spirit

Author: Indra Vaughn
Publisher:Self Publish
Genre:M/M Contemporary
ISBN: 9781626227491

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary: Nathaniel O’Donnelly likes his life quiet, his guests happy, and his ghosts well-behaved.

Although a boyfriend wouldn’t go amiss. Someone to share his beautiful B&B with, even if it is in the middle of nowhere and he’s long past the wrong side of thirty. Problem is, Nathaniel’s living with a ghost who thinks he’s cupid, and whose arrows fly a little too straight.

Gabriel Wickfield had the unfortunate luck of dying before his time, and now he’s stuck trying to make romance happen to earn his right to move along. Not that he’s bored in the meantime–Nathaniel is just too easy to tease. And also a little bit scrumptious…

With the curse reaching its expiration date, Gabriel needs to make a final match this Christmas. Without it, nothing but darkness awaits.

Love can conquer all, but can it beat death?
Nathaniel O’Donnelly runs his own B&B with help from his longtime friend and employee, Elisa Brown, and some hindrance from his longtime resident ghost, Gabriel Wickfield.

It’s Christmas season and Nathaniel has two guests staying through the holiday and another on the way—his first boyfriend and childhood best friend, Owen Ashurst. Nathaniel’s not looking to rekindle any flames or anything, at least not much. He’s a bit overweight and self-conscious about it, and he’s over thirty, still single, and hasn’t even had many opportunities for hookups, so he’s willing to see if there are sparks there when Owen arrives. Unfortunately for him, his matchmaking resident ghost does not like Owen and manages to interfere with Nathaniel’s plans, until he finds out that Owen is not divorced after all, and in fact, may still want to reconcile with his wife.

Owen leaves and Gabriel, who makes appearances in mirrors throughout the house, confesses to Nathaniel that he didn’t like Owen anyway, but he’s not happy that he lost a chance for the matchmaking he’s required to do. He explains that he’s supposed to get two people together in true love and so far hasn’t been successful. If he fails, his time in this in-between realm he lives in will be over on the 100th anniversary of his death which happens to be December 26th this year.

As the holiday grows nearer, Gabriel is able to manifest outside of the mirrors for brief periods of time, each day growing more real, until he’s a solid, warm, gorgeous man two days before Christmas, and he and Nathaniel realize that there’s more between them than friendly banter through mirrors. As unlikely as it seems, Nathaniel has fallen in love with a ghost, and the ghost returns his feelings. But tragedy strikes and their brief moment of pseudo-reality is short-lived, leaving Nathaniel facing a lonely holiday and a broken heart. (Sigh. I cried throughout this whole segment.)

This is only my second book by this author, having read the first only a week ago, but I am definitely committed to reading more of her work. Her characters are well-developed and engaging, her storyline unique and enchanting, and she manages to take me to the moon with happiness then dump me to the ground in despair. But she succeeds in helping me see the potential for a beautiful future for her characters. The only thing I didn’t like about the story was the brevity of the epilogue. I had a few questions that were left unanswered, questions which my very practical mind raised. However, the live-in-a-fantasy-world section of my brain was fine with the epilogue since the story ultimately finished with a happily-ever-after.

If you like paranormal romances, this one is for you. It would be a great stocking stuffer as well since it is set around the holiday season. Just don’t forget to gift yourself while you’re gifting others with this wonderful story.



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