Saturday, September 19, 2015

ARC Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton

Winter Oranges
Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

Todd’s rating:

I absolutely LOVED "Winter Oranges," which has now become my new all-time favorite book by Marie Sexton.

The book is a bit of a fantasy tale of a young man trapped in a snow globe for a century and a half, so suspending reality in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
At 29, Jason was a former Hollywood child star, currently acting in low-budget B horror movies, but he's sick of chasing after stardom and being hounded by the paparazzi, so he buys a house in a small town in Idaho, where he plans to hide away.

But on his first night in the house, he sees a young man peering out from the window of the apartment above his garage and begins to believe that his new home is haunted.

He soon discovers that his ghost, Ben, is not a ghost at all, but a young man who was trapped in an enchanted globe by his sister, in order to save his life.

No one has been able to see or hear Ben for a hundred and fifty years, so when Jason can do both, Ben was overjoyed and I found that his enthusiasm for quite literally everything was extremely contagious. This was such an amazingly-fun read.

This is such an amazing feel good read and I loved watching Jason and Ben interact and become very close friends, then more.

I adored the slow burn in the story, which could only initially approach a simmer, as Ben was only a projection of his true self inside the globe.
“Thank you.” Ben smiled sweetly, his image flickering. “In case for some reason I don’t see you, I want you to know this has been wonderful. Truly, my best day ever. I’ll never forget it.”
The drama and angst in the book, which was very manageable, came from the frustration that Jason and Ben weren't able to physically touch one another (until they eventually could), concern by Jason's best friend, Dylan, that Jason had gone mental and, lastly, when the paparazzi locate Jason and begin posting online photos of him walking and talking to an apparently-invisible person.

Everything comes to a head when the police and paramedics show up at Jason's home, then Dylan tries to smash the snow globe to break Jason our of his insanity.

But Ben got free of his glass prison and, after a serious medical scare, we do get our much-anticipated happily ever after.

The book had tons of fun, lots of feels and a small bit sexiness, so I'm rating this one at a very strong 4.5 *bring-me-peppermint-for-Christmas* stars.

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