Sunday, August 7, 2016

Book Review: A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson

Military historian Luke Alcott leaps at the chance to live in the seventeenth-century country mansion of Eelmoor Hall, home of the Royal Military School of Medicine, after being offered a job cataloging the school’s archives. Luke believes he chose the perfect place to start a new life and put his broken past behind him. But soon after settling into the old house, he hears strange noises—like footsteps—and he begins to suffer from terrible nightmares.

The only person Luke can turn to for help is the taciturn caretaker, Jay, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who carries an old battle wound. Together they try to understand Eelmoor Hall’s history and decipher what could be causing the haunting. As the weather grows colder and snow dusts the countryside, a child goes missing. Luke needs to deal with his own demons and learn to trust in love again if he hopes to face down the angry spirit and find the missing girl.

Jewel's rating:

"This isn't a ghost story. This is a love story. It's the story of how I fell in love with you."

A Frost of Cares starts at the end, which is kind of like the beginning, only later. Or something like that. It was kind of an odd way to start a story like this, but it totally worked.

Luke Alcott knows loss. He's been waiting for his boyfriend, Danny, to come home for ten long years. And I don't mean he actually expected it to happen. But he didn't really move forward in his life, either. Luke deserved better than he got from Danny, who was drowning in addictions, but Luke isn't a man who gives up easily.

Jay McBride is a damaged man. But not necessarily in the way he thinks. He lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan, sure, but the damage done was more than superficial and though he has come a long way in dealing with his pain and PTSD, there are parts of him that have yet to begin healing.

Luke says this isn't a ghost story, but I don't agree. It isn't just the story of the ghost haunting Eelmoor Hall, though. No, most of the ghosts are their own pasts. And it is those ghosts that really begin their story together. The manifestation of the ghost of Eelmoor Hall was a perfect metaphor for dealing with the past so they can finally move on.

Both men are well acquainted with pain and loss. They both carry scars - emotional and physical. They are both survivors. And they help each other heal and move on. And they fall in love. So, maybe this is a love story, after all. Yeah, it definitely is that. (But it's also a ghost story.)

What an amazing story Frost of Cares is! Told in the first person, by Luke, it is in turns chilling and hot. And more than a little creepy. Reading this book before bed wasn't the wisest of moves, perhaps, but it was worth it.


A review copy of A Frost of Cares was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Happy reading!
(but keep the light on)

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