Winter Oranges, Marie Sexton
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, GLBTQIA
I was excited to see this one, it sounded intriguing, with the paranormal aspect adding something unusual. Its a fun read, but I’m not really sure how to describe it; sweet, gentle, whimsical all kind of do it, but make it sound so much less than it is, so mundane when its anything but. There’s the romance angle which is very tender and real, but then the fact that for now anyway only Jason can see Ben, and apart from keeping people from thinking he’s drugged up, drunk or needing psychiatric help, there’s the issue of long term. How on earth can they continue when Ben is frozen in time and so limited? Its really sad at times, thinking of how vulnerable Ben has been, how lonely, trapped, how he managed to stay not only sane but such a sweet guy after all those years. Some of the things he tells Jason are really heart-breaking and its a very emotional read, but at times tempered with an edge of humour between the two men.
I’m a sucker for all things magical – I blame Sooty and his magic wand. ( For non UK readers Sooty was a kids TV star hand puppet in the 70’s. with a tap of his magic wand and the memorable words “Izzy Wizzy, lets get busy” the world was his oyster!) I really, really coveted a magic wand and TBH the idea of magic has never quite left me ;- ) So for me it was easy to get lost in this book, in the idea it was possible for Ben to have been trapped in the globe for 150 years.
I loved Ben, he was just so adorable, so fresh and happy. There wasn’t any resentment for his situation, even though he’d wanted to die at times when it had got him down. He keeps having this “this is the best day ever” moment of things that are really so everyday, and its very moving.
Jason is at a kind of crux in his career and personal life, been working in TV and films since a child and now he’s kind of at an assessment of what does he want. What he doesn’t want is the constant draining paparazzi attentions, he finds that so intrusive that he can’t seem to move without appearing in the gossip media, usually with completely fictional stories accompanying the images. He’s been in love with his best friend Dylan for ten years, but he sees him as just a friend with benefits relationship. Dylan cares for Jason but he’s ready to take up with anyone and everyone, and each time it tears at Jason’s heart a bit more. Now he’s decided enough – he’s going to take time out from work and his personal life to see what he wants going forward, and then he meets Ben. That changes everything. I was in love with Jason and Ben, and couldn’t see how their situation could get resolved…there didn’t seem to be an answer. All the sources Jason had tried led to dead ends, and then….major drama and all change!
Stars: Four and a half, its a lovely read, gentle and yet full of emotion, but not quite a five for me.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.
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