Maryam reviews Ghosts of Winter by Rebecca S. Buck

Full disclosure: I did not read anything about Ghosts of Winter before I downloaded it for review. I was coming down off a marathon of Japanese horror comics and the second season of The X-Files when Danika’s suggestion hit my inbox. Ghosts? In winter? Sign me up!

Unfortunately for me, there are no actual ghosts in Ghosts of Winter; the tale is that of Ros, a young history teacher who has broken up with her long-term girlfriend and her teaching career in the wake of her mother’s death. However, a family friend from Ros’s childhood has bequeathed Ros a dilapidated manor in her will, stipulating that Ros restore it as a condition of acceptance. Of course, one woman cannot restore an entire crumbling 18th century manor house by herself – enter Anna, the sexy architect who will help Ros rebuild Winter Manor AND her broken heart!

I have to admit I am not familiar with romance novels at all. I am wondering, then, if a standard romance novel is as – dare I say it – plotless as Ghosts of Winter. Most of the action revolves around the interaction between Ros and Anna – which is not to say that their budding relationship is unimportant; it is just not as interesting against this sort of mundane backdrop of fixing up an old house. There are occasional passages that reveal the hidden passions of the previous inhabitants of Winter Manor, and I wished that the author had given us more of these flashbacks. When I read the first of them, I was hoping for there to be two stories that would eventually merge, but they are just tiny glimpses that do not relate directly to Ros and Anna’s storyline – and frankly, the lives of Winter Manor’s previous inhabitants are much more captivating. They are chapter-long peeks into the secrecy and danger of same-sex romance, and there is far more potential in these stories.

That being said, the sex scenes are well-written and hot, and the author does know her perfumes – can a girl even buy a bottle of Tabac Blond, these days? If romance and house renovation are your idea of a good time, I’d say give Ghosts of Winter a try – but I hope that future efforts by Ms. Buck will be a little more captivating.