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10.08.2013

Review: Northern Light by Ellen Russell

Northern Light by E.J. Russell
Romance, Mystery, LGBT, Ghosts
Ebook $1.99 (140 pages, ENTANGLED EVER AFTER)
Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.
Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery -- he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.
But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.

Author Site: website

An atmospheric delight! (5 stars)

A starving artist quite literally haunted by the past. His art fraud investigator former lover. A remote cabin in Oregon cast in the lingering darkness of another artist's secrets. It's short and moody and a sapid delight to those looking for something special.

This time of year I clamor for fiction featuring monsters and spooky themes—okay, I do that all year but much more so in the days leading up to Halloween. The release of a half dozen such tales from Entangled Publishing's Ever After imprint had me first in line waving both hands eagerly. I couldn't even narrow it down to a few, I begged for all six and while I enjoyed them all, NORTHERN LIGHT was my favorite. I suppose it says something that I have read very few LGBT romances, though I have no special reason other than that it's not often I am offered one. But NORTHERN LIGHT is the second from this publisher that has me thinking I need to be more active in seeking them.

There's a certain elegant and somewhat other-worldliness to Stefan and Luke that makes them exciting. I love a good re-kindling of romance between ex-lovers that's very danger driven and Russell makes an enchanting turn of it. The foreboding presence and the hurts of the past make for plenty of conflict and drama but also make you really want to see Luke and Stefan overcome. Sexy but not steamy, brooding but not somber, NORTHERN LIGHT is exactly the kind of read I want on a dark, rainy October night as I huddle with a cup of tea. I loved it and very much want to read many, many more stories from E.J. Russell!

I'd very much recommend to readers who love a moody, mysterious ghost story and even as a toe-dip story for readers like myself who haven't fully plunged into the LGBT romance shelves.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

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