elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Gay Contemporary Romance (3° place): These Haunted Heights by Ally Blue

I feel somehow near to the main character of this novel, Ron, a young photojournalist from New York City, me, like him, when I’m around travelling have always my camera with me, because you never know when the best shot of your life is awaiting you.

Ron is young, pretty and without troubles in his life; when Terrence, his boyfriend for the last few months dumps him right at the beginning of a vacation leave, Ron takes it from the right perspective: now he has time to explore the landscape around his aunt’s vacation home without being bothered by obligations. He is not at all angry with Terrence, on the contrary, they part ways in an amicable way. As soon as Terrence is out of the picture, Ron plans to turn the vacation into a photojournalism spread and starts to explore on foot the area, and he meets Drew, his handsome, and gay, neighbour.

Drew is not exactly in the closet, it’s only that, having lost his partner 20 years ago, and being more or less an hermit after that, very few people remember the young man who came back from England with a male lover in tow. Now he is scared to love again, above all since he feels guilty for the suicide of William. And to complicate things, William’s ghost apparently is haunting the house where Ron is living, so that it’s even more difficult to Drew to pass over the fact that, while William is dead, Drew is alive, and very much interested in young and pretty Ron.

I was expecting for this novel to be more on the paranormal/horror side, and instead it’s very much focused on the romance between Drew and Ron and the paranormal element that is the ghost is only an additional feature, but not really part of the pathos, so that, when that part will be more or less resolved, it will not really influence what is the evolution of the relationship between Drew and Ron. Sure this is not a “pretty” romance, not like some other books by Ally Blue, it’s actually more on her original production, novel with a medium-high level of angst, but that still maintain their nature of being romances.

I liked the setting, a sleepy coastal small town; it’s not, like in some other gay romances, an utopian place where homophobic attitude is banned, but it’s not even some hell hole where people is scared to go out at night. It’s probably the reality of a lot of places, and for that reason it felt good.


Amazon: These Haunted Heights
Amazon Kindle: These Haunted Heights
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608201848
ISBN-13: 978-1608201846

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: ally blue, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: ghosts

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