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Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.
There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.
But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.
You know what I love about the holidays? They’re magical! And despite the grouchiness with crowds and commercialism and expectations, they still manage to turn into something wonderful.
It’s kinda what makes Winter Oranges the perfect holiday read.
You see, there’s this jaded, outed, stalked, and disillusioned actor named Jason…who runs away to an old house in a small town and tries to hide. He’d rather choose a life alone than to be anywhere near the spotlight. Jason is a conundrum. He’s not the most likable character…until he is…when it counts.
Enter Benjamin. Jason sees Benjamin in the apartment above his garage and it’s clear, there’s something not quite right about him. He sees his lips moving, he knows he can be heard, and he can interact with Jason…but he can’t talk aloud and he can’t leave the room. And he looks a bit like a ghost…from the past.
There’s something…beautiful going on there. Ben is a delight! He’s filled with wonder and joy, he appreciates every moment and experiences things with such passion. Especially considering he’s been stuck in a snow globe and it’s restraints for over 100 years! And therein lies the problem.
Jason and Ben grow in attraction, affection, and love. I ate up this development. I loved their simple times together. I loved the purity they had to offer each other…companionship, connection…it was beautiful. And remember jaded Jason? Well, he begins to turn into a man devoted to seeing Ben happy. And that shift in his character was endearing to me.
Now, we hit some angst in the story. And I was riveted. I was always afraid of Jason getting caught and seen as crazy because of Ben’s “predicament” / “limitations”. And I was terrified of either of them getting hurt as they visited each other’s worlds. But most of all…I was so worried about Dylan, Jason’s friends-with-benefits. I wasn’t sure if I could trust him. I wasn’t sure what he’d do to Jason or Ben when he found out! This was all very traumatizing for me because…well…I already came to love them and their sheltered small world.
So no self-respecting holiday story ends without an over the top HEA, and this one is as OVER. THE. TOP as you get…and it was BLISSFUL! I loved how this story worked itself out. Suspend belief? OF COURSE! The guy’s stuck in a snow globe, after all! But, it was so worth it.
By the end, my heart was full…and despite being listed as 325 pages, I did not want this book to end.
Highly recommended for even the scroogiest of scrooges…