Architect Elliot Graham has bought and restored dozens of historic homes to their original splendor. As in his personal life, he loves them and leaves them, selling them off without looking back. But there’s something about the old plantation house he finds in South Carolina—a connection he can’t explain. He feels as though he recognizes the house, as if within its crumbling walls he might find something he doesn’t even realize he’s lost.
Ben Myers had promised his lover and soul mate, Patrick, that he would wait for his return. Ben has kept his word ever since Patrick left him to wait at the plantation house—during the Civil War. For the first time in many long years, Ben is no longer alone, and he reaches out to Elliot in dreams. Elliot tries to convince Ben that Patrick isn’t coming back, and Ben’s devotion is about to change not only his lonely existence, but Elliot’s life as well.
This story was wonderful. I loved how Elliot and Ben find each other and they fall in love despite the odds against them. I adored the way Ms. Stein wrote the flashbacks and memories. The technical aspect of how she wrote it helped let you know which soul was driving the scene. The emotions between Patrick and Ben from the past are so clear. You can tell they love each other deeply and completely. But you can also feel their trepidation due to the time they live in. Elliot’s feelings for Daniel, yet the even stronger ones for Ben are so clear in the story. You feel them with Elliot.
Elliot was someone I connected with immediately. You could tell he had already lived a full life despite being in his early forties. He was happy and he enjoyed his job. But you could see him blossom as he worked in the plantation house. He gained a level of confidence and contentment that was missing. I did think he was a bit thick when figuring out Patrick. But I also probably wouldn’t jump there either given the evidence. I felt bad for him and his medical problems. However things worked out the way they were supposed to in the end.
Ben was so sweet. He had such a sense of humor and distinct personality you couldn’t help but adore him. His love for Patrick came shining through the story. I adored how he reacted to others. His interactions with Elliot’s friends added some levity as things got intense in the story. I liked how Ben was able to show himself in Elliot’s dreams. Having those times the two could truly connected really made me see their romance more clearly.
I want to caution those readers that don’t like when one of the characters has sex with someone that isn’t part of the end couple. That happens in this story though the circumstances make sense for how it happens. It’s most definitely not cheating as it happens before Elliot and Ben get together and figure out how their relationship will work. But if that’s a hard no for you, then this book isn’t for you.
I adored the ending. It made me a little sad how it all went down. But it’s exactly how things are supposed to happen for these two. I love knowing they’re going to be together for eternity though. I would love to see Daniel get his own story so he can get his happy ending. He deserves to find love and happiness too. While part of me wants there to be a way to include a catch up with Ben and Elliot in it too, I know that’s not possible and that’s ok. Their happily ever after here is truly full and complete.
Four and a half
Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.
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