Jared didn’t believe in ghosts or love, until he moved into his new house and found both.
Finding a house that suits him, Jared makes the move to reclaim his independence. However, he doesn’t expect to find himself both attracted to and concerned for the almost-reclusive gardener, Evander.
Jared believes Evander is hiding an eating disorder. But the appearance of old photographs and love letters in the house cause him to wonder about the stoic man. As their friendship becomes more, he wants to help and uncover the secrets he knows Evander is hiding. Each of them are haunted by something, and it’s not the house.
When a ghost from Jared’s past appears, they must fight for their own happiness, even if it means exposing themselves and the truth.
Review: A typical paranormal story will feature werewolves, vampires or witches, or maybe an animal shape shifter of some sort. However, in Haunted by the Past by Pelaam, a completely new character is introduced.
The story itself is relatively short, which left me feeling a little unsatisfied, but the writing was impeccable. It’s clear that both of the main characters have secrets, but the writer skillfully provides just enough information to maintain the reader’s attention.
One of the key factors that will attract my attention is the quality of a book’s cover. This one clearly serves as a draw, highlighting the ethereal looks of both Jared and Evander. The depiction of the house only adds to the potential suspense. Who can resist a haunted house?
While part of the story, the culmination of their mutual attraction doesn’t overshadow the overall theme. While the publisher listed the heat level as a 2, my estimate is that it would register a bit higher on the hotness scale due to the explicit nature of their encounters.
While it may not be the best story I have ever read, it certainly isn’t the worst. All the basic elements are in place, but I would have liked more depth and exploration.
Pelaam lives in clean, green New Zealand. She is a multi-publis
Here’s a short excerpt from Haunted by the Past
A couple of hours later, Jared returned. Hands on hiships, he glared at the thick, muddy mess on his boots. No matter, the hose is right there. I’ll switch on the tap, rinse the worst of the mess off, and carry them into the house to clean properly. Blindly, Jared reached around the corner with one hand as he crouched down to snag a hold of the hose with the other.
With a surprised grunt, he fell back onto his butt. Hishand hadn’t come into contact with cold metal but cool flesh. He stared up at the man who stepped into view. His dark hair was pulled back into a pony tail, and from this angle the manlooked like he towered over six feet.
For someone who worked outdoors, his skin was remarkably fair, and the expanse of pale, smooth skin temporarily robbed Jared of his wits. His eyes seemed determined to focus on either caramel colored nipples or the’v’ lines disappearing into well-worn denim. The man stared down at him, and Jared wondered what kind of impression he was making sitting open-mouthed in a mud puddle.
“I…you startled me.” Great opening line. Real smooth,Jared.
“I was about to clean the equipment. You were out.”
The stranger’s voice was soft, his expression morose, and he tilted his head as if Jared’s appearance was a shock to him too. His eyes were a shade of gray Jared had never seen before, and they reflected concern and intelligence.
“Ah, yes, I did go out, but I wandered off the track, got stuck in mud, and since my boots were covered in the stuff, Idecided to come back. When I saw the hose, I thought I’d rinse them off before going back into the house.”
“Oh. Well. I can wait if you want.”
Jared blinked. That’s it? He isn’t even going to help me?”Um, could you help me up?” Considering he’d spent the best part of the last six months not wanting anyone to look twice at him, he couldn’t understand why it was suddenly so important that this man did.
“I guess so.” The man held out his hand and pulled Jaredupright with an ease his slender frame belied.
Now standing up, the difference in their height diminished rapidly. In fact, they stood almost shoulder to shoulder, the stranger was maybe an inch or so taller than Jared’s modest five foot ten inches. “I’m Jared, the new tenant here. Obviously, you’re the gardener, but I wasn’t told your name.”
“Evander. My name’s Evander.”
Neither man released the hand of the other. Jared wasn’t sure he wanted to be the first to let go, but Evander seemed to realize he still held Jared’s hand and released him. He took a couple of steps back.
“I have other things to do. You can use the hose.”