Dana and Wendy review My Past, Your Future (Deerbourne Inn) by Gabbi Grey (Released on audio April 26, 2021. Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo. 4 hrs and 4 mins in length. Ebook published by The Wild Rose Press, Inc, February 24, 2020, 108 pages.)
Callum MacLaren, a professor from Scotland, visits Willow Springs, Vermont, during winter solstice to study and explore the rich history of St. Joseph’s Cemetery. His encounter with a sexy soldier in a tattered Civil War uniform is a captivating puzzle, and the more he learns, the deeper his attraction.
A hundred and fifty years ago, Elijah Freeman was killed during the Second Battle of Fort Wagner and woke up in Willow Springs, the only home he’d known. Alone, he roams the town, unable to leave or interact with a single soul until an intriguing Scot addresses him. Even stranger, the man can see him, hear him, and touch him – a sizzling caress that leaves Elijah aching for more. But will Elijah return to his ghostly form when the magic of the solstice fades, or is Callum’s love enough to keep him in the land of the living?
I’m going to start my review with the narration. I can’t do a Scottish accent. I LOVE reading a Scottish brogue and I ADORE hearing it in real life but, I can’t speak it and I can’t say it in my head either. Just, nope. I’m passable with a Southern accent (in my head anyhow) but someone from the south and Michael, would probably laugh until they peed if they heard me speak it out loud. I read the book when it first came out and you can read my review HERE Now I usually can hear a voice as I’m reading and I did when I read the ebook but the characters had little to no accent and that left me feeling kind of flat. So, listening to Michael Ferraiuolo was pure joy and exactly what I wanted in the characters voices bringing a touch of authenticity to the story for me.
On to the author and her work…
I could tell right away that there was a ton of research done and it made this story a realistic blend of fact and fiction. I love when a story is written so well that I have a hard time telling the difference and this book is a perfect example.
I fell in love with the characters all over again while listening to this version. Elijah, man, did my heart break for him. Thinking of how hard it must have been to be gay in the 1800’s… wow. It totally made sense that he had some different thoughts and reactions than someone would today. Also brought home a bit of how while some things change, some things always stay the same and some things change at a snails pace. What a joy to see him bloom in an equal relationship with Callum.
Callum was a rock. A super sweet, loveable rock. Being a historian made it easier to relate to Elijah and to help him transition back into the living so to speak. Even though Elijah has seen the passage of time and has kept up with things in a manner, he had to experience some things for the first time and I felt like I was right there with him. It was a little bit of magic and there had to be some magic and love and trust for these two men to find their HEA.
10/10 Pots of Gold or 100% recommended
I have been wanting to read this author for a while but time for reading books has been short, so I was so excited to see an audiobook by Gabbi Grey become available. It didn’t hurt that it was narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Michael Ferraiuolo. I would usually wait until the end of the review to talk about narration, but since I have already mentioned it, I am gonna go ahead and discuss it now. The narrator’s Scottish accent for Callum was superb, downright dreamy, really. He out-narrated my expectations and only made me like him more.
On to the story. From the blurb, I kind of thought that the ghost of Elijah appeared around the same time as Callum came to the town of Willow Springs. It is not the case though as he has been haunting the town, especially the cemetery since shortly after his death 150 years before. He has watched people come and go and never been able to communicate or interact with the world around him. For a few reasons, Elijah has thought himself unworthy of heaven and doomed to just be. It is a very sad existence and I definitely felt bad for him. Callum is visiting the states from Scotland, researching the history of Willow Springs. Older (in terms of the age Elijah was when he died) and larger than Elijah, he comes to feel protective of the ghost.
Though calling Elijah a ghost becomes more difficult as the story goes on. From being seen for the very first time, to finding himself unable to walk through walls anymore, Elijah is becoming more corporeal. He can finally experience the touch and pleasure he hasn’t since he was fell for a fellow soldier in the Civil War. Though the story takes place fully in the present day, there is a lot of discussion of the time Elijah came from. I can tell the author did a lot of research to make the story more real, and I definitely appreciate that.
There isn’t a lot of explanation of why Elijah is becoming more solid, though the story takes place during the winter solstice. Is it the magic of the time? Did fate or God give Elijah the second chance in a world where he could find his second chance at love? I don’t have any answers, but maybe there doesn’t need to be. Bottom line, this is a sweet story of an interracial couple who found magic, love, and a happy ending.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Gabbi lives surrounded by trees, racoons, deer, and other woodland creatures, on a mountain in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin poo keeps her safe from nasty bears.
Working for the government by day, she spends her nights writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances…and while she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love.
Gabbi Loves to hear from her readers. You may contact her here email@example.com