Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Subtle Breeze

Title: A Subtle Breeze
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-0-85715-154-4
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymphs

Surviving a vicious attack in his hometown has turned Ezekiel Matthers into a recluse, leaving the rancher emotionally wounded and physically scarred. He may look healed on the outside but in reality, he’s far from recovered from the assault. He suffers from periodic near-debilitating panic attacks and refuses to go into town, aside from visiting his mother’s grave. In the small town world in which he inhabits, he’s resigned himself to living his life alone.

Help comes in the form of two meddling woman--Zeke’s sister, Enessa and her best friend Gloria, when they cook up a scheme to hook up Gloria’s handsome cousin, Brendon with the increasingly lonely Zeke. Brendon doesn’t mind the interfering—far from it, but the question is whether Zeke can overcome his fears and accept the love and hope that’s being offered.

Can the occasional visit by Zeke’s deceased mother help the men find their way to each other? It’s a matter of time will tell, but time isn’t on the lover’s side. Someone in town hates Zeke with every fiber of their being and they’re not above trying to kill the men to get rid of them.

A Subtle Breeze is the first release in the new series, Southern Spirits, by Bailey Bradford and my first introduction to this author. It’s a sweet love story with a paranormal twist I didn’t expect-the ghost of Zeke’s mother making intermittent appearances-the scent of her subtle perfume on the air during times of stress and unhappiness. She gives a few physical nudges too!! The inclusion of the mother’s spirit was a nice touch but it is a plot device that never overshadows the romance of Zeke and Brendon. It just helps it along.

The author does a nice job describing Zeke’s unsettled emotions and how it affects his life years after his assault. I thoroughly enjoyed the first meeting between Zeke and Brendon-their attraction was fiery hot and instantaneous and when Enessa and Gloria left so the men could be alone, I couldn’t help but laugh. Considering how much he mistrusted strangers, Zeke’s ready acceptance of Brendon into his bed and life seemed a little fast, but it was handled believably, nonetheless. And maybe the whole point is that on several occasions, it was pretty obvious Mama’s spirit approved of Brendon for her son.

I loved the inclusion of Enessa and Gloria, as they helped round out the story by providing important family background, support and love. Their other two sisters the readers didn’t get much information about until the end and even that was limited. I would have liked to know more. The other character that was a great addition to the story was Sheriff Laine Stenley, who is the focus of the next release When the Dead Speak.

There’s some stuff that goes on near the end of the story that ramps up the tension and danger of Brendon and Zeke (and no, I’m not divulging what it is); just know that the actions of the villain of the piece becomes more obvious and like most villains, gets their just desserts in the end. Read this and enjoy.

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