Title ~ A Subtle Breeze (Book 1 Southern Spirits Series)
Author ~ Bailey Bradford
Publisher ~ Pride Publishing
Published ~ 31st August 2015
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance
Ezekiel Matthers and Brendon Shanahan are about to find out that sometimes all it takes is a subtle breeze to shift the winds of fate.
Ezekiel Matthers is a reclusive man, forcing himself into the exile of his ranch after a violent assault left him wounded. While the scars on the outside have faded, the damage inside is much harder to conquer. Zeke resigns himself to a solitary existence, aside from his sister Enessa and, of course, his mama's occasional visits.
Brendon Shanahan has a very meddling cousin, Gloria, who is best buds with Enessa Matthers. When the two women convince Brendon that he should hook-up with the reclusive Zeke, a plan is hatched that sets a series of events into motion - with potentially deadly consequences.
Can Ezekiel conquer his fears and accept what Brendon is offering? Or will Brendon walk away, giving up on the love he has waited for? And will the visits from Zeke's mama - deceased for four years now - help the two men find their way to each other?
Only time will tell, and that may be the one thing the lovers don't have, because someone is out to destroy everything Zeke and Brendon hold dear - and this time, the bad guy just might succeed.
Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a stand alone.
Publisher's Note: This book has previously been published under the same title. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.
The author tells us, in this opening book of the series, that she grew up with certain ideas about death, and that this series stemmed from those beliefs, in part. That intrigued more than the blurb to be honest and I was keen to see how one of my favorite authors handled such a sensitive topic.
Ezekiel, known as Zeke still loves his mother even though she has been dead for four years. There are times when he can still smell her perfume in the air and his lonely existence is eased sometimes just by thinking about the supportive woman.
When he is coerced into meeting Brandon, who is a friend of a cousin Zeke has no way of knowing that Brandon had already seen his picture and knew a fair bit of Zeke's story. Brandon wasn't afraid to admit he was half in lust with the man and they hadn't even met. Brandon has just finished his geology degree and is taking some time off from his studies to have a bit of a life.
This is a stereotypical small town story and the fact that Zeke already has both internal and external scars because of his sexual orientation is a huge problem, not because Brandon is put off by them, but because of Zeke's fear of what could happen to Brandon. Zeke has panic attacks and a very good reason to feel the fear he is consumed with, but Brandon wants Zeke badly enough to try and push through Zeke's concerns.
"This is the truth, babe..."
Zeke's mother was an interesting part of the story, and no, I can't explain any more than that without giving away a good part of the story. I liked it though and found it a unique twist on the idea that love can transcend even death. It is something I have always personally believed, and it was nice to see a similar theme in this book.
Zeke's issues with Eva were so sad - no one should be filled with so much hate. My heart ached with how good Zeke could be about the whole thing and how hard he tried to do the right thing. But then he comes through as a lovely soul from page one, as does Brandon.
This is a truly lovely book - it's not all rainbows and unicorns, because life isn't like that. But the love that flourished between Brandon and Zeke was solid from day one and no matter what anybody else had to say, it stayed that way. I know for a fact that there are at least six more books in this story with different couples, and I hope you keep an eye out for my reviews on them as they come up - because if they are anything like this story then I am heading on a reading marathon.
Favorite Line: Laws are laws regardless of who is breaking them.
Currently available free at Pride Publishing.
Southern Spirits Series
Book One : A Subtle Breeze
Book Two : When The Dead Speak
Book Three : All Of The Voices
Book Four : Wait Until Dawn
Book Five : Aftermath
Release date - 15th September 2015
Book Six : What Remains
Release Date – 15th September 2015
Book Seven : Ascension
Release Date – 22nd September 2015
Book Eight : Whirlwind
Release Date – 29nd September 2015