Author ~ Chris Quinton
Publisher ~ Manifold Press
Published ~ 1st February 2016
Genre ~ Paranormal/Fantasy M/M Romance
Jubal, the last Carlyle, lives the full width of the continent away from his Abenaki ancestors until a letter from a lawyer draws him and best friend Sal to the suffering town of Whitewater, Vermont – where dark forces, unleashed by one man’s obsession, bring depression and hopelessness to the people. Jubal’s father was unable to drive back the incursion, but Jubal knows he must try; without knowledge or training he has only instinct to rely on – and Sal, who is rapidly becoming far more than a ‘friend with benefits’. The dangers they face are insidious, and their lives and sanity are at risk – and so much more!
Freya’s Book Brief
The story starts in a strange but grabbing way, with what seems like another voice talking to Jubal, who is actually alone. In reality, Jubal has had an accident (or was it an accident), but the presence of the other voice, that wasn’t his inner conscience, immediately suggests there’s something different about this story.
The otherworldliness aspect is further promoted when through a series of events, and ghostly nagging, Jubal and his best friend (heading for more than best friend) Sal, end up going to the town of Jubal’s heritage. Once there, the place seems weird, even to them. After that, everything intensifies - the plot, the budding relationship, and in Sal’s words ‘the creepy’ stuff.
Carlyles Crossing is an engaging tale. It didn’t give my emotions a huge workout, but I found it easy to follow, entertaining and it had a quiet intensity to it. The story has a subtle charm and believability that took me along on a sweetheart of a ride. The delicate change in the relationship between Jubal and Sal is lovely. It is soft, caring and unwavering. They always seem to work on the same wavelength, with Sal as Jubal’s protector. Though I’ll admit, I got a bit tired of reading the word ’jackass,' even if it was used as a term of endearment, and ‘good point.' The heat rating between the boys was much like their relationship – sweet and agreeable. As for the visitors from beyond; there was enough of the creepy stuff to keep me reading, but not so much that it had me hiding behind the sofa.
I am probably harsh in my review rating of this story because I use a combination of technicality and the emotional response a story invokes in me. And this story didn’t take me on an emotional rollercoaster. Then again, I maybe just a tough old bod to please. If you are the kind of person who likes a little something different that delves into shamans’, ghosts and some community hierarchy then this could well be the story for you.