Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Whitecott Manor by Emma Jane

whitecott manorTitle ~ Whitecott Manor

Author ~ Emma Jane

Publisher ~ Ninestar Press

Published ~ 11th September 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Paranormal





Alistair Ellis is the proud gardener for beautiful fifteenth-century Whitecott Manor, in England’s West Country. His life changes forever following a gas explosion at the manor, in which his boss—and love of his life—dies. However, his boss hasn’t exactly gone for good and Alistair still finds himself involved in conversations with the deceased.
Circumstances improve when he meets Noah, the handsome dog groomer for the manor’s new owners. Although there are some issues: Noah is already engaged and Alistair suffers from cynophobia—an acute fear of dogs!


Freya’s Review

Alistair is the gardener at Whitecott Manor. Emmett is the owner and Alistair’s lover. After Emmett's death and the sale of the manor, Alistair is in a kind of no man’s land, emotionally and physically. Enter Noah, the dog groomer to the new owners who have some issues of their own.

There seems to be plenty going on in the background to this story, but as it is told in the first person, they are events that happen on the peripheral of Alistair’s life. At the fore are the regular visits Emmett makes to him, Noah, who appears, causes havoc, and disappears again, and Arthur who is a distraction. There are other characters, but they affect Alistair here and there in certain scenes that pop up.

I am familiar with the area south of Bristol and greatly enjoyed the accented dialogue. It made a change from everyone talking with the stiff upper lip often defaulted to in stories. For me, the star of the show was Emmett, the dead scene stealer who popped up in all sorts of places to offer a candid observation or two. Cockblocking wasn’t above him. It was a shame that Alistair’s anguish over Emmett’s death, indeed the death itself, was glossed over as I think this would have added more depth to Alistair’s life after. As it stands, he at first comes over as a man who wants a body to satisfy his physical needs, rather than a person who just lost someone he loved. The initial angst would have given me something emotional to hang onto through the slow burn.

Alistair seems to be a sit on the sidelines kind of guy, who doesn’t get involved unless forced to. This occasionally got annoying, along with Noah’s phrase ‘dead good’. Having said that, I got protective of Alistair when many of the scenes expected him to apologise to others when I honestly didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. Instead, a little understanding from some of the characters would have been nice. For example, Alistair has a phobia about dogs, and those around him were in effect telling him to get over it – easier said than done.

The journey of the story is for Alistair to get over Emmett and find love, with the help of small-town life and drama on the side. Personality wise, Emmett is the one I’d choose to hang out with. But, if you are looking for a story that gives some insight into small-town life with the added touch of some manor house shenanigans, this could be for you.

Purchase Links




Meet Emma Jane 

Emma Jane has been writing stories since primary school, some of which still survive in notebooks in her dad’s attic, and wanted to be an author as soon as she realised it was a possible career choice and ‘Pony’ or ‘Ninja’ weren’t viable options.

Her first short story, Club Freak, about an anonymous woman’s determination to find her husband’s killer, was published by Park Publication’s Debut magazine in May 2009. Since then, she has gone on to write many short stories and poems for various small presses and has achieved an Honourable Mention in the 2011 Writers of the Future competition.

In 2014, writing as Emma Jane, she signed her first publishing contract for not one, but two novels. Otherworld formerly published by Torquere Press, and Shuttered by Dreamspinner Press.


1 comment:

  1. It will be interesting to see if the ghost does any matchmaking!