I honestly don't know what to write here. The book was recommended to me as an m/m fantasy, but it is so much more ...and less. Let me explain some of the tags I used or came close to using:
- cheating: mentioned, implied but never really shown.
- non-con: described briefly yet efficiently (a couple of paragraphs), without much feelz. Occasional quickie of a reference occurs throughout the book.
- abuse; violence; pity fest: everyone, save for the very few lucky souls have endured some kind of abuse or horrendous trauma in their lives *sniffles*
- mystery-suspense: there is a question of murder in a certain family. There are witnesses who saw things in progress and then arrived at conclusions without seeing the whole picture or having a shred of proof.
- paranormal: I still say it's all in Marc's head. He feels "presence" and sometimes someone speaks to him in his head. That's it. Then there is a matter of curse, but could have just been a coincidence.
- historical: a good chunk of the story happens in the early 20th century. That's where true feelings, love and passion lie, not in the contemporary part of the story.
- m/f: the historical part of the story is, in fact, a love triangle and a very straight triangle at that ...O.o Unfortunately, I do not have an m/f tag here.
- contemporary; location New England: two words (a word and a letter, actually) P.Town. P.Town. and I am going to say it again: P-town, with all its businesses, parks, monuments, piers, beaches and hangouts. Charming :D
- profession - arts: lots of maintenance guys, caretakers, gardeners and maids, suppressing their writing, performing/singing, painting talents due to the prior abuse of some sort.
- romance: Marc and Cole are a mystery to me. Their romance is almost non-existent. They work together, taking care of Lola and her property. They are attracted to each other, but don't do much about it, until one day, right out of the blue, they suddenly "make love". No chemistry, nothing. Just like that.
- m/m: The first m/m hanky-panky ...sorry, sorry, "making love" happens at exactly 60% mark. That's about it :| No romance, no dating, no sex, not even attempts at getting each other off, just two horny 20-smth guys "make love" first time in bed together. Right.
Closer to the end Helena finds her/his dream man in Butch, who speaks maybe five-six sentences in the whole entire book.
To me it was more of M/F than M/M, what with all the historical drama in the Captain's journals.
On the whole - charming read. Not too many feelz in the present, but the Captain compensates in his journals.
As much as I loved the characters and the story, it fell short somehow. 3.5 stars and I am rounding up to 4 for the location.
I would recommend this book as a good historical mystery-suspense with the modern day gay character acting as Sherlock.