“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” ― Helen Keller
Before I write the review I have to preface this by telling you all that I usually steer WAY clear of bittersweet titles. I am a total romantic and I want a HEA. If I wanted real life, I would just look at my own. :) I reluctantly accepted this book for review, and once I started reading I couldn’t put the darn thing down until I finished it! Marguerite Labbe is a new to me author and I think she now owns a piece of my heart forever.
The beginning of this book grabbed me by the heart and never let go. We get to meet Andrei Cuza and Dean Marshall at their most romantic. These two men have been best friends since high school and once they finally moved from friends to lovers, they never looked back.
Andrei Cuza was raised in a traditional Romany clan. When he was a small child his older sister died. Very soon after, he and his family realize Andrei has the sight. He can see and interact with ghosts. His clan does not approve of he and his dead sister interacting and when he is caught kissing a boy at fifteen, they have had enough. They basically drop him off at a church and turn their backs on him forever. With the help of a young man that he meets, Dean Marshall, and Dean’s family, Andrei ends up finishing high school and becoming a very successful private investigator.
Dean Marshall is a personal trainer and owner of a successful gym. His father is probably the person most responsible for helping Andrei when he was tossed out of his clan. Dean has loved Andrei since he was a teenager and he knows he will love him until his last breath. Unfortunately, that fact is proven right at the beginning of the book.
On the way home from closing a business deal, Dean stops to help a young mother on the side of the road with a flat tire. Unfortunately for Dean, her crazy ex-husband shows up and kills not only her but he guns down Dean right there on the side of the road. Of course, when Andrei hears about this he starts to lose his mind. Dean is very confused when he wakes up on the side of the road and everyone is ignoring him. It isn’t until a little girl starts to talk to him and explains he is dead that he starts to remember being shot. It turns out this little girl is Andrei’s sister, who died when he was a child. She stayed with Andrei and has now adopted Dean as her new brother also. She helps Dean navigate his new reality and teaches him about the dangers that exist on this side of the afterlife.
The story centers around Dean and Andrei having to let one another go. It isn’t easy for either man, but they also know they don’t have much choice in the matter. Dean wants to hold on long enough to see the children who were kidnapped when he was killed safe, and Andrei wants to know how he can go on without Dean.
Eventually the inevitable happens. Dean prepares to cross over and thanks to Andrei’s abilities, the two men are able to say goodbye, but at what cost to Andrei? The final scene before the epilogue was one of the most touching and romantic scenes I think I have ever read. Dean and Andrei were so in love you could just feel it with every word and smile they shared.
I loved the fact that Dean and Andrei got the chance to say all the things you would always want to say to your partner if you knew they were going to die. They didn’t part with what-ifs or should haves or could haves; they both got true closure. This book was packed with ghosts, action and romance. The three concepts blended so well together the story just flowed, and I didn’t stop until the story was over. This will definitely not be the last book I read by Marguerite Labbe. I am looking forward to exploring her worlds again and again, and I highly recommend you come along with me.
Reviewed by Jackie