Title: The Medium
Author: Bonnie Dee
Length: 197 Pages
Category: Historical, Paranormal
At a Glance: Bonnie Dee is such a consistent deliverer of historical romantic fiction, and The Medium is another strong addition to her body of work.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: To win a heart, he must risk his soul…
Cast out of his family for being a freak, psychic Justin Crump helps others find peace by using his ability. When he’s called upon to release a distressed soul from a haunted house, a child’s angry spirit draws him into a dark mystery. Equally intriguing is the skeptical homeowner, Albert, a man who has buried his sexuality deeper than the grave.
Albert Henderson humors his mother’s wishes by inviting the medium for a visit. While he doubts Justin’s gifts, he can’t deny one truth: the man stirs desire in him that Albert has spent a lifetime denying. Slowly, the walls of his proper life crumble. And when Justin proposes some emotion-free experimentation, neither imagines it might lead to love…and danger.
After learning the terrifying truth about the deceased child’s persecutor, the two men pursue a perpetrator of great evil. When they coax a confession from their quarry, the vengeful spirit unleashes power nearly beyond control. To free the earthbound ghost from the past that holds it shackled, Justin must risk his own soul. And Albert must find the courage to break free of the chains of doubt that will deny him and Justin the future of which they once only dreamed.
Warning: Contains mention of child sexual abuse.
Review: The Victorian Era and the fascination with spiritualism during that time is one of my favorite marriages of setting and premise in paranormal fiction. Seances, the wish to communicate with the dead and the puritanical mores of the time were in opposition, and it was a ripe time for the grifters with a penchant for performance to separate the wealthy from their money.
Bonnie Dee is such a consistent deliverer of historical romantic fiction, and she does so again with her latest novel, The Medium. Eugenia Henderson senses a presence in her home, an overwhelming negative sensation that she wishes professional medium Justin Crump to exorcise and to ease the spirit’s unrest. Her son, Albert, is willing to indulge her—not that she’s seeking his permission at all. I loved her pluck! But he’s also determined to be there to make sure the charlatan spiritualist doesn’t try to bilk Mrs. Henderson for more money.
A good part of the story, of course, hinges on Justin proving to Albert that he isn’t a fake and can indeed communicate with the deceased whose souls are still tethered to the mortal plane. The spirit haunting the former Kingman home is just a boy, a boy who was dealt a heartbreaking ending to his short life and is now seeking vengeance against his tormentor. And, it’s here I’ll take the opportunity to mention that the warning in the blurb should be heeded by those who may be sensitive to mentions of child abuse—do proceed with caution. Bonnie Dee went straight for the emotional jugular in this novel and her narrative struck true. The crimes that drive the story add to the conviction to see the villain, a disgusting pedophile, pay for his twisted actions, and I appreciated how this pitted Justin and Alfred against each other for a short time before it all resolved.
The romantic element in the story is consistent with the time, which is yet another thing I appreciated. Alfred is in denial of his attraction to men. He doesn’t recognize it let alone acknowledge the times he’s been stirred by the sight of an attractive man, and I enjoyed his journey to self-discovery with Justin, who’d come to terms with his sexuality long before and had his heart broken in the process, as Alfred’s guide. Dee doesn’t force a tidy answer to the very real social implications of their relationship, and yet their affection for each other was still tangible without their ability to live openly with each other. It also gives Eugenia the opportunity to be fabulous again, and she even gets a sweet second-chance romance of her own.
There’s comfort in the familiar, both in romantic tropes and knowing an author’s style. The Medium is another strong addition to Bonnie Dee’s body of work as well as to the historical paranormal category in the gay romance genre.
You can buy The Medium here:
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