Title: A Distant Drum
Author: Amy Rae Durreson
Length: 89 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Holiday Romance
At a Glance: This was absolutely my kind of Christmas tale—chilling, suspenseful and spooky with just the right amount of sweet to keep me turning pages.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Christmas is coming… but Alex is running away.
Panicked by the prospect of spending Christmas with his boyfriend’s disapproving parents, Alex flees to the old houseboat in the Norfolk Broads his uncle left him. But when a freak snowstorm traps him there, Alex soon realises he’s not the only heartbroken lover haunting the shores of Halsham Broad.
Two hundred years ago, drummer boy Jack Sadler drowned skating over thin ice to meet his lover. Now, whenever the Broad freezes over, he returns and brings a curse with him.
And every night Alex spends trapped in the icebound boat, he hears the beat of a distant drum draw closer…
Review: Ghosts are no strangers to Christmas stories, Ebenezer Scrooge is proof of that, but Amy Rae Durreson’s A Distant Drum may be the first holiday romance I’ve ever read that gave me goose bumps, and not in a winter weather kind of way. All is not calm nor is it bright, and the story offered up a couple of good frights, which I loved.
Alex has run away from his boyfriend for the holidays, has run away from Nik’s family as well—family is not a safe topic for Alex—and, moreover, he’s run away from the home he and Nik have made together. Alex has his reasons for needing space, though. The problem is he’s neglected to share those reasons with Nik before he disappeared, so Nik is rightfully upset that Alex has left without explanation right before Christmas. Alex has returned to his childhood home, a houseboat where he lived with his beloved Uncle Gabe, but the Lovely Lily is no longer a place of comfort and security. Gabe has recently passed away. It’s the dead of winter. And a tragic history that’s been a part of Halsham Broad’s legends and landscape since 1815 has returned to terrorize Alex in the name of vengeance.
A Distant Drum presents the perfect atmosphere for a ghost story. Durreson prepares readers for the sense of horror and tension and fear that permeates, and ensures all of those things work together with the poignancy of the ghost and the tragedy of his life and lost love. Working the tension of Alex’s disappearance into the sweetness of his and Nik’s reunion, and their encounter with the Drummer Boy and the resolution to his own love story, balanced everything so well. The confidence Alex discovers in Nik’s love, which is thanks in part to Alex discovering how his own family history figured into the corresponding events, was the romantic payoff a holiday story is composed of.
This was absolutely my kind of Christmas tale—chilling, suspenseful and spooky with just the right amount of sweet to keep me turning pages.
You can buy A Distant Drum here:
[zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/a-distant-drum” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon & Other eTailers [/zilla_button]