Dane Lovell, of 'The Night Gardner' by E.D. Parr, takes a vacation on a huge estate in New England. He's there because he needs to heal his heart and mind from recent tragic events; he can't do that at home with the constant reminders of his ex-fiancé's jilt. Dane is an architect who also writes books. He has serious writer's block and hopes to escape some of the pain in his heart, in order to let the words flow again. Dane's solace is broken by the appearance of a handsome young man named Zachary Yarrow who tells Dane he's the gardener of the estate. Dane thinks it strange that Zachary works only at night but dismisses his concern for that and other odd things that happen pertaining to Zachary. That's easy to do when Zachary turns out to be such wonderful company in and out of bed. Zachary is there every night, sharing time with Dane and contemplating plans for the future. Dane and Zachary fall in love and Dane couldn't be happier - that is, until the night that Zachary stops coming. Although a short story, this one had a lot of emotion packed into it, as well as an eerie, suspenseful atmosphere. There was a feeling of things not being as they seem but, like Dane, I wanted to dismiss the possibility that things could go wrong for Dane; I wanted him to find true happiness. The ending didn't totally surprise me. In fact, I was hoping for it but when it came, I was still relieved and happy. Thanks, E.D., for the enjoyable, slightly spooky love story.
Architect, Dane Lovell takes an off-season vacation in an old New England mansion, hoping to ease his broken heart, and spark his imagination. Impressed by the pretty gardens, he’s surprised by the sinister atmosphere of the river that winds through the estate. Dane tries to immerse himself in his drawings, until the sound of the back door smashing open shocks him from his work.
Spooky, gorgeous, and enigmatic Zachary Yarrow has brought logs for the fire. He’s the estate gardener and brings with him not just passion and a love affair for Dane, but a strange, spine-tingling mystery.
Who is Zachary, and what will happen when Dane finds out?
Be Warned: m/m sex
The gardener slotted his logs into the spaces between other logs already in the nook bricked into the side of the fireplace. “Zachary Yarrow.”
Dane folded his arms over his body, wishing he’d thought to close the door as chilling air swept along the hall and into the room. “Dane Lovell.”
Zachary stood, having completed his task. “You’re here off season. I guess you know. I always do the gardens off-season—have done for the last—well, for years. When I’m here, I usually stay in this cottage. I guess I need to find somewhere else this time.”
Cold, Dane accepted the information with a nod. “I need to close the door, Mr. Yarrow.” He returned to the back door and closed it up.
Zachary Yarrow had followed. “You can call me Zachary.”
Dane hung around near the back door. The gardener showed no signs of leaving and Dane didn’t know how to be rude enough just to ask him to go.
“It’s way too dark to garden. You’re wet through.” Dane’s gaze ranged over the sodden sweater Zachary wore, and along the rain-darkened jeans covering Zachary’s muscled thighs.
The guy has to be cold. “Can I offer you a cup of coffee?”
Zachary grinned happily. “A cup of coffee, yeah, that will be great, thanks.”
Dane led the way back into the kitchen. “Sit by one of the radiators and try to dry out a little.” He put water to boil and heaped instant into mugs. “I can lend you a dry sweater…”
Zachary leaned close to the radiator. “It’s okay. I’ll drape my sweater on here. It’ll be dry in no time.” He pulled the soggy item over his head and arranged it on the hot metal flutes.
Dane experienced a shock of attraction as he took in the smooth, muscled chest on display when Zachary turned to him.
“Look, it’s already steaming.”
Dane tore his gaze from Zachary’s body and glanced at the sweater. The kettle boiled and he whipped around to make the coffee, thankful for the diversion.
“Do you take sugar or cream?”
Zachary’s voice came from immediately behind him. “Black, thank you, no sugar.”
Dane closed his eyes to dissipate the surprise Zachary’s silent approach gave him. He edged around to face Zachary, who stood so close Dane’s composure flew clean away as his whole body reacted to the proximity of this complete hunk.
Holy hell, he is completely gorgeous. Dane stepped sideways and picked up a mug. He handed it to Zachary. “Coffee, er, sorry, its instant. I’ve given myself a vacation from grounds and filters.” He smiled apologetically.
Zachary studied him for a few seconds.
Dane had the distinct feeling Zachary knew exactly what he was thinking.
I picked this up on the advice of one another author and wow, it was such a good read!! Dane and Zachary certainly has sparks flying from the moment they met. And the ending, OMG!!! No spoilers but I was totally taken back by this and had never read this from any author before. Awesome job and I get my HEA!! My only complaint, it was too short, I wanted more from the guys!!! LOL
Like most of us, I love a good quickie and even though the “mystery element” didn't sit quite right with me and left me a little confused, I don’t care because E.D. Parr just delivered a real delicious and certainly memorable quick quickie. For me, it was all down to the chemistry between Dane and Zachary, which was hot, hot, and hot. My plan was to have a quick look to get a feel for the book but it was such compulsive reading, I ended up reading it all, in one straight-through sitting, I enjoyed it that much. Short stories are always difficult to review without giving too much away, so all I'm going to tempt you with, is this - Dave Lovell was jilted at the alter by his fiancé, Jeremy. Months later he is still reeling from the shock and takes himself off to a Lodge on an Estate to work on the designs for his Architectural Design business. He’s a nocturnal kind of person, he loves the blanket of night and therefore is inclined to work through in the darkness rather than daylight hours. During a fierce storm, his door is suddenly flung open and Zachary Yarrow stands before him, soaking wet and carrying logs for his fire. Jeremy and his heartache is suddenly very much forgotten………. I've always been a sucker for insta-love and the author handled it well. I could see how Dane didn't pick up on the clues that something wasn’t quite right, but that's what love does to you, it becomes all consuming and you only see what you want to see, so that worked really well for me but as I have already said, the mystery part didn't, I just needed a bit more explanation. So if you are looking for a lunchtime or weekend quickie, then this is for you. 4 big fat quickie stars from me. ****I voluntary reviewed an Advance Readers Copy of the book**** Threebooksovertherainbow.wordpress.com
This is an awesome, sweet, and engaging story with an unexpected HEA ending that I did NOT see coming!