Caught in a winter storm during the Winter solstice in the Scottish highlands, Vanessa finds refuge at an old inn thanks the kindness of the innkeeper’s wife. The inn is crowded but there is one mysterious room still available, but Vanessa is warned it is haunted by a ghost.
With nowhere left to turn, Vanessa seeks refuge from the storm and finds herself in the company of a voyeuristic and intriguing ghost of a man. Jonathan has haunted the room of this inn for over a century, unsure what his purpose is or when he will be relieved of his fate.
Vanessa is a spinster and alone in the world, which affords her a freedom to explore passions she never would have been able to. To fall in love with John’s ghost was eerie but also felt fated. John was old fashioned, and Vanessa shared some Victorian modernity with him, such as photography. This was an intimate and intriguing companionship that developed between them.
Occasionally during the equinox and solstice, Jonathan is able to return to his corporeal being. During a cold winter night, Vanessa and Jonathan learn about each other and share a heavenly intimacy.
Kerrigan Byrne’s writing is beautiful and descriptive. This story was intriguing and spooky, a perfect Victorian Christmas ghost story.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Earl of Christmas Past will be released on December 1.
Review by Michele W.