My review of Postscript. 5 stars
*I was provided a copy of this book in exchange a fair and honest review.*
This book has so much going on, I'm not sure where to begin.
We are treated to two love stories, one in the present and another during the time of World War II. Society attitudes toward homosexuals were much different in the 1930s and 1940s but the New Zealand rural town of Kedgetown welcomes everyone.
The story revolves around an old house and a mysterious journal that reveals its contents in small bits and only to certain people. The whole execution of how the story develops, brings people and their supernatural attributes together in unique and entertaining ways.
There is an interesting cast of characters with quite a bit of development and changes going on in their lives. Men with certain supernatural abilities struggle with those gifts (or curses) and find support and friendship within this welcoming community.
Postscript is a fun, emotionally charged story and a great introduction to a new series!
Book Title: Postscript (Kedgetown, Book 1)
Author: Anne Barwell
Publisher: LaceDragon Publishing
Cover Artist: T.L. Bland
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Genres: M/M romance, Paranormal, Dual Timeline (contemporary & historical), Psychic Powers, mystery
Tropes: Small town romance, sweet with heat, magical bookshop
Themes: Family, found family
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 50 000 words/125 pages
It is book 1 in the series. There are references to a wider shared world, but the reader doesn’t need to have read them. Two of the MCs are new to the supernatural world so are introduced to it through the course of the story.
It does not end on a cliffhanger.
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A magical bookshop holds the keys.
Kedgetown Book 1
A magical bookshop holds the keys.
When Mason Chynoweth inherits an old house in small-town New Zealand, he hopes to discover what happened to his great-great uncle Lewis after he returned from the war in 1945. Mason’s first encounter with the property is thankfully reassuring—his sensitive psychic powers aren’t triggered and he has a calm sense of coming home.
Elijah Whitaker arrives in Kedgetown for an extended visit with his aunts. He’s quickly drawn to Mason and offers to help him try to find some answers in the dusty old house. It soon becomes clear that Mason is keeping secrets, but Elijah has a few secrets of his own. Like his closely guarded knowledge of the hidden supernatural world, and the fact that many of the townspeople are psi and supernaturals.
What is the connection between the house and Postscript, the town’s enigmatic bookshop? Mason’s glimpses of the past give some clues, but not enough to make sense of the puzzle.
When a hidden journal comes to light, the true story of Lewis’ journey is revealed, and his path and Mason and Elijah’s begin to intertwine.
“Kedgetown has always prided itself on being welcoming.” Annalise interrupted as though Mason hadn’t spoken. “It’s part of its magic.”
Elijah choked on his mouthful of gravy. Mason was a stranger. They didn’t talk about the town or its history in front of anyone who hadn’t grown up here. Or make comments that might lead to awkward questions. If Mason decided to make his home here and settle in the old house, Elijah definitely would not stick around. He’d had enough of lying about who he was.
“Are you okay?” Mason put down his fork, concerned.
“Yeah.” Elijah shot his aunts a glare. What were they up to? He didn’t believe their innocent expressions for a moment. “Went down the wrong way.”
“What do you do for a living, Mason, dear?” Annalise moved the conversation along.
“I work in IT. Data entry mainly.” Mason shrugged. “It’s not very exciting, but it pays the bills, and I can do it from home.” He paused. “Which at the moment is Invercargill, but if the house pans out, it is something I could do from anywhere.”
“Mason likes the house so far, and I suspect it’s mutual. But, as I said, there’s a lot of work to do first.” Annalise got up from the table, retrieved the casserole dish, and placed it between Mason and Elijah. “You boys still look hungry. Help yourselves if you want more.”
“Thanks.” Elijah spooned more onto his plate. He’d forgotten what a good cook his aunt was. “Is your family in Invercargill?”
“My parents are, but the rest of my family live on the West Coast. My sister lives in Greytown, so she’s only an hour away, although she’s only visited Kedgetown once.”
Mason waited until Elijah had finished, then reached for the serving spoon at the same time Elijah handed it to him. Their fingers brushed. Mason went rigid. All colour drained from his face. He looked like he’d seen a ghost.
Elijah glanced at Rilla, who was behind Mason. She shrugged.
The serving spoon clattered to the table.
“Mason?” Elijah pushed back his chair to go to Mason.
Annalise laid a warning hand on Elijah’s arm. “Give him a moment to come back to us. Perhaps a cup of tea would be a good idea. For later.”
A moment later, Mason gasped for breath. “I saw… what….” He glanced around the table.
“It’s a very old serving spoon,” Annalise said. “With a lot of history. It was a wedding present from an old friend. I’m not exactly sure of its origins.”
Mason relaxed a little. “I’m sorry I don’t mean to be rude.” He massaged his temples. “I have a… headache. Thank you for the lovely meal. I’ll see you in the morning.”
He stood and bolted, footsteps loud against the wood of the stairs to his bedroom. He closed the door behind him.
Elijah stared after him. “What the hell?”
“Tea, I’m thinking.” Rilla sounded thoughtful and more than a little smug. “The special one you used to make for me.”
“Definitely.” Annalise’s eyes glowed gold, and she smiled. “I suspected as much after we met his sister last Christmas, but this is even better than we thought.”
“Huh?” Elijah glanced from one aunty to the other. “What are you up to?”
“Us? We’re looking after our visitors like any good host would.” Annalise walked over to the kitchen to put the kettle on. “Help me clean up, will you? And then you can take Mason a nice cup of tea.”
About the Author
Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with kitty siblings Byron and Marigold, who are already running the house and causing havoc.
Anne works in a library, is an avid reader and watcher of a wide range of genres, and is constantly on the look-out for more hours in her day. She likes to write in series and even so called one shots seem to breed more plot bunnies. Her writing is like her reading - across a range of genres, although her favourites are paranormal, fantasy, SF, and historical. Music often plays a part in her stories and/or her characters are musicians.
She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Her books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.
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