Book Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton

Winter Oranges

Author: Marie Sexton
Series: Winter Magic, book 1
Publisher: Publisher (date)
Kindle edition, 275 pages
Romance, Adult contemporary M/M romance


Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m not really sure how to classify this book. It’s sort of fantasy romance but not, sort of paranormal romance but not, with mild time travel romance vibes but also not. Maybe magical realism romance? I DO know one thing I can classify it as though, and that’s phenomenal.

If you’re into romances where one MC is a ghost, this definitely has those sort of vibes, even though Ben isn’t technically a ghost. You do get all of the delicious pining because they can’t touch each other vibes though. This is such a cozy Christmas slow-burn, somehow low angst while still making my heart shatter. Despite dealing with some pretty dark content (depression, anxiety, attempted suicide) there are so many bright, hopeful moments as well. When Ben talks about walking through the sunlight and shade, I felt that with every fiber of my being. There’s such yearning to be together, and Jason is willing to risk so much to be with Ben, and I just – my heart.

I read both this book and its sequel (Winter Oranges, which is Dylan’s story) in one day.

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