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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ain’t No Sunshine by Selah March

Ain’t No Sunshine by Selah March
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Water Lily

Love may overcome dark family secrets…but a grieving ghost could fire the final shot.

A Come Rain or Come Shine story

Boone Butler can shut out the memories that made him a war hero, but he’s compelled to follow the Sorrowful Angel’s mournful wails back to Harlan County, Kentucky. They can only mean one thing: Delia’s in trouble. Even if it’s been over between them for twelve long years, she can’t stop him from seeing her safe.

Delia Concannon isn’t sure if the cries she’s been hearing in Bogey Holler are echoes of the past, or portents of more heartache in her future. All she can do is keep running her diner and wait for the next in a long string of misfortunes that started when she fell for Boone. Their love began despite their families’ longstanding feud—and ended when Boone’s brother murdered her father.

Now Boone has come knocking on her door.

One look, and Boone remembers why loving her was worth defying his family. He still has nothing to offer a woman like her, but he can’t stand seeing her living in the shadow of rising danger. Delia’s not running, though. Even when the Angel’s cries grow louder…

Do yourself a favor. Grab this book. Or better yet, let it grab you.

The poignant story of Delia Concannon and Boone Butler, grown children of feuding families, is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. Even Delia and Boone recognize the similarities. But author Selia March puts an interesting spin on the classic tale and adds rich, frightening and eerie details that make this book sing. Ms. March’s descriptions are so rich and delicious; if she described eating a steak dinner you’d feel full at the end. So, while I’ve never been to Bogey Holler, Kentucky, I feel like I have. I also feel I know Delia, Boone, her nosey friend Pea and his crazy cousin Luther.

The tragedy of missed opportunities haunts Delia and Boone almost as much as the Sorrowful Angel of Bogey Holler. Both conspire to draw Boone back to Harlan County to uncover the danger and to possibly lay the past to rest. He may not totally believe in the Sorrowful Angel or her warnings, but he’s not willing to risk Delia...just in case.

But Boone isn’t the only one haunted by the Sorrowful Angel and love left fallow. Delia tried to move on. Twelve years ago, she bought a charm to purge him from her head and heart. It banished his name from her lips but didn’t rid him from her dreams. Now the darned angel is singing, proof enough as if she needed it, that despite getting on with her life she’s never stopped loving Booth. As Pea’s grandma says, “Unrequited love is a poison.” The past is a definite player in this story, just as it is in real life.

Ain’t No Sunshine is a multi-dimensional tapestry woven of the Concannon and Bulter families’ past, Delia and Boone’s personal pasts and their present. The mystery, setting, characters and plot vie for main billing. Selia March excels in each area and the reader reaps the benefit. The title is an ear-worm and the story sticks in your head the same way. Ain’t No Sunshine reminded me of good bread pudding—moist, dense, chock full of both nuts and sweet surprises—rich in country flavor and extremely satisfying.