Review: Vinnie’s Ghost by Adrianna Dane

Posted September 20, 2012 by Leigh in Reviews / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review: Vinnie’s Ghost by Adrianna Dane
Vinnie's Ghost
by Adrianna Dane

3.5 Stars


Released: September 11, 2012
Published by Loose ID
Pages: 100


Vinnie’s Ghost is a good and engaging novella.  It is one of those stories that is tough to decide on a rating, however.  There were some parts that I just loved, and there were some parts that were just okay, but for the most part, I liked and enjoyed the story as a whole.While this story involves a monogamous relationship, there really are three main characters at play here: Stroker, a surfer and surf board creator in Pleasure Point, California; Lee, a roaming ex-Army vet; and Vinnie, Stroker’s boyfriend and Lee’s comrade in the Army, who died overseas while serving his country.  Vinnie’s Ghost begins roughly two years after Vinnie’s death.  In the event of his death, Vinnie asked his close friend, Lee, to deliver a letter to his boyfriend, Stroker.  After leaving the service, Lee suffers from PTSD and roams, but finally finds his way to Stroker in Pleasure Point, intent to do the one thing that his best friend requested of him.  It doesn’t take long for Stroker and Lee to form both a friendship and quickly thereafter, a sexual relationship.  Lee, however, has yet to give Vinnie’s letter to Stroker.  Why?  We eventually are provided with a reasoning of Lee’s withholding, but that is one of the things that was aggravating while reading it.  I kept saying, “Please, just please give him the letter already!”  Well, as expected, when he finally does, things go in the expected direction – south.  I don’t want to give too much away, but was it frustrating?  You betcha!  Does Dane remedy the situation, though?  She does.  She provides insight from both Vinnie and Lee’s points of view, and all of the emotions involved make sense once revealed to the reader.

Of course there needs to be some sort of conflict between these two men to help them find their HEA, but as I said before, there is another character also at play here – Vinnie.  Vinnie speaks to Lee in his head.  At first you don’t know if Lee is just suffering from more than just PTSD or if Vinnie is actually doing the speaking, and this is a rather odd part of the book.  Ghosts fit in well with the paranormal and urban fantasy genre, but not the contemporary.  It’s a bit of a stretch.  That said, though, at one point when I was so frustrated with Lee, I found that I was thinking to myself, “Wow – I really wish Vinnie was alive…I think he’s my favorite character!”  Vinnie’s voice gave the reader insight as to the man that he was, and why both Stroker and Lee loved and cared for him as much as they did.  And I’ll just give a small warning, make sure to have the tissues ready when the letter is finally revealed.

Due to the reluctance to give Vinnie’s letter over to Stroker, Lee’s character is often quite melancholy, and I found myself wishing for at least a joke or witty conversation to make me laugh.  It didn’t happen however, but it does make sense: Lee suffers from PTSD and is also trying to figure out who he is, who he loves, and just what living is all about.  Thankfully, Stroker is a patient guy, and he can see the good man that Lee is.  And fortunately, the heat in the bedroom (or ocean, beach or workshop, as the case might be) is not lacking or influenced by that melancholy.  These men are sizzling and just beautiful together.  Both of them just need time to find each other and to move into a relationship where there is nothing (and no ghost) between them.

So while there were frustrating parts in Vinnie’s Ghost, there were also some great ones, and overall, I did enjoy reading it.  Beyond the story itself, Dane provides beautiful descriptions and details in her prose, and it is a breath of fresh air for how poetic her writing could be.  I look forward to reading more from her.

*Review copy provided by publisher

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About Adrianna Dane

Adrianna Dane (who also writes as Tess Maynard) has been putting pen to paper since the age of ten. She currently resides in the state of Washington and is a member of Romance Writers of America, EPIC. and Broaduniverse.

The first defining love story Adrianna read back in junior high school was "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, and that set her on the road to her long standing love affair with the romance genre. Her inspiration in writing often can be found by listening to song lyrics and reading poetry by such poets as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Allen Poe, and Ranier Maria Rilke. But finding inspiration for her stories truly has no boundaries for Adrianna.

She freely admits she is a romantic by nature and adding sensual heat to romance with a dusting of suspense is her motto. "Esmerelda's Secret" released by Amber Quill Press in June of 2004 was Adrianna's first book, and with that story and her subsequent books has firmly established herself as a voice within the sensual/erotic romance genre.

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Guest Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I am a wife and mom of two sassy and fabulous kids, and I have decided I will be forever 39.After college, I became a paralegal and read only legal documents and eventually some baby naming books.Then about six years ago, I needed to check out all the hype of some teenage vampire romance, and that was all she wrote.It didn't take me long to rediscover my love of reading that I had throughout my youth, and I was devouring every paranormal romance and urban fantasy series I could get my grabby hands on.

Through Amazon forums and Goodreads, I met a lot of amazing women with that same passion, including the lovely ladies who started UTC.While those genres will always be two of my favorites, I have discovered that M/M romance is my primary love.That kiss between Qhuinn and Blay in Phury's book (you BDB lovers know what I'm talking about!) sealed the deal for me.I love a story where love is hard fought and hard won.I am also a firm believer that EVERYONE deserves love and a happy ending, and the beauty in achieving that is what keeps me coming back for more.

I have amassed quite a collection of book boyfriends through the years, with the top two being John Matthew and Jamie Fraser.**le sigh**In the M/M genre, my best buddy is Randy Jensen.Two of my favorite tropes are Friends to Lovers and Out for You, and I enjoy just about any subgenre - PNR, UF, contemporary, historical, RomCom, Young Adult, Erotica, Mystery/Thriller - in my M/M romance.As long as it is written well, eventually gives me an HEA, and makes me have all the feels, I am one happy girl.
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Sophia Rose

I have lately started appreciating stories with a military or post-military theme to them. I hadn’t heard of this one and it sounds decent.

Thanks for sharing!