“Sometimes a deal with the devil is better than no deal at all.” – Lawrence Hill
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 96 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: At fifteen, Lee Mitchell and Roman Carmichael are sure their fledgling relationship can survive any heartache or hardship–until a spring canoeing trip ends with Lee in the hospital and Roman missing.
With his memories of that final, tragic trip gone, Lee spends the next ten years building a life around the river where he lost Roman, existing on the hope that one day he’ll find a clue as the fate of his first love.
During a late March snowstorm, Lee finds a stranger wandering the road and offers him a ride. Lee’s shock and confusion at discovering this stranger is Roman, older and confused by his long absence, is fast tempered by relief and joy. But Roman isn’t back to stay, and as they work to repair the fractured pieces of their past, the emerging truth of the night Roman disappeared may be the one thing that their enduring love cannot overcome.
Review: I so like this author. I must state that clearly and upfront. This is the second piece of work by A.M. Arthur I have reviewed, and it is rich in emotions and long on story despite its short length. When an author can write a good novella with the same flair and intricate plot as a full-length novel, then I must say that this is an author to return to again and again.
The story is deceptively sad and seemingly unremarkable. Two boys fall in love, they go on a canoe trip and only one returns. That one boy, Lee Mitchell, is found floating down creek in a wrecked canoe and unable to remember anything beyond the last moment he fell asleep with his boyfriend, Roman Carmichael. Ten years later, Lee is still grieving the loss of Roman and cannot believe his eyes when the lost and nearly frozen stranger he picks up along side the road turns out to be his long lost love. And now, the deceptively simple love story takes on such broad twists and turns that I was left rather breathless by story’s end. Roman is hiding a terrible secret. Lee must discover that and the way to save the man he loves, or lose everything all over again.
Frozen by A.M. Arthur explores just how far a person will go to escape his hellish reality and save the one he loves from the icy hands of fate. What is too much when saving the only person who has fully accepted you, loved you, and pledged to keep you from harm? With a deft hand and skilled writing, the author plumbs the depths of a mystery wrapped in a bit of the paranormal and comes out with a story that has the same emotional impact of a full-length novel. My only hesitation in giving this novella a five star rating was the ending. I simply wanted more—a bigger bang and a bit more intensity when Lee finally manages to free Roman from a pact that threatens to enslave him for the rest of his life.
Beyond that small niggle, Frozen, roars onto the page and carries you along. The intensity of the story coupled with beautifully written characters makes this story one you will not want to miss.