The Gallows Tree
Pages – 232
Blurb – Cody Garret is only just finding his way after an abusive relationship ends with his ex in prison. Coming to England to restore Mill cottage is his way of running and giving himself time to heal. His aim is simple. Hire a company to help make the mill saleable and then go back to the States. What he didn’t count on was being haunted by the ghosts of a highwayman and his lover or meeting the gorgeous Sebastian Toulson-Brown and finding love.
My Review – Cody Garret is a troubled young man, haunted both figuratively and literally. The author does a splendid job in highlighting the debilitating effects of abuse and it’s lifelong mental effects on those who have suffered it. To anyone unfamiliar with Social Anxiety Disorder or Panic Attacks, I dare say that Cody’s behavior could border on annoying, and even I felt like shaking him to death on more than one occasion, and yelling at him to “get a grip”. Easier said than done. To fully appreciate Cody’s character, one must first have an understanding of mental health issues – only then is it possible to feel complete empathy for him, despite his consistent lack of self confidence, or his tendency to freak out over the silliest thing in almost every chapter. Not only is this a story of a young man’s plight to flee from the horrors of his past in an attempt to regain a sense of normality, it is also a love story and a story of the supernatural. The relationship between Cody and Sebastian is beautifully written, and progresses at a realistic pace. The supernatural element adds an intriguing backstory to an already enjoyable read. The attraction between Sebastian and Cody is undeniable, and ultimately, when the boys finally make love, the scenes are extremely sensual and well written, erotic but not pornographic. The sex scenes in this book, although definitely erotic, portray feelings of emotion and longing, rather than mere lust and sexual craving. The supporting characters are all likable and the interaction between the Toulson-Brown brothers is simply charming. A pleasure to read from the first page to the last, The Gallows Tree is a book I will certainly read again.