Review: Beyond the Veil by S.C. Wynne

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Being a psychic in the small seaside town of Fox Harbor is challenging enough, but winter months are brutal. Not that using his clairvoyant abilities to hunt down lost pets isn’t thrilling, but Lorenzo wouldn’t mind a tiny bit more excitement in his life.

Be careful what you wish for?

Things get more stimulating when the charismatic Dr. Ian Thatcher takes a romantic interest in him. Unfortunately, their promising evening takes a ghastly turn when an old man dies on Lorenzo’s doorstep, after warning Lorenzo his life is in danger.

Before Lorenzo can say “Give me my old boring life back, please” his home is ransacked, a fiery being tries to burn him to death, and he’s informed he’s the only hope to save the world.


Dear S.C.Wynne,

I saw your book when I went to check out which titles Blind Eye Books published recently. M/m romance with paranormal and fantasy elements sounded like something that I usually one click and fast and that’s what I did. I mean, surely “he’s the only hope to save the world” from the blurb sounded like a fantasy element?

Yes, yes it was. In fact, the fantasy element becomes very, very important in the story, especially in the second half of it. The reader is told so, anyway.

The story starts as a typical romance with a paranormal background. Lorenzo and Ian first meet at Lorenzo’s when he is trying to help Ian’s friend locate her lost cat. Since Lorenzo is a psychic, he is trying to find this older woman’s cat by contacting the spirit of her aunt, because presumably she would know where the cat is and whether the cat is dead or alive in the first place. Ian is clearly doubting that Lorenzo is a real deal: he is openly questioning his abilities, makes sarcastic skeptical comments and Lorenzo is understandably annoyed about that.

I guess this was a meet cute of sorts for our main characters. Only the meet cute ended with both of them not being very kind towards each other and not expecting to see each other again. Note that this is happening in the very beginning of the book, so I am not really spoiling anything for you. Moreover, something else happened during this séance which I should probably keep quiet about it, because it is going to be important later on in the story.

So far, so good. Ian would have to overcome his distrust of Lorenzo’s abilities and, as we will find out later, as the story unfolds Lorenzo also has a lot of past baggage to overcome in order to be ready for a real relationship.

Only the fantasy story starts to unfold at first slow and then faster and faster. Lorenzo getting strange calls at first, then getting an old man calling on him at his house and dying there and then we learn that something very scary is after Lorenzo AND he is a chosen one to save the world (it is mentioned in the blurb, so I think it is okay to mention it without details because I ended up having a huge issue with the fantasy storyline.

You see, it took me a couple of days to figure out what my main problem was and I think I finally can articulate that.  First of all, when details are revealed about the fantasy background I did not believe it at all. I did not feel that it was incorporated in the “real” world of this story well.

It was amusing that at first Ian does not believe that Lorenzo is a real psychic and Lorenzo takes such huge issue with it, but then he himself cannot come to terms with his true destiny for some time. It was amusing, but understandable to me!  The summary of what exists beyond “this real world” was not enough for me, maybe seeing it would help?

But here is what I definitely needed to see if I were to believe that this being is so dark and horrible. The horror it spreads upon the town, yes, yes I am aware that the author mentions it in brief summarizing paragraphs here and there. No, it was not enough for this reader!

““There was a lot of bloodshed. A lot of innocent people died.” He gritted his teeth. “While you were fighting Sableth, our people and theirs clashed. It was brutal.””

““Anyway,” Julian said brusquely, “the time has come to face down Sableth. Fox Harbor is in chaos, and soon that will spread. He needs to be stopped now.” While my stomach churned with anxiety at his words, I realized he was right.”

It is as if the story wanted to be a romance, but also wanted the reader to believe that this is a *really dark* fantasy romance, but did not want to go into the real darkness in any details.

Do not get me wrong, I am not even seeking very dark stories per se. I can be perfectly happy with light and fluffy, but if darkness is mentioned I needed to see it in more details than what the story provided to make it believable for me.

The relationship could have been such an interesting push and pull with Ian being a sceptic and Lorenzo having personal traumas and it was a little, but mostly they were running from the evil that did not feel like much of it and trying to fight it at the end.

Grade: C/C-

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Sirius started reading books when she was four and reading and discussing books is still her favorite hobby. One of her very favorite gay romances is Tamara Allen’s Whistling in the Dark. In fact, she loves every book written by Tamara Allen. Amongst her other favorite romance writers are Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, Josephine Myles, Taylor V. Donovan and many others. Sirius’ other favorite genres are scifi, mystery and Russian classics. Sirius also loves travelling, watching movies and long slow walks.

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