The characters in this story were very well done, particularly Neal with all his insecurities and guilty feelings. Given the timeframe of the story, it’s easily comprehensible how hard it must have been then for a young man to realize he has needs his contemporaries would think abominable. I can see how such a naive young man might fall for someone who promises to fulfill those dangerous needs, even though this someone isn’t the nicest person. And now, after he has endured humiliation and abuse, and finds another man who accepts him unconditionally, even though he’s saddled with a life – threatening curse? How could he avoid falling in love with such a person? The same is true for Peter, a man in his late thirties who has resigned to a solitary, lonely life rather than living a lie. Suddenly presented with a likeminded young man who isn’t only beautiful, but has a brain to go with his looks, how could he resist? What’s more, Neal comes to Peter with his father’s blessings. I could accept the instant bond they entered, even though it felt a bit rushed. Amos the yenta was amiably mischievous like a leprechaun, and I found the way he talked about his relationship with Neal’s father Jon very endearing. Ayana the servant was likewise taken right out of the realms of the lore, reminding of a motherly guardian angel with a very, very open mind, and the judge was as debauched and vicious as befits a man who’d sell his soul to the eternal enemy. They all came alive on the pages of this book, forming the cast to an entertaining, deliciously wicked, wonderfully oldfashioned ghost story.I’d recommend this book to those who like ghosts and magic twists and fateful love and don’t mind looking at historical facts with a wink of an eye.