Tag Archive | ghosts

Raven’s Glen by Nancy E. Polin

Raven’s Glen by Nancy E. Polin

Raven's Glen by [Polin, Nancy E.]

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, Romance

I almost didn’t read this, Nancy mentioned it had elements of horror, and its a family joke that I am a real wimp about that. I have such a vivid imagination that my dreams tend to be complex, and sometimes scary, so anything horror tips the balance…but it wasn’t that sort of horror, more the unpleasantness that comes with certain elements of the supernatural. It was a bit spooky, but not scary.

I loved Skylar and her brother, he’s so protective and has been looking out for her since they escaped a horrific home situation to live with their grandmother, their beloved MawMaw. Now she’s died, they both miss her badly but are still very close. Skylar has accepted a job that happens to be in the town they escaped from. Her brother is Not Happy, to say the least, but Skylar seems to be drawn there with a slightly unnerving, unexplained pull.
She’s settling in well, enjoys her job, when she meets Jack at her workplace. She’s already bumped into him at her interview, then again around the town. He’s gorgeous but not on the lookout for a new relationship. He’s drawn to Skylar though, they seem to keep coming across one another and he finally asks her out.

Stephen has never talked about the horrors of the night they left, never told Skylar what happened, and she seems to have blanked it from her mind. Now she’s back though it seems the past isn’t quite finished with her.

Its a gradual build up, first the attraction between Jack and Skylar, then slowly she gets integrated into his family. Skylar is in for a shock though when she goes to his home.
The tension ratchets up gradually, building on little things, more references to the past, more secrets being revealed, and the dangers slowly come to light. The more Skylar learns the closer the past becomes, and its a question of should she outrun it and leave the job she enjoys, the man and his daughter that she loves, or should she just face up to the past and try to beat it?
I really enjoyed this, just enough spookiness to keep me reading, not so much that it gives me nightmares. I live alone, I hate nightmares, when everything seems more believable that in the light if day. The Native Indian setting works really well, they are very in tune with nature and the supernatural, and really helped the story to feel genuine.

Stars: five, a fantastic read, not too scary, and very engaging, making me wonder just what was coming next.

Arc via author

Woman Who Spoke to Spirits, Alys Clare

Woman Who Spoke to Spirits, Alys Clare

The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits (A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery Book 1) by [Clare, Alys]

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

I love this kind of historical read, one where I feel I’m part of the setting, can taste the atmosphere, really feel as if I’m there in past times with the characters. It proved t be a light and enjoyable read. This is first in a new series, I’ve read a couple by Alys and enjoyed those, so was confident I’d like this one.

First books in a series have a hard ask, delivering characters, new settings along with an interesting story, and this book did that really well.
I’m intrigued by Lily’s past, we get hints of some awful trauma but I guess that’s going to come out more in further books. Likewise her new hire, Felix, has his own somewhat mysterious past. We know some of it, but there seems much more to him that just a down at heel former rich kid. He has so much experience of different things, and I’m keen to know how and where and when he learned all this. He seemed so much older than his actual years.
He and Lily make a good pair, work well together and even though in those times its odd to have a female boss, he makes it work, being deferential without seeming obsequious, and yet standing up when its needed. I feel maybe in further books something might develop between them but there’s little here except respect and a possible growing attraction. I want to know more about the guy in the houseboat – forgotten his name, but though he and Lily have only met a handful of times they have something special maybe? Or perhaps I’m reading things that aren’t there 😉

The mystery this is based around is actually two stories, there’s the one about the actress, the stage and young Julian, and then the primary one of Albertina and the evil she senses is out for her. That had me completely puzzled, I simply couldn’t work it out, though of course after its over I could see the clues Alys had cleverly weaved through. An original tale, not one I’ve come across before.

Stars: Four, a fun read and a great intro to the series.

Arc via Netgalley and publishers

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave. First Grave on the Right, Darynda Jones

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave. Darynda Jones

 

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson Book 13) by [Jones, Darynda]

Genre:Mystery and Thrillers.

I’ve joined the blog tour as part of the release of this final book and we were asked to review another book from the series too. I’ve chosen the first book, seems ages ago I read that – when I very first bought a kindle. Charley and the gang have come such a long way since then so I’m looking forward to rereading the beginning – and I’ll probably work my way through the series once more! Good books are well worth that, I find I see things I missed first time round.
Anyway, this book. Well, after the ending of the last, where Charley was banished for 100 years what would happen why she returned, what happened to the humans she knew, what happened to Beep? So many things going on but as usual Darynda manages to give all the answers in a way that’s believable.

The thing with Charley world is you have to forget everything learned about supernatural fiction from other reads, and go with what Darynda has created. Its unique, time isn’t linear, isn’t even anything I’ve read before, but exists in a way that makes ends easy to tie up. Its worlds within worlds, past, present and future all existing within the same frame. There’s God, and his side, Lucifer and his side, and of course Charley, Reyes, and all their gang amassed over the series. If I think about it too hard its head-aching, so its easier to just accept it as is, and go with the flow.

I love Charley’s “voice”, her snark, her outlook in life. At times she sounds a little childish, but its as if that’s her way of coping with all that goes on in her life. She’s had it tough, and there are still some huge shocks to come for her in this book. What I love is that as usual she’s got the big question of Beep and Lucifer, and yet she takes time to deal with everyday issues that crop up, deal with friend’s little issues, missing people, possible murders, letting a few folk pass through her as she’s out and about. I loved that we see almost everyone I remember from the past books in this one, it really feels like a tying up of ends. I hate books where I’m left wondering “what about xxx, how did xx deal with it” and thankfully there’s none of that here.

Reyes, ah Reyes. That guy is so incredible, adores Charley, you know he always has her best interests at heart (can I sever his spine now?) He is just so gorgeous, everyone has the hots for him, but Charley really is It for him, he never even looks elsewhere. Well, he did create her for him, so I guess that’s to be expected. The fact that there are so many supernatural folk in this book, and none really fit the standard supernatural trope. Reyes isn’t one of the good guys, and yet he’s good, others are supposed to be God’s folk yet they leave things t play out, and as when Charley saved amber in the last book a good deed still has consequences for them. They seem to be all about non interference even when it means unjust endings.

Stars:Five stars, a fabulous finale. Forget all other supernatural stories, Darynda’s book are unique. Read them and lose yourself in an amazing world, full of incredible characters and a story that will stay with you for ages. I’m hoping we get more of Beep and her story, I’m not ready to leave all these characters yet

ARC supplied by Netgalley and Publishers

 

First Grave on the Right, Darynda Jones

Genre: Romance , Mystery and Thrillers

As part of the Summoned blog tour reviewers were asked to choose an earlier book for review a swell as the final one, and I thought it would be interesting to go right back to the start. I often find on rereading novels I pick up on things I missed first time round, look at characters and events with different eyes now I know the full story, and it was very much a case of reading First Grave with fresh insights.

I certainly looked at some of the original gang with a different opinion. It made me wonder – did Darynda plan events all the way through, of did the story dictate what happened to characters?
We see the main gang right from the start, Cookie, Amber, Ubie, her dad, Gemma, the wicked stepmother ( ok, maybe she’s not thaaat bad, just feels it), Garret, Angel, My Wong, Aunt Flo, and of course Reyes Farrow……….mmmmm.

Cookie remains this stalwart, slightly scatty, slapdash character, who’s actually got an amazingly sharp mind under all the fluff and frivolity face she presents. Amber is still a kid, but sharp and sweet, adores her mum and Charley. Charley’s dad and Uncle Bob, great supports to Charley even if on a strange level, though when she was a kid they really let her down IMO. But then she wouldn’t be the Charley I love without that so a pass for that. Garret has just been told about Charley via a drunken binge with Ubie and he’s one of those, who expect Charley to perform miracles, a skeptic always testing, but still can’t believe her results. The supernatural gang, or at least the beginnings of it, and Reyes. Nuff said.
As with each book we get Charley’s day to day life as a PI with Cookie, a sometimes police “consultant” via her dad and now Ubie. There’s a complete story in each but the overall story arc advances too each time.

What I love about Charley is her heart, her irreverent humour, and her determination to get the bad guys, do whats right even at the cost of her own well being. She comes over as immature sometimes, scatty, inappropriate, and yet she’s got an incredibly sharp mind. Doh, she’d say, Grim here, knows every language ever spoken, ever invented, can speak with the dead, so what do you expect?
She always plays down what she does, treats everything as a bit of a joke, and maybe that’s because she’s learned to get in first rather than wait for ridicule, a kind of way of coping, way of protecting herself. As well as her heart, her snark, her sharp intelligence, her coffee addiction, I love the way she names everything. By the end of the series I’m very familiar with the girls Will Robinson and Danger 😉 Misery the jeep, George the shower ( though that’s later). Her first thought on getting something new is what to call it. And of course her convoluted mind comes up with some real crackers.

Anyway, in book one we get to meet all these great folk, the nucleus of the incredible support team she develops over the series, and not only does Darynda deliver all that, along with a realistic environment for her, but we get a gripping mystery, that starts simple – as they all do – and grows ever more complex and dangerous. Does that stop Charley? You’ve guessed, no…she’s in because its the right thing to do, but despite getting battered, bruised, shot at, attacked, she carries on. Good side of the Grim job, she heals quicker, not instant but certainly quicker than human.
It ends with one mystery wrapped up, but the wider one of Charley and Reyes, the supernatural world, the people who get caught up in it, developing further with a great lead in to book two, and the start of the overall story opening out.

I have to mention the chapter headings, by the end of the series they were something I eagerly looked forward to at the end of each chapter. I knew turning the page would bring a smile to my face, even if the story was full of death and despair, those headings reminded me it would lighten up, that good would prevail. Its that mix of drama and humour, done so perfectly throughout the series that made it so perfect for me. I’ll miss these characters, though whisper in the world of books is that Beep may be bringing them back in a new series 😉

Stars: Five, a great start to a fabulous series. A real treat to read, if you love a well written, suspenseful, supernatural romance.

ARC via Netgalley and Publishers

Awakening, Shadow-walkers Book 1, Kelley Heckart

Awakening, Shadow-walkers Book 1, Kelley Heckart

Awakening: Shadow-walkers Book 1 by [Heckart, Kelley]

Genre: Paranormal Romance

I love a good rock star read, ditto film stars, adore romance and of course a good paranormal and this book promised all of those….trouble was it didn’t stop there , but brought in so much more. The paranormal, well there are ghosts, and the shadow walker elements (which Tbh I still can’t quite understand – but then I feel Kate doesn’t either so I’m not alone) The romance, well that brings in rock star Kate and film star Kane, but not just them, there’s Kate’s ex, manager of the band she was in, and the traumatic ending of that, and the ghosts, where its not a simple uncomplicated story either. Oh and Kate is also a writer, now involved in changing her story for film, which is how Kane fits in. I didn’t understand wholely though why Kane was involved in the rewrite? There had to be something though to get him and Kate alone in the cabin.

So they’re snowed in and the ghosties begin, not just one though….weirdly in the middle of being scared half to death but events Kane and Kate keep creaking off for hot baths and even hotter sex….that just didn’t feel credible to me. I’m assuming somehow the fire heated the water as the power was off but they existed on water and PBJ sandwiches, and energy bars. Why not use the fire to heat water for coffee, heat some of the tins, cook something hot?
The story was interesting but just too much going on which meant the major plots had to be condensed to fit everything in and for me I felt that it wasn’t the best way of delivering. It meant they were in blizzard in cabin, ghost appear and hey presto Kate has the answer, but wait…there’s a puzzle to unravel but….its all in the magazines left lying in the cabin. Once they’re out of the cabin too it was problem meet solution – all very slick and neat and I want characters to have to work for answers.
The romance, well it was hot, very sensual but I didn’t really like either character, didn’t feel the love, just some hot and sensual lust. Long term? Well, I think they’ve a lot to do yet.

The band members; well, by the time we’d met them my brain was saturated, so much had been going on that I just couldn’t deal with even more past problems and current supernatural events. I kind of switched off.
As always though reviews and reading are very subjective. Kelley has written lots of very well received books so although this style of writing didn’t work for me clearly it works well for others.

Stars: hard one….the idea is a five, the way it plays out for me though just didn’t work as explained so I guess overall its a three

Book via KU.

Haunted, Shari Nichols

Haunted,  Shari Nichols

Haunted by [Nichols, Shari]

Genre: Romance, Sci Fi & Fantasy

A stand alone story, which sounded fun. I enjoyed it, didn’t love it but was a quick escape from the real world.

I felt for Karly, and her sister after the recent issues they face. Their shop is struggling after a recent reading led to lots of bad publicity….I could see that happening exactly as it went down!
Then on a night out she meets Thayne. Nothing happens except for some very heated kisses and an offer to go back to his room. Karly says yes, but ducks out so when she goes to a new job next day, one arranged very quickly they’re both shocked to see each other.

Thayne is a bit of a skeptic but the events that have frightened his staff can’t easily be explained away, and when Karly and her sister get to work he cant deny the Inn is being haunted by a young lady called Emily – and She Is Angry. That’s the last thing he needs with the opening just a few weeks away.
The sizzle between Karly and Thayne can be felt, its scorching and they have some incredibly heated, erotic encounters. Nether seem able to leave the other alone.
She made me so cross though, blaming Thayne for his past, letting hers dictate her actions. She was all over him one moment and pushing him away the next. Over and over again, no wonder he was getting whiplash.
He can’t change his past, its the now and the future that count, and he shouldn’t be blamed for things others in Karly’s past have done. She was too ready to believe the worst of him even when he’d done nothing or had a good explanation.

I was really hoping more would be made of the Jennifer angle, it was good, but for me could have been deeper,better, more satifying. I love a “good” bad person, a jealous man or woman, they really make a story sometimes.

The suspense, the haunting angle was interesting but like the romance I felt that the issues raised, the problems caused by Emily treated almost lightly , sort of “wow, she’s created a heck of a storm. Look at that tree, look at that damage…Ah well, who’s for coffee?” Well, it wasn’t quite like that 😉 but that’s how it felt to me.
Then there’s the problems Thayne has with his family, his father, his angst over his brother, not to mention someone else with a grudge against him playing a part in the story.
There was so much going on, so many different story lines that I felt none of them really got treated with the respect they deserved, didn’t get the expansion they needed, just a light fluffy kind of treatment.
That’s a shame as they were some terrific ideas. If the book had been twice the length ( its just over 3500 kindle locations so pretty short) then those plots could really have been made the most of, and this would have been a five star read for me, but as it is I felt I liked it but nothing really stood out about the book, nothing special.

Stars: three and a half, so much potential if either less plots used, with a deeper treatment for them, or longer book that let them really get made the most of.
Still, others will love it as it is, that’s the nature of reading, everyone wants something different.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

The Haunting of Alcott Manor, Alyssa Richards

The Haunting of Alcott Manor, Alyssa Richards

The Haunting of Alcott Manor: A Contemporary Gothic Romance by [Richards, Alyssa]

Genre: Fantasy and paranormal, Romance

I loved Alyssa’s trilogy The Fine Art of Deception, and this book is another paranormal read but very different to the trilogy.
When I first started reading I was taken back to my teens/early twenties when I read many mysteries, especially those by Victoria Holt, and this book gave me that same kind of feeling, though I don’t remember the romance being a major part of those reads 🙂

So, Gemma loves her parents, but has had some strange childhood experiences that are suggested through the book, seem to have given her kind of PTSD/OCD issues. Its clear she struggled with things of the supernatural world, but equally clear she shares her mum’s talent for solving issues of that sort.
Sadly her mum has died, and now her dad needs her help. She really doesn’t want to get involved, but loves her dad and knows if he’s asking for her help, knowing her problems with the supernatural he really does need it.

She agrees to meet him and do what she can for the land, but isn’t intending to step into the house. She thinks using her gift by clearing the land of spirits will help.
Tragedy isn’t finished with her though, and her dad is involved in an accident that leaves her to take over the restoration, against her wishes but she owes him much, and can’t see him lose everything.

From there on it a race to finish the first stage of the renovation before the court deadline, or lose the house to those who want it demolished and new homes put up.
Its a beautiful old building and when she meets Henry she can see its special to him. He’s on a mission though, knowing that the past owner Benjamin Alcott was convicted of killing his wife, he wants to free him from haunting the property, as Benjamin is destroying much of it in his search for something that would prove his assertion he was innocent.

Its a great read, I loved hearing about the house, sharing the memories that played out and wondering if Benjamin really was innocent as Henry thinks, and if so what really happened that night. Was he really responsible for the deaths of people involved with the house since then?
Henry is really worried that past people have become trapped in the house memories, and cautions Gemma to take absolute care not to interact with any scenes she sees, however lifelike they feel.  That sounded weird at first, but its soon clear the house really does have a life of its own.

It’s a gently paced novel, not a race through to the finish, with events playing out slowly, scenes from past and present there, and clues that could mean very different things happened. The evidence for the full story is still missing and seems to be the key to Benjamin’s destructive actions, and there are some fun twists to the story in the search.

It all wraps up neatly, the loose ends tidied away, all the answers given, which was great as I hate to be left wondering “but what about??What happened to??”  I was totally surprised by the ending, I simply didn’t see it coming, and that’s good – I love a novel that does that 😉

I’m still a romance reader more than a mystery one but this was a nice bridge between the two, and an enjoyable read. Sometimes its good to step away from a favoured genre and dip into something different.

Stars: four, an escapist read, full of secrets and suprises that caught me out completely!

ARC supplied for review purposes by author

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight. Darynda Jones

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight.  Darynda Jones

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: A Novel (Charley Davidson Series) by [Jones, Darynda]

Genre:  mystery and thrillers, paranormal and fantasy

I’ve loved this series, it has it all, romance, suspense, humour, and all wrapped up in a great adventure.
Its kind of hard to pick out which characters you like best, Charley and the sex-on-a-stick Reyes of course, but then there’s BFF cookie and her daughter amber, and Ubie, Charley’s detective uncle, and some of Charley’s other friends. And Osh, Angel, and others from the supernatural side.

Once more we’re bang into a story. I’d expected it to pick up from the end of the last book where Charley was berating Jehovah and Michael….y’know, telling Gods and Archangels off as you do, bringing out the threats….but it doesn’t.
Instead she gets a new job for her PI business, from a strange source, Reyes’ foster brother…and as always Charley storms in without really thinking too far ahead, other than getting Cookie on more research.
I love the way those two chat, its almost deranged and yet they know what they mean and it makes sense. Sort of.
While chasing that down they have to deal with an issue Amber has, and of course still work out how to get back the people trapped in the God glass, who’ve been stuck there since the 1400’s thanks to a vengeful, twisted priest, work out how to stop Charley from destroying the world, learn just what she can and can’t do, find some way of dealing with Eidolon and protect Beep. Business as usual then, no pressure.

It turns out that some of the things that seemed to be separate issues are actuallyconnected – doesn’t it always?
I love the way Darynda does that, the way she takes issues from past books, things that almost passed unnoticed, and weaves them in carefully and letting Charley loose on the problem, and of course the way Charley seems to plan on the fly, the way everyone gets involved.
Its all serious drama, heart stopping stuff, mixed in with some trademark Charley snark and humour. And sexiness…Reyes…hmmnnn – the way he adores Charley and yet doesn’t pander to her, puts his foot down sometimes – not that she takes any notice. Its good to see he doesn’t just roll over, but is such a strong character, that his love for her, his Dutch, strengthens him, makes them into a formidable duo.
The Sahara scene with him and Charley was terrific, and her learning experiences take a decidedly sensual turn, reminded me of that shower scene in one of the very early books.

Its interesting to look back at the start of this series and see just how far its come, how the characters have evolved and yet still keep the essential essence of what makes them personally so special, so integral to the story.

A fabulous mystery once more, plays out well, ties up some past loose ends, but opens up more as usual, but that ending. Noooooooo…..Darynda how could you? I hate, hate cliff-hangers, hate them with a vengeance 😦 and this one is a real doozy.

Stars: Five, another cracking book, still fresh after all the past ones, where some longer series get stale. This one though, you never quite know what’s coming next.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

When They Come Calling, Sarah Fleming Mountford

When They Come Calling,  Sarah Fleming Mountford

Genre:  Romance, Mystery & Thrillers

 

I requested this book not fully reading the description – hooked by the intrigue of the 3,000 year old feud. I tend to avoid too much “ghost” reads, not because I don’t like them but because I get nightmares very easily…..Fortunately it wasn’t that sort of read as I discovered when I finally braved it 😉

Anna is lovely, but spent her life avoiding the ghosts she can see, and medicating at night so she doesn’t get them in her dreams. Then suddenly Jed comes into her life, literally saving it when he pushes her away from an accident that could have killed her. He knows more about the ghosts that haunt her, and with his arrival they step up their action. Its a kind of chicken and egg situation – did Jed come because of the ghosts or did they arrive because of him? Whichever it means she has to learn very quickly how to use her talent to banish them, something she knows she can do but hasn’t. Now if they’re to stay alive she needs to learn fast how to do it multiple times.

They try to get away from the ghosts, returning to her childhood home but the ghosts follow them. Turns out there’s a connection to Jed’s past and someone wants Anna. Jed’s holding many secrets, telling Anna bits of his past but they’re in such a race against time that sometimes the info comes out only as new dangers are occurring.

Its the first of a series and the romance angle is slow, but that’s fine by me, I like a slow burn solid romance, which this seems to promise and I look forward to the next read.

Stars: Four, a great start to a new series.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Rock N Soul, Lauren Sattersby

 

amazon UK buy link

 

 

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

I can’t find any other books by Lauren so this looks like it may be a debut book – well, she’s started her writing career with a bang IMO if that’s so – I adored this book.

Tyler, I felt for him. He wanted more out of life but seemed to be stuck, stagnated in his job that pays the bills. That happens to so many people, they’ve ambitions, ideas about the direction they want life to take and then as with Tyler something happens, its all change and there seems no way out. Or maybe its just safer to stay in the comfortable routine…His girlfriend is a real Bi tch to him at times and yet, she’s there and familiar and its all part of the way he’s stagnating. When she’s harassing him to sneak her into Chris room, or at least get her an autograph,and then blaming him for Chris’ death because he wasn’t quicker,  well it just made me want to shout “dump her”.

He gets shaken out of his rut in a huge way by Chris, who appears to him when Tyler has to go to the room Chris died in a couple of weeks later. He finds a ring on the floor in a corner and puts it on – then Chris suddenly appears….nightmare or what! They soon work out that Chris can only appear to Tyler and can’t move more than about 20 ft away from him so they’re kind of stuck together. Chris comes over as a rich, entitled git TBH and of course Tyler dislikes him from the start. Its a challenge then for Lauren to not only sort out the Ghost conundrum, but work up a romance between two people that dislike each other so much. To begin they really do grate on each other, Chris criticises Tyler’s life and job, Tyler reminds him that he’s dead, he isn’t in a place to be making judgements about other peoples lifestyles given how his ended. At first they just want to find a way for Chris to move on so they aren’t stuck with each other any longer. That takes them time to work out – its not something that Google has the answers for after all, so they try many different things until it seems that they’re finally on the right track. By then though they’ve changed so much in how they feel about each other.

Its a great read, full of humour and pathos, one countermanding the other so it never gets too irritating or too schmaltzy. Some of the things they do are very emotional, some of them just made me smile and then others – the scene with Eric, was so, so sad I really felt for them, got the prickling eyes and lump in throat feeling that comes when a scene feels so very real. We see how both of them have things in their pasts that have affected them in the way they act and behave, and that they are more than the surface nerd and jerk faces they present to each other. Its a journey that could be true for so many of us, its easy to judge someone’s lifestyle choices without knowing what’s behind them. The Indians have this saying about Walking a mile in a man’s shoes that I always things is very apt. Try someone’s life for real before you judge them.

Tyler’s cousin Chad – I really grieved for him, doped up by a well meaning mother who just didn’t believe in what he said he saw, Ghosts, so he spent his life in a daze, no job, stuck living with family. I really was pleased at the plans Tyler made for him, he needed that. It made me thin too at how many people are caught in that trap, medicated when really what the need is support of a far different kind. There could be far more in the world than we understand yet. Just because science can’t explain it doesn’t mean it isn’t real – think of electricity, something everyday now but a few hundred years back would have been regarded as impossible.

Stars: Five, a story I really enjoyed

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Oxford Whispers, Marion Croslydon

 

 

 

 

 

Oxford Whispers, Marion Croslydon

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Paranormal

Well, I’d forgotten this book was on my kindle til browsing through the Kindle Unlimited lists and saw it, and the next book there. So I thought it was about time I read it – I should have read it ages ago, its a fabulous read, well written, good plots and a great mystery to unravel. I’ll be onto book two as soon as I’ve written this review.

I’ve seen reviews comparing this to Deborah Harkness All Souls Trilogy but having read and loved that I can’t really see the comparison myself. Madison in this book is an American in Oxford, the same as Diana from AST, and of course both reads have a paranormal aspect but AST has a huge cast and many different types of Supernaturals whereas OW has a small, tight group of characters and its really only spirits that are the paranormal side. They are both great reads, but IMO very different and to me this is much more like Susannah Kearsley’s stories, another author whose works I enjoy.

I loved the Oxford setting, it was perfect for the story. I felt as if I was there with them. I do enjoy books with a UK setting being a UK resident myslef.

Madison makes for a great lead, with her somewhat chequered background and voodoo heritage that she she wants to ignore. Then she finds that she can’t – the spirits seem to want to come to her and a couple just won’t leave her alone. She has sort of “time slips” where she gets an insight into past events, and so much seems to revolve around three characters in a painting connected to her studies. This brings her into some riveting dangers at the end, and some narrow escapes throughout the book. I was trying to work out the puzzle too as parts unfolded to her, and of course to work out Peter and how he was behind the current events.

Rupert, playboy student, is attracted to Madison right from first sight but she’s been warned about him, his love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation and his current girlfreind situation, and she gives him the cold shoulder. Somehow though Marion gets the two together and their romance begins to grow. It’s a kind of shock to both, Madison is very inexperienced and of course Rupert isn’t used to feeling so much for someone. His father doesn’t approve, her friends and tutor don’t approve, and yet the two somehow seem to move forward slowly together, though not without some serious dramatics and emotional crises. I do love some serious dramas in a story, keeps me interested and I need the emotion that comes with them. I need to feel I’m “in” the story, not just an onlooker and events that happened allowed for just that.

I love the merging of past and present, the telling of a story through a painting, the working out the trails to find the truth, and the way it all leads up to a shocking climax. Its a great read, one for my keepers file and I’m looking forward to the next part (it’s on my kindle now thanks to Kindle Unlimited!)

Stars:Five, a fabulous read with characters both past and present hat feel so very real.

 

 

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

 

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