Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper (thoughts)
"When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance."
I'm having a hard time writing up my thoughts on this one as I enjoyed it....but. There were a few things that kept me from fully connecting to this book which is why it only ended up being a good read for me rather than great. Let's start off with everything I enjoyed though, shall we? First of all this book was way spookier than I expected. Set on a remote island believed to be haunted, the author did an amazing job of really creating this eerie setting where it felt like something evil was just lurking around the corner. And there were some really spooky moments throughout the book that really reinforced this! My favorite thing about this book though was all the references to Scooby Doo that the author threw in here and there. I adored that cartoon as a kid and still love watching old episodes with my kids. So fun and a pleasure to find another Scooby Doo fan! The mystery portion of this book was done really well and had me guessing for the majority of the book. I had a few parts of the book figured out but it wasn't until the very end that I realized that I was right. This book was a fast, easy read that kept my attention throughout. Overall, I really enjoyed it.
The issues that I had with it though really had to do with the relationship that developed between Nina and Deacon. It felt like they just came together all too easily and I never really connected to their relationship. While I absolutely adored all of the other relationships in this book between the characters, this one just fell short for me. Maybe because I went into this book expecting more of a focus on the romance than what there really was. For me, this felt more like a mystery with a romance thrown in. I liked both Nina and Deacon's characters, liked that they found each other, but overall their chemistry just fell a bit flat for me.
When all was said and done, I did really enjoy this book even if I had a few issues with it. It was a fun read, and I was left ready to read more by this author. I am curious to see if this author has any more books with scary settings as she did that portion of this book extremely well! Plus, any author that uses Scooby Doo references is an author that I will be reading more of! Recommended but as a mystery rather than romance!
Bottom Line: A fun and creepy read but one that didn't quite knock my socks off.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review thanks to the publisher. Thoughts are my own!