Archive for the ‘Gothic’ Category

All Hallows' Eve Collection

Of Ghosts and Gardens by Sarah M. Eden

Enid Pryce took pride in the fact that she was undeniably Welsh; she lived in Brecknockshire, Wales with her little family.  Her home not only came with a beautifully garden, but a ghost who took great care in making sure to let would be thieves know, “You must not take what is not yours.”  Dafydd Gam, the family ghost had known to wander the garden, making sure no one would take the flowers.  After being away from home, Enid want to verify that she was indeed home and the best way to do that was to make sure that her ghost was still there, she set out to steal from the garden.  Instead of getting herself a visit from a ghost, she met Burke Kennard.  Burke, a scholar was researching the 15th-century Welsh Revolt, and who better to ask than the man who lived during that time, Dafydd Gam.  Burke and Enid set out to try to lure the ghost to visit them to learn about the revolt, but instead they learned that not everyone is who they say they are, and the same can be said about a certain ghost.  As the mystery revolving around Dafydd grows, so do the feelings between Enid and Burke.

Sarah created a lighthearted story with two characters that knew what they wanted out of life; however, being so determined to stick with their present course, they needed the help of a friendly neighborhood ghost to help them take a much-needed detour to a path of love.  This was a very cute story that I found entertaining. Sarah does a great job on creating characters and plots in a very short time.  The dialogue between Enid and Burke was complete with humor and quick wit. I really enjoy when I story has you smiling or laughing aloud.  I have always enjoyed books by Sarah M. Eden, and once again, she has come through with a great read.

It’s You by Annette Lyon

Orphaned when she was one, Anna Brierley, was taken in and raised by her grandparents in Idaho.  Traveling to live with her aunt and uncle after their death, Anna’s welcoming event was a funeral, not exactly her choice of entertainment.  However, this funeral was unlike any other that Anna had ever attended, there was a woman that seemed to recognize her, but she was unlike any other woman that she had ever seen or met.  The lady in white with one long braid called for attention and it seemed no one else had witnessed her at the cemetery, which isn’t too big of a surprise since she was the spirit of a woman coming to make things right.  Wondering if she was delusional, Anna tried to bury the incident, she carried on with life.  Not wanting to be a big burden to her aunt or uncle, Anna decided to earn her keep by taking on odd jobs, since the local schools felt like her small town education wasn’t good enough for their likes.  Her first odd job consisted of taking on cleaning out a church closet of a departed woman’s items.  Through this assignment, Anna was shocked to find a surprising discovery.  In order to find the cause for the young woman’s visit, Anna gets to know a local young man, Charlie Beck, who also has been in contact with the woman in white.  Between the two of them, they might be able to help the young woman feel at peace.

In a shorter version this story is about an older woman passing on, feeling wrapped up in guilt, and because of this, she is unable to go in peace.  She feels like she must make amends to those that she has hurt, unfortunately, she is not able to make things right with the people she hurt, but fate has brought the next generation to her doorstep.  I didn’t enjoy this story as much because it seemed too short and I felt disconnected from the characters, and I never felt like it pulled me in.  I don’t believe the story line could have held its own had it been lengthened into a full novel, it just didn’t have the makings of a great story.

Sophia’s Curse by Heather B. Moore

Every five years, on All Hallows Eve, a member of the Rousseau household or the Belrose household would die.  This curse was shared by these two households, and had been placed upon them by a scorned vindictive woman claiming to have secretly married Belrose Sr., and she stated that she should inherit the land, in response  her and her claims had been turned away.  Joan’s mother died giving birth on that cursed night.  Blinded by pain and anger Monsieur Rudolph Belrose, Joan’s father, had her sent to a nearby abbey to be raised by the nuns.  Joan loved to be creative and had an imagination, but most of all she enjoyed sneaking into the grove of trees and watch the magnificent, and good-looking Simon Rousseau.  It was just a matter of time before she would be caught.  Simon and Joan had no idea how life would change for them in the short period after they met.  All Hallows Eve was upon them, and it looked like Joan’s father was to be the next victim.  Was it really a curse, or was there something less superstitious and more evil at play?

Sophia’s Curse contained all the elements of a great book: romance, mystery, suspense, and murder.  The romance between Simon and Joan was quick yet it was strong and enjoyable.  Heather B. Moore was able to tie up all the loose ends in a tidy little bow, and left nothing to question.  It kept me on the edge on my seat; I will definitely be looking for more books by her in the future.

The Sirens’ Song by Lisa Mangum

Widower and Dr., Oliver, is on his way to Greece aboard a cruise liner as the lead physician.  Still wearing the ring and grieving after the death of his beloved wife, Cate, Oliver is just moving through life as if he is in a daydream.  An unfortunate event sends his wedding ring into the churning waters and not long after, he finds himself sharing the same fate.  A trio of sirens steals him away, pulling him from the clutches of the dark sea intent on stealing his memories and pain, not aware that behind his memories was love and happiness.  Willing to give up his memories for one last chance to see his cherished wife, Oliver relives the most precious times with Cate.

Lisa did a great job of capturing Oliver’s pain as well as his deep love for his wife, Cate. Delving into a character’s pain is not easy, but Lisa puts to paper a beautiful romance between husband and his wife.  Even though Cate has passed on, I felt like I was given the opportunity to witness their marriage and see their relationship from the beginning to the end.  You cannot help but ache for Oliver and his loss, but you are so happy when he gets to give his final good bye to the woman he loves so much.  Lisa Magnum wrote a beautiful love story.

The Man of Her Dreams by Jordan McCollum

Alexandra Steen, homicide detective, has a unique yet troubling gift: she sees murders before they happen.  The troubling part, she’s unable to stop them and she’s unable to use this information in, she is left with collecting evidence that leads to the guilty verdict.  The story starts out like any other dream for Alex, the killer attacks and slays his victim.  Alex is not about to let this happen, not again!  With everything she has, she speeds to the spot of the soon to be crime, only to find out that she is too late…or is she.  The last victim was spared and Alex is surprised to find that the victim is her ex-boyfriend’s sister.  However, the dreams don’t stop.  It’s only a matter of time that Alex determines that Nick is the intended target, after encountering him after all these years, she realizes that she still loves him and she’ll do everything in her power to make this dream not come true.  Nick and Alex have a lot to forgive and forget if they are to move forward in their lives and keep Nick safe.

This thriller keeps you on your edge of you seat wondering who the killer is and when he will strike.   Alex is very head strong, where Nick is laid back and non-confrontational.  It’s a challenge to watch these two hit heads and struggle with their differences.  Jordan McCollum did a great job creating their characters, bringing them to life.  They have the same struggles that a normal couple has and they need to work through this in order to be a couple again.  In a short period, Jordan did an amazing job pulling me in, working out the differences, and building a suspenseful plot and wrapping it all up in the end.

The Ghost of Millhouse Mansion by Elana Johnson

Naomi was amazing at what she did, she knew her job, and she loved it.  She had the amazing talent of not only renovating antiques but she also was known for interior decorating skills.  Right now, the biggest dream of hers involved a huge beautiful mansion, not just any mansion, but the Millhouse Mansion.  It begged for her touch, and she found herself imagining the hardwood floors, the fixtures, and the mantle over the fireplace.  However, the owner didn’t seem to have any desire to step foot in the place, much less bring it back to its former glory.  Yet today of all days seemed to be Naomi’s lucky day.  The owner, Colt Jennings walked into her office needing a renovation that happened to be located in the mansion.  Naomi was living her dream.  The mansion is everything that Naomi hopes for, instantly she’s taking notes and envisioning what she could do to fix this place up, but soon, she realizes that her and Colt are not alone.  In addition, someone, or something, is trying to get their attention.  Colt has his own demons to deal with and the ghosts that seem to hang around the old place aren’t helping his cheerful disposition.  Naomi and Colt must figure out the mystery surrounding the spirits lingering around, or someone was going to get hurt.

Elana Johnson did a great job introducing twist and turns in the plot.  She even gets an A for the spook factor.  I definitely didn’t see the surprise at the end coming; I really enjoyed this Halloween story.  Makes me curious what other books Elana has written and what surprises she has in store for them.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Rating: Review