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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "Better Homes and Hauntings" by Molly Harper


Better Homes and Hauntings

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper; Narrated by Amanda Ronconi
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Paranormal Romance

Pocket Books -- Published in June 2014
Audiobook, 8 hours and 58 minutes
Read in September 2014
Purchased from Audible

THEMES
Beta Hero, Ghosts, Secondary Romance, Unique Setting

SUMMARY
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.


FIRST LINE
"Beware all enterprises that start with the purchase of Crocs."

MY THOUGHTS
Ghost stories aren't my normal genre of choice when it comes to paranormal romance.  But, Molly Harper is one of my favorite authors so I was willing to give Better Homes and Hauntings a try.  While the storytelling style was different for Harper, I did end up enjoying this book and recommend it for fans of paranormal fiction with romance on the side.

The plot revolves around the renovation of a late Victorian-era mansion known as the Crane's Nest that resides on its on island off the coast of Rhode Island.  The mansion is the family property of Deacon, a nerdy social media mogul, and he has hired various experts to help him bring the Crane's Nest back to its former glory.  Unfortunately, there are many spooky occurrences on the island that threaten Deacon's plans.

The highlight of Better Homes and Hauntings, for me, was the cast of characters.  There are five main people that the book follows: Deacon, his best friend and architect Jake, organizational expert Cindy, landscaper Nina, and Deacon's kooky cousin Dottie.  I really liked all of them and found myself invested in their own individual projects on the island.  I was a little worried that the characters wouldn't get enough page time to be properly developed, but, thankfully, that was not the case.  The romances between Deacon and Nina and Jake and Cindy were also sweet and fun to read about.

The ghost story element was also really fun.  The overall tone of the book is lighthearted, but Harper was not messing around with the creep factor.  The spirits at the Crane's Nest are not Casper the Friendly Ghost and actually put the inhabitants of the island in danger at times.  Things center around the murder of Catherine Whitney, the wife of the original owner of the Crane's Nest, and it becomes obvious that something isn't very happy about the return of the Whitney clan.  I really got into this part of the book and felt like I was on the edge of my seat by the climax.

Overall, I found Better Homes and Hauntings to be an entertaining though unusual story for Molly Harper.  The romances were not the focus of the book, but I thought that worked out well.  I will admit that the first half went by a little slow though it definitely picked up towards the end.  I also adored Amanda Ronconi's narration as she truly understands Harper's sense of humor and writing style.


4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Sweetheart, I’m going to insist that you ride that man like a pony.  For the good of all mankind, technological advancement, and America’s place in the world wide economy. Think of the gadgetry he could come up with if he had a little stress relief.”

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see you liked this one. I just could not get into it and I adore her books. It seems a lot that listened to it had an easier time with it.

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