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I Belong


Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Better Homes and HauntingsTitle: Better Homes and Hauntings

Author: Molly Harper

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: June 24, 2014

Format: Paperback, 318 Pages

ISBN-10: 147670600X (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1476706009 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!

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.

Quick & Dirty: In need of work to save her failing business, Nina agrees to help restore a supposedly haunted estate. Turns out, there’s no “supposedly” about it. There’s definitely something living there, and it’s not nice at all…

Opening Sentence: Beware all enterprises that start with the purchase of Crocs.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Life has been rough for Nina lately. Her business is on the edge of ruin, she’s had to deal with identity theft, and she’s being stalked by a former business partner. In hopes of breathing new life into her business, she takes a job working with Deacon Whitley, agreeing to help restore his family’s estate. Having grown up in the area, Nina knows the estate has a reputation for being haunted, but she never gave much credence to the rumors. Once reaching the estate though, it begins to become clear that there is some entity living on the estate, and it is not happy that they are there…

I was extremely excited to read this book, as I have heard so many good things about Molly Harper. Unfortunately, my expectations may have been a bit too high, as I found myself largely disappointed as I made my way through the story. There were good moments – I especially loved all the geeky references to things such as Buffy and the Marvel universe. But by and large, I just was not in love with the story and found myself bored much of the time.

A big problem I had was with the narration. We get five points of view throughout the story, which normally, would not bother me. There was just something off about how the points of view were applied here though. While we would technically be getting one character’s point of view, it almost felt as if that point of view was being filtered through the narration of someone outside the story, creating a distance between the reader and the characters. This distance left me unable to connect to anybody in the story, and as a result, I didn’t care about either romance plot that was occurring as I didn’t have any interest invested in the characters. In the same way, I didn’t really find myself interested in the ghost story aspect of the book. It’s possible that I’m just not used to a ghost story taking place in a more lighthearted book. I’m used to Stephen King and Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror series, so I expect any ghosts to scare me, and when that didn’t happen here, I lost interest quickly.

So, why give the book 3 stars? Honestly, I may not have a good answer to that. Simply put, when it came time for me to write this review, I felt that two wasn’t giving the book enough credit. Three does feel like a bit much given that I largely did not enjoy the book, but I just can’t bring myself to give it two. I wish I could give better justification than that, but that’s all I have.

All in all, this was not a great book for me. I’m hoping that this was just an aberration and that the praise I’ve heard for Molly Harper’s work is related more to her other series. I’m still going to give them a try, but I’ll be going in with a lot more trepidation than I would have before reading this book.

Notable Scene:

Cindy was all acidic smiles and saccharine sweetness. “Mr. Whitney, would you please explain to your architect that these storage areas are part of an organization plan that you approved?” she practically cooed. “You asked Anthony to knock out one of the walls between guest rooms to create storage and display space for your collectibles.”

“Collectibles?” Nina whispered.

“I’ve seen the sketches,” Anthony whispered back. “The guy’s a big fan of those weird sci-fi/fantasy movies. Flash Gordon. Krull. Tron. Ladyhawke. Did you know they made Krull action figures? Because I sure didn’t. I’ve never even heard of that movie.”

Nina shook her head. “I did not know that. But now that I know that there’s a tiny posable Liam Neeson out there, I sort of want one.” The look Anthony gave her was equal parts confusion and speculation. She just shrugged. “Don’t judge me.”

skull3

FTC Advisory: Pocket/Simon and Schuster provided me with a copy of Better Homes and Hauntings. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

  1. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmonsNo Gravatar
    1

    I got a copy of this from the library, but never got around to listening to it. I’ve been meaning to pick it back up again. I should do that sometime. I do love Molly Harper. I’m listening to the last book in the Jane series right now.

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