Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
|Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: Better Homes and Hauntings is brilliant summer beach reading - romantic, silly and, above all, really good fun. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 318||Date: June 2014|
|Publisher: Audible Studios|
|External links: Author's website|
When Nina Linden arrives on Deacon Whitney's private island, it's a chance for her to escape the difficulties of her past and start rebuilding her failing landscaping business. If she can do a good job here, it will open all sorts of doors to the upper class markets, and on a private island, surely her horrible ex can't find ways to sabotage her, right?
But Nina didn't count on the influence of an angry spirit. The island is full of ghosts and one of them is out to destroy everything that Deacon Whitney has worked for. Nina, and the other inhabitants of the island - a cleaner, an architect and Deacon's cousin Dotty - need to solve the mystery of Deacon's ancestor Catherine Whitney's untimely death before whoever got to her gets to them as well.
It might seem an odd thing to say about a ghost story, but this was a really cute book. Fluffy and daft, but really, really enjoyable.
The ghost story isn't really played for scares - though there are a couple of passingly creepy moments interspersed between the witty banter and sexual tension. And though the plot does build to a fairly climactic moment, there's never really any sense of peril - you know before you've even started that everyone's going to end up with their perfect partner and live happily ever after.
Much of the story is dedicated to the blossoming relationships between various cast members, particularly Deacon and Nina. Harper brilliantly captures that sort of 'too awkward to communicate' charm in nerdy Deacon - he manages to be completely endearingly hopeless. And while Nina has plenty of bad history with her conniving ex, she never falls into that annoying 'I'm so helpless' brand of heroine that doesn't ever do anything. Throughout the story she comes out of her shell in a bit of character development that feels entirely natural.
There are a few laugh out loud moments and plenty of amusing set pieces to put a smile on your face as you read. But mostly, it's just entirely satisfying to watch the characters gravitate towards each other while they try to solve the mystery of the ghosts haunting the island. It's wonderful escapist reading.
I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook version of this. Amanda Ronconi does an excellent job of bringing all the characters to life and listening to it over my headphones meant I didn't even have to battle the issue of finding a comfortable position to sunbathe and read in. Perfect.
So, yes, the plot twist is blindingly obvious a long time before you get there, and there's nothing ground breaking or spectacular about it, but Better Homes is brilliant summer beach reading - romantic, silly and, above all, really good fun. Highly recommended."
Fans of romantic urban fantasy might enjoy Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs.
You could get a free audio download of Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper at Amazon.com.
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