ARC Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper – 4 Stars

Better Homes and Haunting
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Stand alone to be released June 24, 2014

I received this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

I love Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson and Half Moon Hollow series, so when I saw this title of hers over at Net Galley I hit the request button, despite the fact that I have been playing catch up.  This is a stand-alone book of hers and is more supernatural than paranormal in nature.  It was also written a little different from the other books I have read in her series.  This book was told from the perspective of all the four, no five, main characters instead of just being in the head of the two love interests.  Ms. Harper’s legendary wit and humor is still present along with some great friendships between the characters.  If you love Ms. Harper’s other books I would definitely be adding this title to your to-read list.

So I did enjoy the book, but it wasn’t until the end that it earned its fourth star.  I don’t think this has anything to do with the writing or story line, but more with the fact that I tend to prefer the paranormal over the supernatural.  I just don’t think I’m a fan of ghost stories, but I’m glad I stuck this one out.  The switching between so many characters took some getting used to and I felt it took longer to bond/identify with the main character in the synopsis, Nina.  The mystery was intriguing and it was nice to have a book where everything was resolved or wrapped up by the end.  I love my series, but there is something nice about reading a stand-alone every now and again.  I’m glad the author didn’t stretch this out into a series,  I think the book might have lost something if it was padded with filler to stretch things out.

The characters were a hoot as always with this author’s books.  She has a talent for writing great friendships.  If you are not a fan of insta-love then you might have a problem with insta-friends, but for me it worked.  This is a group of people thrown onto an isolated island to work for the summer it was nice to see them as a team and not as adversaries.   There was a little tension between Cindy and Jake, but it played nicely to set up the sexual tension between the two love interests.  Nina was interesting, but a little wishy-washy, but I think that was how the character was meant to come off.  Deacon was great though.  He was this geeky/tech hottie and was such a nice change of pace for a main love interest.  I loved, LOVED, all the comic/super hero/pop culture references in this book!  For me Nina and Deacon were a great paring and it was fun to read their coming together.

This was a fun read.  Great for taking to a beach or reading in a hammock on a summer afternoon.  It will make you laugh with its silliness and keep you turning the page to find out what happens in the mystery.  Again, if you are a fan of Molly Harper’s other books, add this one to your list.  If you haven’t read any of her other titles, give this stand-alone a try to see if she is a good match for you.


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