Tag: Ghosts

Guest Review: Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Posted September 24, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie DainesReviewer: Tracy
Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 1, 2015
Genres: Medieval, Paranormal Romance
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four-stars

Eleanor de Lacy is forced into an arranged marriage with her father’s greatest enemy, Brac Goch, the Welsh king. All Eleanor knows of Brac is that he is a ruthless, war hungry man.

Eleanor arrives at the Welsh castle of Bryn Du already expecting the worst. When the ghost of Brac Goch’s first wife appears and warns her that the Welsh king is not to be trusted, all of Eleanor’s fears are confirmed.

As the countdown to her wedding day approaches, Eleanor must figure out who is lying, who is telling the truth, who is loyal, and who is the traitor–and most of all, if she can love an enemy king.

Tracy’s review of Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Eleanor’s father and Brac Goch, the Welsh king have been at war. Eleanor is now the key to a truce according to her father. She has been promised in marriage to the man they call the Red Worm, being sent off to a country she knows nothing about to a people she can’t communicate with. It’s not her best day! When she arrives at Bryn Du she can hardly look at Brac, who she’s been told killed her brother due to a battle that he instigated. Despite her reservations, however, Brac is nothing but accommodating to her until he sees all of her healing herbs and practically accuses her of being a witch. That doesn’t go over too well. Brac takes away Eleanor’s herbs and she feels like her life is over. She feels like she is in now in prison! She loves healing the sick and now this oaf of a man won’t even let her do that to keep herself occupied.

Eleanor does make a couple of friends at her new home but she’s still leery of Brac. He is kind, even when she thinks he might not be which is confusing for her. She starts hearing rumors about an English prisoner that was once in the dungeon, who she believes might have been her brother and that puts her on the hunt for answers. Then she starts getting messages written in blood and sees a woman who might be Brac’s dead wife. There are strange happenings but none stranger than Eleanor’s thawing feelings toward Brac. Unfortunately there are other things and people trying to hurt both Eleanor and Brac and neither one of them are fully prepared for who might be out to hurt them.

I was intrigued by the blurb of this book so I was excited when everything I hoped for was provided! The story was considered a romance and there was definitely a bond growing between the h/h but there were so many other things going on that it wasn’t the main focus. I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but that worked for me.

Eleanor’s just 18 and here she is thrust into a new environment and forced to live with and get engaged to the man she thinks killed not only her brother but a ton of her father’s people. I’d probably have my guard up as well, and rightly so. Eleanor doesn’t know how to feel or what to think. Brac seems to be trying to get to know her but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it but…there are times when she just can’t help but be slightly charmed by the man. She’s told he’s done horrible things but he says he didn’t – she doesn’t know who to believe and I loved that that trust had to grow slowly. It wasn’t as if she suddenly went – omg, I love this guy. No, didn’t happen. Even at the end of the book there were technically no “I love you’s” and it all fit with the flow of the majority of the book.

There was lots of mystery in the book as we have no idea who’s right and wrong and who exactly the villain is. Do we believe that Eleanor’s father is telling the truth about the attacks or Brac? And when the strange ghostly visits are upon Eleanor, and Brac isn’t forthcoming, you wonder if Eleanor’s losing her mind or not. It was well done and there were a few surprises in there as well.

I would have loved to have had just a little bit more of a thawing between Eleanor and Brac and frankly a little bit more from Brac in the book. The story wasn’t told in first person POV so I was disappointed in the lack of info about Brac that was offered – or any of his thoughts for that matter – but it still worked for me for the most part. The ghost aspect of the book was a tad far-fetched but that worked too.

Overall this was a very good story and one I recommend. I look forward to more from this author in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Covenant Communications, Inc. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars


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Guest Review: Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles

Posted February 20, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina MylesReviewer: Tracy
Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles
Series: The Cursed Princes #4

Publication Date: February 17th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Time Travel
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three-stars

A DANGEROUS ATTRACTION
When her demanding stepmother died, Ella Benoit knew just how far their fortunes had fallen, unlike her spoiled stepsisters. So she never expected the bequest from her late father. A chateau in France and the freedom to live her own life, all at once!
The chateau has seen better days, but Ella knows she can put the ruined house to rights. The life-size portrait of its first owner, Jean-Daniel Girard, seems to watch her work with approval, even pleasure. With bright blue eyes, strong features, and an athlete’s body, the viscount is a tempting sight even now, more than three hundred years after his tragic death. But the more she looks at the portrait, the more convinced Ella is that she’s met Jean-Daniel before. In another life, perhaps—or maybe, as the form who haunts the halls at night, invading Ella’s dreams…

Tracy’s review of Cinderella and the Ghost (The Cursed Princes #4) by Marina Myles

Ella has been badgered, beaten down and treated like a slave by her stepmother and 2 stepsisters. She promised her father that she would look after her stepmother but it was darned difficult. Once her stepmother dies she finds that her father bought a French chateau for her and left money for her to restore it to its former beauty. She’s excited about the adventure and excited to be away from her horrible stepsisters.

Once in France she finds that the house is supposedly haunted. She does have some rather strange things happening but while scared she honestly believes that the ghost – who she believes is the Vicomte in the painting, Jean-Daniel Girard – is trying to tell her something. She figures out that he wants her to return to him somehow but she has no clue what to do to time-travel. When she finds a magical amulet it manages to propel her into the past.

Once in the past Ella finds many things. First she meets Jean-Daniel who she instantly likes and soon grows to love. She also finds that there are many people in her 21st Century who were surely reincarnated from the people she meets in the past – namely her friend Mimi and of course her evil stepmother and 2 evil stepsisters. Can she not get away from them? She has to find a way that she and Jean-Daniel can be together but also find a way to save his life as she knows exactly when he died.

This was a cute little book and I liked the story, to a point, but sometimes found it to drag in places and go on unnecessarily in others. I think it could have been tighter and the story would have flowed better. The second half of the book seemed to fly by but the first half was slow going. I also wasn’t a fan of the Vicomte playing with a rubber ball with his dog in 1703 as rubber wasn’t invented until the 19th century

This is a twist on the typical Cinderella story and I really liked that. It had some good ideas going for it and I was happy that the couple found love. That is, until that HEA was trashed completely at the end. I ended the book and was ranting to my husband. How could the author dangle that HEA out there and make us think that all was well and then pull the rug out from under us??? The ending, which was supposed to make us happy, I believe, and make us think that Ella found her HEA (again pushing the reincarnation idea) was harsh and completely angered me. I wish that things hadn’t worked out for Ella and Jean-Daniel in 1703 as I would have been much happier with the conclusion in 2015.

Overall the book was ok but unfortunately I can’t say I completely enjoyed it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This title is available from Kensington. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-stars


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Guest Review: Medium Well by Meg Benjamin

Posted April 24, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Medium Well by Meg BenjaminReviewer: Tracy
Medium Well by Meg Benjamin
Series: Ramos Family Medium Trilogy #1
Published by Intermix
Publication Date: February 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-half-stars

Danny Ramos has always had a gift when it comes to selling houses; it’s as if the homes talk to him. When his jealous boss, Araceli, assigns him to an old and neglected carriage house, he discovers that perhaps his abilities are more than simple intuition. Danny sees and feels the history of the house and the bloody murder that happened there while Biddy, his assistant, feels nothing. If Danny’s going to sell this house, prove to his boss that he isn’t crazy, save his job, and get the girl, he’s going to need all the help he can find, especially when the demon inhabiting the house possesses a client. Lucky for Danny, his sixth sense runs in the family.

Danny Ramos is a real estate agent who is put in charge of selling a carriage house in a historic district of San Antonio, Texas. He’s not thrilled that he gets to sell JUST the carriage house when his boss is selling the actual house but he’ll do his best.

Danny and his awkward assistant, Biddy, head off to show the house to a potential client and it’s the first time they get to see the property. To say its in horrible condition is putting it mildly. The place is a nightmare mess and on top of that Danny starts seeing things – like blood all over the kitchen. Fortunately for him it’s not real but does that mean he’s losing his mind? Biddy feels like the place is freezing, but no one sees the blood but him.

After going to bed one night and being astral projected into the carriage house and seeing ghosts he decides to fess up about what’s happening to both Biddy and his mother whose family has had mediums in it for years. The three of them discover that the house not only has ghosts but so much more. Trying to figure out how to put the boss off from trying to sell the place, keeping his job and also figuring out if he can get rid of the evil spirit that’s inhabiting the carriage house makes for some stressful times.

During all of this Danny sees a different side of Biddy than he’d seen previously. He finds out she sings in a band as well as plays the fiddle. While he’s surprised he also realizes that this is the true Biddy and she’s only at the real estate office to make her sister happy. Danny can’t keep his mind off of Biddy but every love story has its problems.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this book. It’s not my normal kind of read but I was intrigued enough by the blurb to open it up. I have to admit that it was a bit…odd for the first part of the book – til about 40% in. Then the ghost story got more interesting, Danny and Biddy’s romance took off and I definitely wanted to see what happened in the end.

Danny was a character that I got good and bad vibes from. At some points he just seemed extremely shallow but then he seemed to come around the more time he spent with Biddy who was very down to earth. I liked how he was with his family but there were times that I wanted to slap him in the back of his head for some of the things he said to Biddy. Lol Especially since Biddy was so great. I loved the way the author described Biddy and her band. I could totally hear their music in my head as well as the excitement that their audiences were feeling – it was pretty cool.

My issues with the book included the fact that the ghost story was a bit convoluted in the end. I understood it perfectly but then the author felt that it needed to be explained to me yet again and that didn’t set well with me. I think the author should have had more confidence in her readers to understand. Also, in the blurb it talks about Danny having a gift of almost having the houses he sells “talk to him.” We were told that he had an affinity with the houses he sells but we never actually get to SEE it and it was a bit frustrating. When he sees the blood at the carriage house he freaks right out so I’m guessing that a house had never quite talked to him like that. I guess I thought since it was mentioned we’d get more information about that and we didn’t.

In the end it was a good story. Yes, it started off slow but it definitely got better. If you like ghost stories I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Between Seasons by Aida Brassington

Posted December 2, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Tracy’s review of Between Seasons by Aida Brassington

There are things Patrick Boyle will never forget: the sound of his own neck breaking at the moment of his death in the fall of 1970, the sweet taste of his mother’s chocolate cake, and the awful day his parents abandoned him in his childhood house-turned prison.

Nineteen-year-old Patrick wonders for decades if God has forgotten all about him or if he’s being punished for some terrible crime or sin over a lovely forty years trapped in an empty home. But when Sara Oswald, a strange woman with a mysterious past, buys his house, old feelings reawaken, and a new optimism convinces him that she’s the answer to his prayers.

Things are never simple, though, especially when she begins channeling the memories of his life and death in her writing.

The book begins with our hero’s death. It’s not really like anything Patrick would have expected but he’s only 19 so he really hadn’t given it all that much thought. He’s a bit freaked by watching everything that goes on around him yet no one can hear him.

His mother states after the funeral that she just needs to get away. Not on vacation and not moving to another town nearby – she doesn’t even want to be in the state. She loved her only child Patrick and she can’t stand to be anywhere near where he died. While reading about Patrick and his thoughts on death was emotional for me, reading about Patrick’s parents leaving the house just about brought me to tears. He could actually touch, feel and move around those things that were his in life and he begins to hide things so that his mother and father won’t take them with them.

We read about Patrick and his time alone when no one is in the house. He’s tried multiple times to get out of the house via door or window but he just loses consciousness, so to speak, and wakes up 5 hours later. The time that Patrick spends reading his few books over and over and trying to figure out why he’s there and did God forget him – or if there even is a God – is incredibly moving. I know he’s dead but in the story he’s more like a living being and the loneliness just breaks my heart.

Then one day a woman comes to the house. He thinks she’s really pretty and lo and behold, she’s bought the house. He finds out that his parents couldn’t bear to sell the house and for various reasons it has stood empty for 40 years. Patrick is shocked that so much time has passed but he’s so very interested in the new owner, Sara. What starts out for Patrick as a crush on Sara turns into full blown love. I did have to pause a bit at this point as I wasn’t sure if it was just his feelings of love because of being alone so long or a young crush but the author really put my mind at ease on this one and I was soon once again flowing with the story.

Sara has a history of what is considered mental illness by her family. She’s not crazy but she has cause to doubt herself. She talks to herself all the time – which is great for Patrick of course – but she soon sees a face in the mirror and can feel Patrick’s “touch.” One night things change and suddenly she can hear Patrick speak. She thinks she’s really lost it but when eventually she can see him as well she just goes with the flow. The question is – how does a relationship between a woman and a man-ghost continue and how does she explain it to her family.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up the book. The blurb had really caught my eye and I was anxious to see what happened between Sara and Patrick.

I very much liked Patrick from minute one. He had a great sense of humor and though there were many things he couldn’t understand about modern technology (once Sara moved in with her cell phones and her iPod) he just went with the flow. He was a romantic guy and I loved reading about his desire to really take Sara out on a date or go pick her flowers – but he couldn’t. He was a gentleman and I just wanted everything to work out in his favor – even if he was a ghost!

Sara took a bit of getting used to as I wasn’t sure what her story was at first. Her background before moving to the house was a bit sketchy at first and when I did find out what had happened before she had moved there I just felt horrible for all she’d gone through. She showed that she was a loving and compassionate woman and, obviously, open-minded. She had no idea where the relationship between Patrick and herself would go but she was more than open to just about any possibility.

Then there were the secondary characters. One was Patrick’s ex-girlfriend, Ginny, who was a great character both in 1970 and in 2010. She was kind and thoughtful and though a bit hesitant about ghosts she went with the flow. Then there was Sara’s sister, Jules, who was, in my opinion, the crazier of the two sisters! She was not a supportive woman and imho didn’t treat her sister all that well. She was quick to call Sara crazy and want her institutionalized. I so wish that Jules could have heard Patrick because he had a few things to say to the woman! lol

I can’t tell you everything that happened with Sara and Patrick because it’s truly something you need to read on your own – but it’s well worth the time and money to do so. It was a really great book about love, possibilities and devotion.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Green Needle Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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