Monday, December 30, 2013

'Fright Night' by Linda Stevens

Published:  1993
Setting:  Modern Day

Beardsville, Vermont is a tiny little town where everyone knows your name and Lauren Kent is the towns fixer-upper who also often writes news articles for the local newspaper.  Single mother and independent, she knows how to work for the things she needs.  Beardsville is known for it’s extravagant celebration of Halloween, particularly the ghoulish haunted house that Lauren works on diligently come every October.  However, this year the pranks in this no-where town seem to have turned malicious, maybe even deadly!  Several businesses have been targeted for vandalism, even Laurens own house and the house of a fellow reporter who has been assigned to cover the recent disturbances, Sam Burdett.  Sam is as handsome as he is unbearable, yet the more time Lauren spends with the Sam, the more she grows to appreciate that perhaps he’s not much different than she.  But there’s really no time to give much attention to their blossoming romance between work, a defiant teenage son, and the constant pranks, Lauren has her plate full, and more!

As she plays partner sleuth with Sam over the month of October, a friendship grows between the two.  Just the same, the mystery of the town pranks deepen and have become more dangerous than they are funny.  Evidence suggests the dead has come alive, or perhaps someone is just covering their tracks really well.  But the time Halloween arrives, the whole town finds itself held hostage, and Lauren finds herself in love…but will any of them survive all hollows eve?
As much as this book sounded scary and creepy, I just found myself reading of one bizarre Halloween incident to the next without really any suspense at all.  Some scenes seemed to drag on, while others left you needing a little more detail.  The whole mystery, which was uncovered in the last chapter, just didn’t really make any sense to me.

I love Halloween and Halloween stories, but this one just wasn’t very fulfilling and it wasn’t scary at all, either.  Despite the book description and the cover of the book, it’s nothing like a gothic read!

Rating:  3.0

'Fatal Inheritance' by Sandra Orchard

Published:  2013
Setting:  Modern Day

When Becki Graw learns of the tragic deaths of her grandparents’ accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, the news comes with a hidden blessing.  Knowing how she loved their house in the country so, her grandparents have left her their beautiful country house and their classic show car.  However, Becki’s homecoming is anything but welcoming.  A series of attacks are made on her life, and someone is hell-bent on vandalizing her property.  Thankfully her old childhood friend-turned-sheriff, Joshua Rayne, lives right next door.  However, as the days pass and Joshua keeps a close eye on Becki, rescuing her from one attack or another, could it be that his feelings indicate he sees himself as more than just a brother figure in her life? 

Becki doesn’t have much time to ponder on her blossoming relationship with Joshua, if you could call it that at all, shes too busy dealing with the mystery of stolen jewels….found in her grandparents’ own house....then there’s the constant attacks and harassment, could it be from her sister who desperately needs money fro m the sale of the country house or perhaps it is her sniveling ex boyfriend from the city who is making a habit of showing up unannounced. 

Tragedy and near-death escapes plague Becki until the grand finale showdown at a glitzy ball, but will it be too late by the time the secrets of her pepetrator are revealed?  She might end up losing everything…

The book read fairly quickly and there was enough suspense to keep a decent flow.  If you enjoy romance novels with a little bit of mystery, I’d recommend this read.  However, it doesn’t have much gothic-related overtones, other than the country house in an isolated area. 

Rating:  4.0

Monday, December 23, 2013

Harlequin E-Shivers Released Via Web

The first book in the Harlequin E-Shivers series has been released via the web.

Lost In Me, by the lovely Barbara J. Hancock, is being released as a sort of trial-run from the harlequin website.  Beginning in October, a new chapter is available each week, and all for free!

Busy as I've been this last month or so, I just began reading today and am hoping to catch up this week.

The synopsis of the book, as provided by the harlequin site, is as follows:

'Released from hospital into the care of the man whose eyes have haunted her for a year, a troubled artist returns to Belle Aimée. The antebellum New Orleans mansion is the site of a tragedy Chloe's mind will not disclose. It's also home to an unseen presence that traces her steps, visits her studio and lingers near her bedroom.

Waking and sleeping, Chloe grasps at scraps of memory that flutter about her, alighting eventually on her countless canvases. Only under the stormy eyes—and electrifying touch—of Jonathan La Croix does Chloe begin to remember what they once were to each other. What they could be again. Such a man cannot be forgotten forever….'

The book seems to be a chilling, even as of chapter one, so I'm thinking this will be a book that doesn't disappoint!  And, if we're lucky enough, it'll be reminiscent of the vintage gothics, with a little more mystery than romance! 

I'll be posting a full review of the book at a later date.  In the meantime, you should find your way on over and read the first e-shiver here!

December Updates!

I've been absent for about a month, life gets crazy during the holidays!

I still have a bunch of book reviews coming up, I plan on posting a few today and a few tomorrow!  So, if you are an author who has submitted a book for me to review, just know I'm still working on that!

As for the gothic romance book give away, I only had three people enter the two give aways, so I have books for all three of you.  Just please email me your postal address and I will get those out to you ASAP!

I'm wishing all my fellow gothic readers and enthusiasts a wonderful holiday season!!