Reviewed by May
Jenny has been hard at work restoring the run down old house that she intends on turning into an inn. So one stormy night when a stranger turns up claiming to be the man who sold her the house, and insisting on staying there immediately she isn’t sure what to think. Gabe and Jenny have more to battle than personality conflicts though – as a ghost seems to have an agenda of its own at the Jonquil House…
“I’m sorry. The inn isn’t open.”
His back eyebrows lowered even farther, and his mouth kind of curled up at the corner in something like a sneer. He looked angry, and it occurred to Jenny that maybe she needed to bend a little. The minute that thought crossed her mind, she rejected it. She had inherited a steel backbone from Mother, and this was a good time to employ it. She wouldn’t get very far as an innkeeper if she allowed herself to be a doormat.
I don’t like ghosts in my romances, but right off the bat I must say this author did a good job with it. She managed to give a believable ghostly feeling while also giving the specter some personality without letting it take over the story.
I also want to say that I absolutely adored this author’s way with words. She had me fully engrossed in this world and even though I was not happy with the ultimate outcome of the story, her talent is tremendous. She managed to balance setting the scene with keeping the story moving, character development with action – and it really was an interesting read.
My problem is, I didn’t want a general fiction book with romantic elements about getting rid of a family ghost. Gabe was angst filled and had too many of his own demons as it was – with or without the ghost.
Hiding out in the middle of nowhere seemed like a good idea. He’d have solitude. He could be alone with his demons.
This story did not deliver a satisfying romance nor did I ever feel chemistry between our scruffy Mr. Gabe and Jenny the innkeeper who he thinks is so very tiny. They argue at first, they have some basic attraction going, but they never develop as a couple nor do they ever really make sense as finding their happily ever after. We barely get to the root of the secrets as the book ends, there simply wasn’t enough in the way of romantic content or development to call this a romance.
Of course interesting stories about small towns and characters with light romantic elements are good too! One more problem here, and that is the author completely broke my trust near the end. Two events happen the first that simply had me thinking “what the hell?” and the second (a result of the first) had me ugly crying and then made me very mad. After I regained my composure and distance I looked back and thought about it, and the choices made were really cheap tricks, not good writing choices. They undermined the rest of the tale for me, and could have been eliminated in favor of a really strong scene or two more between our leading characters.
While I disagree strongly with some of the choices made for the plot (things laid out early on that develop into my problem with the end) – I still must admit that the book was well done and I feel that my strong feelings about one element shouldn’t override the fact that this author wrote a book largely based on a ghost (something I never chose to read) and she had me not only reading, but glued to the pages. That, my friends, is some serious skill.