Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Oh come on, I’ve seen you two together. It’s like watching a nature documentary on scientists trying to get the two most socially awkward people in the world to mate.”
Deacon Whitney, software mogul and billionaire, hires a group of professionals to come to his private island and renovate his family estate. Known as the Crane’s Nest, this family jewel, nestled along the New England coast, has been the focal point of murder and mystery since the death of Catherine Crane; supposedly at her husband’s hands.
Nina Lindon is hired by Deacon to landscape the estate and jumps at the chance to use this job to jump start her business. A victim of a malicious co worker, Nina has had to start again from scratch and this is her chance to get herself back on her feet.
Upon meeting, Deacon and Nina gravitate to one another; he sees a woman not after his money and she sees a man who will be careful with her bruised heart. Though, they may not get a chance explore their attraction when it becomes apparent that the house and it’s ghostly inhabitants have something against true love. Unless Deacon and his makeshift scooby gang can figure out how to lay these angry spirits to rest, these star crossed lovers may learn the true meaning of “till death do us part…”
I’ve always enjoyed Molly Harper’s writing. From her contemporaries to her paranormals, Ms Harper writes rich snark filled hilarious stories filled with strong females and slightly strange but smexy men. Better Homes and Hauntings is a delightful paranormal romance filled with tongue in cheek humor, endearing characters, and some crazy shenanigans. Her characters are hysterical and provide much eye rolling and snorts of laughter as you slip smoothly into their lives. The storyline is a wonderful mix of love and suspense with an easy flow and an enjoyable conversational writing style.
A naturally shy, unassuming, and slightly geeky woman, Nina has a well hidden streak of wickedly funny sarcasm and one liners. She zings them out of nowhere, startling giggles and outright snorts from the reader. A landscaper by trade, she was taken advantage of by her former partner who became vindictive when she left to start her own business. He systematically destroyed her reputation and her life. Down, but not out, Nina is struggling to recoup what she lost and try to rebuild her life and business again one job at a time.
Deacon is the perfect geeky beta. Smart, funny, and handsome; he has a boyish charm to him that appeals to NIna’s gentler nature.An action figure fan to boot- he delights, intrigues, and frustrates Nina to distraction. I found his social awkwardness utterly delightful; especially in his attempts to “woe” Nina.
Deacon snapped her out of her reverie. “You’re actually doing me a favor, you know.”
“If the whispering among my staff is any indication, this dance is probably serving as the office pool breaker for “Is Deacon asexual?’”
“That’s kind of insulting. How is that helping you?”
He shrugged. “I put fifty dollars down on ‘not asexual’”
“They let you bet?”
“Well, I bet under Vi’s name.”
The slow evolution of his and Nina’’s relationship is a fun journey filled with humor, snarkiness, and lots of steamy chemistry.
The supporting characters are just as eccentric and fun as our main protagonists. From Deacon’s flighty cousin who is determined to out the Whitney family secrets once and for all to Cindy, the head of Cleaning service. They have some wonderful banter between them.
“Sweetheart, I’m going to insist that you ride that man like a pony. […] For the good of all mankind, technological advancement, and America’s place in the world wide economy. Think of the gadgetry he could come up with if he had a little stress relief.”
“You are all class, my friend.”
Cindy and Jeff (Deacon’s bff) have some past history which leaves you in stitches as they bicker and trade insults on their way to romance.
The conclusion of the conflict and sub plot was a action packed and engaging though I had figured it out fairly early in the story. The mystery of Deacon’s ancestors is finally laid to rest and the romance(s) flourish; delivering to us our happily ever after but with a few twists that adds to the overall enjoyment.
If you’re looking for a funny, sexy paranormal romance with a dash of mystery and suspense that will leave thoroughly entertained then I highly recommend picking up Molly Harper’s newest stand alone, Better Homes and Hauntings.