A breezy paranormal romance with a young adult edge…
For a short book Sarah Jayne Harry has managed to deliver a satisfying story with a range of themes with an easy to read writing style. There’s a young adult vibe from the very start as ‘Charlotte’; a paranormal sceptic is dared to spend the night in an abandoned manor house. It’s spooky and descriptive from sight to smell and we even get a harrowing backstory of the place – some elements of this book do go to dark places and this is mentioned beforehand but only for a short while and it’s not exploitative but necessary for plot and eventual resolve. On this night our main character and narrator comes across ‘Lewis’ a ghost which she befriends. This friendship in turn becomes something more.
We also see ‘Charlotte’s’ home life where her over protective and abusive Father casts a shadow over everything while the pressure of succeeding in school is ever present. There are other characters in this story, even if they are smaller parts they contribute to the wider picture. Soon this picture culminates with a choice or suggestion that ‘Lewis’ makes and an ending perfect for the genre. I would have liked to of seen perhaps a little more between ‘Lewis’ and ‘Charlotte’ but for a short read which most will complete in one sitting, it makes for a perfect spooky season experience.
4 Stars – Reviews left via Goodreads and Amazon
A romance story with a unique premise…
At the initial stages of this book it would appear the premise is a little absurd but stories like this are supposed to be and the more you lean into it, the more enjoyable and unique it becomes. What starts out as quite a heavy subject actually turns into something quite the opposite for ‘Sophia Larkson’ who is a typical older teen with attitude and character. It is revealed she has been sold to a billionaire by her father who is in debt. As the main narrator of the story she confides in the reader as everything unfolds which works most of the time even but on occasion it can interrupt the flow.
‘Aiden Livingston’ our billionaire in question spends some of the time taking over narration duty and we see elements of his backstory some of which was cleverly done but other parts felt less detailed. I would have preferred to be shown a little more of his ‘darker elements’ side and origins as opposed to being told. Being a man with so much money and with a history of loss ‘Aiden’ faces great difficulty in finding genuine love – a dilemma which he looks to solve and hence the story unfolds.
Sarah Jayne Harry has combined elements of many different genres into what could be a sophisticated fairy tale of sorts but suited for older teens and above. Depending on how you look at it, this could be Stockholm syndrome or a story that tributes elements of Beauty and the Beast but either way there is never a dull moment. The main characters are believable and the whole experience I enjoyed.