zaterdag 22 maart 2014

Heather Graham - Haunted

The first book in the Harrison Investigation series, published September 1, 2003.
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense (ghosts)
Cover: My book has the smaller cover, very creepy in reality.

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When does a gift become a curse?
Matt Stone doesn't believe in ghosts. But there are those who are convinced his home, a historic Virginia estate that dates back to the Revolutionary War, is haunted. Pressured to get at the truth about some strange happenings at Melody House, he agrees to let Harrison Investigations explore the house. But he isn't ready for beautiful, intriguing Darcy Tremayne.
As a paranormal investigator, Darcy has learned to believe in the unbelievable. And she's given Matt fair warning: sometimes people don't like the skeletons she finds. She never dreamed that the warning would apply to herself. For she's about to discover that Melody House holds much more than a simple mystery form the distant past. What it holds is a very real and lethal danger, one that will cast her into a struggle against the worlds of both the living and the dead.

Matt Stone is the Sheriff of Stoneyville and the owner of an ancient mansion. Paying for its upkeep is not easy and he has had to open up the house to tours and other events. But recently some spooky things have happened, and he is not happy at all. He also does not believe in ghosts, and thinks someone living must be behind it all. But when Adam Harrison calls him and asks to be allowed to investigate the house, he agrees. Adam was a good friend of his grandfather and he trusts him to debunk the ghost stories once and for all.
What he does not anticipate is the beautiful Darcy Tremayne showing up instead of Adam. How can a beautiful and smart woman like that actually believe in ghosts? Is she a fraud, a damn good actress, or does she make herself believe what she claims to see?
But ever since her good friend Josh died, Darcy is the real thing. She does experience the past and can see and feel ghosts if they want to communicate. At first she thought she went mad, but Josh’s father Adam explained it all to her and his belief in her was such a relief at first. He has tested her extensively, and together they always find out the truth. But this time might be more dangerous than ever before. Something malicious is in the house, and Josh cannot enter the house to help Darcy. He has kind of become her spirit guide, and she treasures his warm and friendly presence.

After finding the skull of a girl who was murdered in the woods 150 years ago, Matt still does not believe in Darcy or in ghosts at all. But someone else does, when accidents keep happening to Darcy. She even starts to distrust Matt, when it seems like the ghost that is haunting the General Lee room is not so ancient as they all thought, and no one has heard from his ex wife for years now. But his ex-wife is still very much alive and she might be the one to shed some light on the evil things happening in the house. If she is on time to safe Darcy …

I’ve recently read a review on one of the blogs I follow about a book by Heather Graham and it really made me want to dig into my own pile of her books, and start reading. I think I have bought heaps of them because I once read a translated one, many years ago. So I searched for the first book in one of her paranormal series, and stumbled upon this one. The very first chapter made me cry and want to read the whole book at once, but it was way too late on a Sunday evening to start a new book. I am the kind of reader who needs to finish a book at once if I am grabbed by it.

I loved Darcy, how she kept her head high and believed in herself, especially with such a big sceptic as Matt. She knows how hard it is to have a relationship with someone “normal” when she is not, and Matt does not believe in her, or trust her. But still, the attraction between them is huge, and they cannot resist acting upon it. She knows she will be hurt in the end.

Matt regretted the decision to let Harrison Investigations explore the house almost immediately. His assistant Penny would love to have a real haunted house to advertise and draw more tourists, but Matt despises that. He just can’t believe in it. Or in people who claim to have psychic skills. Still, he is very much attracted to Darcy and can’t stay away from her. And when he gets the urgent need that he has to go to Darcy, he tries to deny it, that there is not a voice telling him what to do, just in time to safe her … He fought hard, but in the end, he had to give up some of his convictions.

The mystery itself was so good. I was convinced I knew the answer and I was wrong. Sure, I had some distrust against someone based on my reading experience, but the plot was amazing. And I was put on the wrong foot a few times as well.
I enjoyed the secondary characters as well, but I was glued to the pages especially when Darcy was trying to connect with the ghosts, and find out what has happened in the past. It was eerie and totally believable in the way Heather Graham describes it all. I want to believe, but I also never want to see a ghost myself, not even a benign one like the civil war soldier still guarding one of the downstairs rooms in Matt’s house.

I can’t wait to read more Heather Graham books soon. And as I have about 50 of them on my shelves, you will see them appear on the blog regularly.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

14 opmerkingen:

  1. Ahh she's one I have not read but had so many people tell me about. Alright I will give her a go. And whew yes that cover is a tad creepy.

  2. Reacties
    1. Yes, some writers really write a lot of books Blodeuedd, and I want to have them all :)

  3. it's nice when you have a book like that I agree. I read 2 books by this author but I wasn't really attracted by them, maybe it was aonly these ones ou the French translation but with your review I want to go back to him and try something more.

    1. She has a great writing style which I enjoy very much Melliane, but tastes do differ.

  4. Hmmm . . . I've never read a Heather Graham book, but I think I'm going to have to change that. I've seen her stuff obviously--it's everywhere--but none of it really looked like my thing. But ghosts and naysayer men-in-uniform . . . that I could totally get down with ;) Great review!

    1. Lol I enjoyed it Jessica, and we do have a similar taste in books.

  5. Heather Graham produces consistently excellent romantic fiction. She is a staple on my bookshelves and I'm glad You found her. Great review.

  6. I've read some of her candlelights in Dutch translation (Hours to Cherish, for example). Haven't read her full novels, but they sound good! I know where to find them!

  7. I am so glad you loved this. I am not a fan of her Christmas books or standalone novels, but adore her series with paranormal woo-woo :)

    1. And she has written plenty of those and other romantic suspense to keep me occupied for a looong time Kimba :)