Audiobook Review – Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Title: Better Homes and HauntingsAudiobook Review
Author: Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
ISBN:  9781491507964
Audiobook Length: 8 hours, 58 minutes
Genre: Romance; Fantasy
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 24 June 2014
Bottom Line: Different from her normal story but still lots of fun

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly HarperSynopsis:

“When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate – he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say ‘Boo.’

But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself – while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.

But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.”

Thoughts:      In her latest novel, Molly Harper veers slightly from her traditional storytelling method to share a new type of story for her fans. Better Homes and Hauntings is not the paranormal romantic comedy at which she excels. It is humorous and romantic, but it is a haunted house story, one without quirky and adorable ghosts. These ghosts are out for blood, and they intend to get it.

This departure from the genre that made her famous is refreshing and will hopefully attract even more fans to her delightful writing style and fantastic snark. Her characters remain as fun and real as ever, and the romance unfolds quickly but plausibly. However, placing the paranormal elements on the periphery of the story, as an element of danger and seriousness versus humor changes the entire feel of the story. The danger feels more urgent. Not only that, but the entire story has an air of possibility about it that does not exist in her vampire or werewolf series. Those series are clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek and boisterous. Better Homes and Hauntings may have a cute title, but it is clearly not as sarcastic as is her wont.

However, just because the danger seems more imminent and real does not mean that the story does not have its moments of lightheartedness and humor. Nina and Deacon’s banter, especially when it veers into geeky and sci-fi territories, is absolutely charming. Deacon’s cousin, Dottie, lives up to her name and provides some much-needed comic relief among all the sexual tension on the island. Deacon may be one of the richest bachelors alive, but Ms. Harper keeps the entire story grounded in realism as Nina and Cassie struggle with business ownership, bills, debt, and other very real expenses. The five of them have a great dynamic that is just a pleasure to watch unfold.

Amanda Ronconi can narrate every word Ms. Harper writes. She understands the characters and portrays that understanding through her performances. She captures the sarcasm and the fragility of the characters so well and delivers the glib one-liners as if she created them on the spot. It is as if Ms. Harper’s novels were made for Ms. Ronconi and vice versa. They remain one of the best audiobook team in the business.

Better Homes and Hauntings is Ms. Harper’s first foray into a more serious paranormal story, and she does it with the same skill and humor that one expects. The haunted island is surprisingly creepy, but this just makes her genre change that much more exciting. For, this story is less comedy and more thriller, less about the ghosts and more about the tragedy surrounding them. Yet, Ms. Harper balances this seriousness with her fantastic dialogue and great characters. There is a little something for everyone in Better Homes and Hauntings, making it the perfect book for new readers to try.

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Book Review – Chasing Before by Lenore Appelhans

Chasing Before by Lenore Appelhans

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Book Review – Amity by Micol Ostow

Amity by Micol Ostow

Title: Amity Author: Micol Ostow ISBN: 9781606841563 No. of Pages: 368 Genre: Horror; Young Adult Origins: Egmont USA Release Date: 26 August 2014 Bottom Line: Fantastic old-fashioned haunted house horror Synopsis: “Connor’s family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she’s…

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Book Review – Feral by Holly Schindler

Feral by Holly Schindler

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It’s Monday, August 18th! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Finished Last Week: Currently Reading: Currently Listening: Up Next:          What are you reading?

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Audiobook Review – Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Title: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood Author: Diana Gabaldon Narrator: Davina Porter ISBN: 978-1-4703-9539-1 Audiobook Length: 44 hours, 59 minutes Genre: Historical Fiction Origins: Mine. All mine. Release Date: 10 June 2014 Bottom Line: Um…no. Synopsis: “It is 1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops…

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Sturgis Welcome Sign

I would normally have a book review for you today. Instead, I am busy enjoying the sun and the wind in South Dakota with my husband, my brother-in-law, and three other couples. So far, we’ve seen the last day of the Sturgis 2014 Bike Rally, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse monument, Devil’s Tower, Needles Highway,…

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Book Review – One of Us by Tawni O’Dell

One of Us by Tawni O'Dell

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Book Review – Confessions by Kanae Minato

Confessions by Kanae Minato

Title: Confessions Author: Kanae Minato ISBN: 978-0-316-20092-9 No. of Pages: 240 Genre: Mystery Origins: Mulholland Books Release Date: 19 August 2014 Bottom Line: Dark and twisty and everything I love in novels Synopsis: “After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a…

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It’s Monday, August 11th! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Finished Last Week: Currently Reading: Currently Listening: Up Next:            What are you reading?

Share and Enjoy

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