I’m a serious chicken – so I don’t read super-dark stories: my imagination grabs the imagery and goes wild. But when I read the premise for Ghouls Rush In by H. P. Mallory, I knew that I wanted to give it a shot. How can you resist a long-lost relative (that you barely knew) leaves you a house in need of major repair, JUST when you have the most need of a change of scene and life direction.
That is the premise here: Peyton inherits a house that will need major repair, just as her own relationship has become untenable. Yet, the house is in worse shape than she expected, dangerously worse condition, which she discovers in the middle of a massive rainstorm when a concerned neighbor feels it is his duty to check on her.
Ryan is the neighbor and contractor renown for his skillful management of restoration work. A personal loss has him avoiding those commissions from clients, preferring new work that won’t keep reminding him of his loss. But Peyton is so helpless and obviously in need of his skills, that a bit of manipulation from his sister and his inexorable attraction to Peyton have him agreeing to make a start and make a few rooms of the house habitable.
But, despite the abandoned appearance of the house, there is a resident: Drake. Former owner and city police officer is also enamored of Peyton, and is the only thing that stands between her and a malevolent spirit seeking to reenact murders from the early 1900’s. And when a ‘cleansing’ goes horribly wrong (note: DO NOT mess with things you don’t completely understand) someone finally contacts an “expert” a wizard with a high affectation and his co-worker a voodoo practitioner.
All during the story, Brad and Peyton are doing a dance around one another, and a seed of romance there is planted if only Peyton would stop obsessing over Drake and the way he makes her feel cherished and adored. The pacing of this story, for me, was uneven: from a budding romance building to the spirit of Drake appearing, to the almost rapid fire incidents with the malevolent spirit that seemed to pop in and stir things up causing all focus to change. I understand that this is the first of a series, and the multiple unanswered questions still left after this book will, hopefully be addressed in the next. For me, the pacing variances helped to keep the ‘creep factor’ of the malevolent spirit down somewhat, I was just starting to get involved in another plotline when it would creep in again- it broke the build of tension and made this more a fun with sinister overtones story for me.
I’ll look for the next for answers and to see where Peyton and Ryan have managed to take their relationship, and see if the author manages to infuse more of the New Orleans flavor that was mostly just hinted at in this book.
Title: Ghouls Rush In
Author: H.P. Mallory
Genre: Ghosts, Urban Fantasy, Witches
Published by: Montlake Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 14 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Book Depository ♦Direct from Publisher
Do you believe in love after life?
Looking for a fresh start, Peyton Clark becomes the proud owner of a piece of New Orleans history: an Antebellum-era two-story house in the Garden District. It’s going to take time and a fat wallet to restore the fixer-upper to its former glory, but after her recent divorce, Peyton could use the distraction.
It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.
When Peyton grows closer to her general contractor, Ryan Kelly—who is as charming as he is alive—the chill in the air could only suggest Drake’s jealousy from beyond the grave. But even though she’s definitely attracted to and interested in Ryan, Peyton also can’t get Drake out of her dreams, or her heart, as she begins to uncover the frightening truth behind his death a century ago…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.