The second in this clever urban fantasy set in New Orleans, Peyton is continuing to renovate her new old home, after the surprising discoveries in the first story. Quick recap: Peyton is recently divorced, and inherited an old home in New Orleans. But aside from the physical building, a metaphysical element is adding layers of difficulty. The house was once the home of a police officer Drake, and he is still finding it difficult to let go and cross over, and a malevolent entity also is battling for control and supremacy.
I loved Peyton in the first book, she was confused and scared but determined to make it on her own. Her budding relationship with Ryan has given her some new friends and support, and while they both have issues that need some work, Ryan is certainly in Peyton’s corner. In this book, I felt Peyton was alternating between ‘independent’ and a touch of withholding, as if she doesn’t trust in Ryan enough to let him know just WHAT is happening. And plenty is happening: Drake, the entity who has been trying to protect Peyton, gained a modicum of redemption when Peyton allowed him to inhabit her body. Fortunately, she has learned how to keep Drake in the dark so her time with Ryan isn’t compromised: but the intrusion is one that she has not shared with Ryan, and it felt a bit deceptive to me.
Drake, for his part, is more than a little attracted to Peyton, and her to him. An irredeemable bad boy, Drake is unapologetically flirtatious and outspoken, not to mention his protective feelings for the house and Peyton. When the malevolent entity returns to wreak more havoc, Peyton again experiments with spirituality and some voodoo charms and spells to banish the bad and protect the here and now. Drake is hard not to like with his old-school approach and demeanor, and his banter livens the story greatly.
I was hoping for more growth in Peyton and Ryan’s relationship and characters, and while the story was fun and clever, there wasn’t a great growth trajectory of either. It is, however, a good follow-up installment to the first book, and is an enjoyable diversion with a spark of spook and steam.
Title: Once Haunted Twice Shy
Author: H.P. Mallory
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Ghosts, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Montlake Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 34 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes
Sassy, spirited Peyton Clark is back—and she’s not alone!
After agreeing to let the spirit of Drake Montague inhabit her body, Peyton soon discovers that the twentieth-century French policeman may be dead but his lothario longings sure aren’t. Now she has to find a way to explain to her sweet, sexy boyfriend, Ryan Kelly, that a spirit has taken up residence in her head, whispering French words of affection day and night.
While Peyton is torn between her love for a living man and her growing affection for one deceased, supernatural activity in New Orleans spikes—and something wicked this way comes. With the help of her friends (and a little voodoo), Peyton learns that the demonic spirit of the Axeman may still dwell in her home. To stop bloody history from repeating itself, Peyton will have to travel back a century to confront the Axeman at his roots, with the help of a certain handsome—and suddenly flesh and blood—police officer in the Big Easy.
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.