My review of paranormal romance Lured by the Ghost Rake by Marianna Green
When Elda Elwood goes on a visit to her actor lover Jake Reynolds’ ancestral home, she is drawn by a portrait of his ancestor, eighteenth century rake Lord Lucas Lovegrove.
She learns the tragic story behind the viscount’s marriage to the innocent young heiress Rose Ashworth.
Elda senses that the portrait has strange powers, and that the house is haunted by Lovegrove’s predatory and sexual ghost…
And what is the secret of the sinister pagoda in the grounds?
Excerpt from Lured by the Ghost Rake
It was a miniature pagoda, reminding Elda of the one in Kew Gardens. This one was far smaller and less ornate, rising to seven floors. They walked through the damp wild garden with rhododendron trees and bushes bright with blossoms, following a path through the bamboo plantation, the wet, stirring fronds catching at their clothes with a whispering noise.
It seemed to Elda was almost like a medley of human voices. One was stronger than the others, faint but enticing: Come to me…Come to me…
Silence fell like a cloak about them as they approached the pagoda, their footsteps muted on the moss-grown stone slabs surrounding the building. From the distance it had looked grand and ornate. A stab of disappointment shot through Elda as she saw how it had fallen into ruin.
Sun and rain had splintered the external woodwork, while the windows were dirty and cracked, with lichen growing round the frames. The red paint on the doors was flaking, the iron on the balconies rusted, the ornamental heads which decorated each layer falling apart.
Jake tried the doors, to find them locked. “That’s got to be down to some health and safety law. I’m guessing the floors are rotten.”
Through the grimy windows, they could see a collection of ruinous furniture, nameless debris, and dust. Elda noted an old upright piano, some battered chaise longues, and the faded murals painted on the walls. In the centre of the room, a spiral staircase was covered in fallen debris…
…As Elda gazed in at the circular room inside, she could see it both as it was, and over that in a transparent layer, how it had been over two hundred years ago.
It was a fine room, perhaps twenty feet across, with gaudy murals of dragons, mountains, and other eastern images. It was luxuriously furnished, with the archaic furniture and piano all as new.
There was a group sitting and listening while Lucas Lovegrove played and singing at the instrument. His voice was outstanding, bringing the stilted words and formal melody of the old song to life. Naturally, his voice lured. The women could not keep their eyes off him.
My Review of Lured by the Ghost Rake
This was a short read, both literally and figuratively. It went by quickly and was a breeze. Great for a feel-good book, provided you’re okay with creepy ghosts. They really weren’t too creepy, and the ending was warm and fuzzy.
On the other hand, the book felt very short and somewhat underdeveloped. I was confused about why the characters were where they were and what they were doing. The beginning featured some back-and-forth between present and ghosts from the past, so it took me a bit to feel grounded in the modern-day setting. And then once I did, the main character would occasionally use words like “bosom,” and I’d have to remind myself this wasn’t historical. The female lead seemed like she was supposed to have a troubled past, especially with relationships, but that never felt fully realized.
All in all, a quick read that’s great if you want a little bit of romance, a little bit of paranormal, and a little bit of fun. Recommend for paranormal fans, romance and otherwise.
About Marianna Green
Marianna Green lives in the UK, has a geekish fascination with English Literature and History, and an irrepressible sense of humour.
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