I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
Phoebe is moving with her stepfather,mother and little sister from california to england to live at her stepfathers ancestral home. Its all because Phoebe did something horrible...
But what? She cant remember exactly.
Then there is her little sister who she loves deeply but she cant help but be resentful of how all her stepfather and mothers attention has shifted to revolve completely aroundTabby.
Phoebe is being ignored and feel hurt even if she tries to be mature about it.
And now they are in this rundown house to make a fresh start but Phoebe feels something is waiting for them.
She gets some clarity from Miles ,a boy she meet while swimming that the locals believe the mansion was inhabited by Madame Arnaud a 18th century noblewoman who feeds on the blood of infants. And she still lives in the house centuries later.
After an unsettling encounter in the unused part of the house she cant help but start to believe in the stories. But that doesnt explain other things that are happening to her.
What is happening? Is she going crazy?
Even if she is...she wont allow her little sister to be harmed by the dark force in the house.
Is it one thing I love its a good gothic. Sinister old houses and the heroines who step over their tresholds thats what I am into. So I was very happy when I was approved to view the ARC of "Haunted" by Lynn Carthage
I liked Phoebes character she had her strong and weak sides with enough sass to make her interesting without being annoying. Not being a sporty person myself I did wonder if I would be able to relate to the fact that she was on the swim team. But it was mellowed out with the fact that she was also aspiring writer.
I fully approved of her dream of becoming a literary mermaid lol
I started to suspect what was going on with Phoebe about p 88 .But I was not sure. Maybe it WAS all in her mind?
This book had some beautiful phrasing and writing but stopping just before it became too flowery.It makes sense that Phoebe would describe things in that way because she was a writer.
One thing that I did have a problem with was that I felt Phoebe trusted Miles too easily after only meeting him once she tells him everything that has happened .Mind you it was only the second time they met.
Truth be told ,and I say this like someone who appreciates a bit of romance in my read I think the book wouldnt have suffered much if his character were to have been cut out of the story completely
He was not a bad guy but he didnt have a very exciting personality.
I just couldnt get over thinking about him as the token hot love interest and and a way for the author to enable that Phobe have someone to confide in and give her a nudge in the right direction when she hesitated.
Some of the chapters just ended abruptly . I dont know if this was editing gone wrong or a way for the author to transfer the feeling of disorientation Phoebe was feeling to the author.
If that was the case... it worked. I felt as confused as our heroine.
I also noticed a slight spelling mistake (leathern instead of leathery)
The small snippets of newspaper notices at the start of every chapter helped build the atmosphere of the book and added some backstory to the Arnauds and their house.
I have to admit there were some anacronishms like a servant from the Victorian era knowing who Elizabeth Bathory was but I decided I could overlook that.
The ending was very emotional. I felt my eyes get moist...must have gotten something in them.
The villain was the epitome evil and while I would have liked to have known something about her origins -at the same I think it made her more mysterious and unpredictable not to know. I knew enough about her to Think that She did deserve what she got in the end.
But this book actually has two antagonists.The second is less obvious and maybe even more malevolent but I hope and expect it will be explored more in the sequel.
To conclude this is a solid addition to the gothic genre and a good starting point for the reader be who is curious about it.