Author of the beloved Half-Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together - if it doesn’t kill them first!
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.
©2014 Molly Harper White (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"What she said." I quite agree with the reviewers who love Molly Harper's books but didn't enjoy this one (as much). What can I add from my perspective as a guy?
Her books about vampires and werewolves and other creatures make me believe - well, willingly suspend disbelief - about them. She got me to enjoy a genre, paranormal, I loathed. Why? Snarky, odd-ball, topical, refreshingly original humor, characters with stories and romance without too much 'tall, dark and handsome.' And a plot. Plots.
Here is the difference with Better Hauntings: I don't want to know anything more about ghosts. I still disbelieve and did throughout. Each of Ms. Harper's other books made me ask this question of myself: If the world had ... vampires ... werebeasties ... fae ... would I want to be one? Fall in love with one? [Let my daughter marry one?] Yes to all questions. None of those questions has any meaning for me if the subject is ghosts.
Please: Don't dis my review because you think the cliché quote means I think women are some how less than men. I don't and I have many years of staying home raising kids to back it.
• Better Homes and Hauntings is a standalone paranormal romance filled with humor, a benevolent spirit and diverse group of people working to restore an old family mansion.
• The setting is fantastic. The home is on an island surrounded by water and reached by boat. The house built in the early 1900’s has secret nooks, a ballroom and tons of atmosphere perfect for spirits.
• The cast is very diverse from the tech geek to the gardener creating for entertaining meals, feuds and friendships. We get multiple Pov’s, and the narrator did an excellent job of bringing forth their personalities which added to the listener’s enjoyment. I loved the banter, late night girls’ talk, the bickering and of course, the romances that developed.
• Ghosts, old family legends, murder and more made Better Homes and Hauntings interesting. I loved the old family tragedy, the hauntings and the slow build as the entities’ anger escalated. Back-stories and threats from Nina’s past had me fully engaged.
• The romances were very different. Nina and Deacon’s romance so cute, sweet, awkward and funny. Cindy and Jack had history and theirs was a haters to lovers’ romance that made for a hilarious listen.
• Amanda Ronconi did an excellent job narrating and quickly gave a unique voice to each character making the transition from each character seamless. The humor and hauntings were enhanced by her skill set.
• While we get a few creep-tastic moments, for the most part this is a G haunting, and I would have loved darker tones.
• The tale is predictable, and moments lagged a little, but overall this was entertaining.
• A little something was missing, and I cannot quite figure out exactly what I needed. Perhaps because no aspect of the tale was the main focus, and multiple POVs left me wanting more depth.
I was disappointed in this new venture by Molly Harper. I've enjoyed her equally light vampire series (especially "Driving Mr. Dead"), but this story lacks the irony and humour that make the vampire books worth reading. The setting seemed forced and the plot predictable, and the characters were uninteresting. I can understand Ms. Harper wanting to get away from Half Moon Hollow, but this is not her best effort.
K. K. Sutro
This book would be more for a first time Molly Harper reader. If they get past this one they will be especially surprised because the rest of her books are infinitely better than this one.
Couldn't keep track of who the main characters were and not enough bonding time with any of the characters to really get into them, The story was unstable with all of the random bouncing around and it was hard to keep track because the characters didn't have a solid introductory base.
The narrator is awesome, it was the story that was written in an off the wall manner.
Disappointment. Had this book in my wish list for a while and it has been to hard to pay attention to. Only half way through and I already just want it to stop.
Don't let one bad review spoil the whole cart. Molly Harper's Books are 99.9 percent amazing. This just happens to be the .1 that isn't .
The book seems a little forced. I didn't feel the fun as much in this one. Her other books seem to flow a lot better.
I don't know. Something was just off about his book. I wasn't feeling it.
Amanda was great as usual. I enjoyed the characters.
It was OK. It took longer than a usual Molly Harper book for me to listen to. I didn't dislike it.
Hard to say
The ending but no spoilers
The combo of Harper and Ronconi have never disapointed
Say something about yourself!
When I am having a bad day, or someone just royally ticked me off I turn off my romance books and I turn on a Molly Harper book, ANY, Molly Harper book! Her characters always have such witty banter and somehow I get the inside jokes even though I have never met this woman. Her writing never fails to put a smile on my face. Thank you Molly Harper!
This book really did have it all, in a rated PG kind of way. The Crane House has been in the family for generations, and it is haunted. For a number of reasons the newest owner wants it restored and since he is a .com billionaire he can do what he wants. He hires a cleaning crew, carpenter crew, architect and a landscaper. These people face more than bumps in the night but they persevere through it and form some lasting friendships.
Ghosts, apparitions, spirit possessions, visions these are just a few things that happen to these people. Let's not forget Murder, Adultery, Vandalism, and a great who done it that you knew who it was but didn't know all of it. It was just a great book with many witty conversations that makes you think you know these people. Have I mentioned I love Molly Harper books?
Great for credit/sale/buy and if you need to ask if Amanda Ronconi was good as the narrator...then you haven't been on audible for long!
Five young people solving the mystery of a haunted mansion. A mystery that takes too long and is devoid of Harper's usual tongue-in-cheek humor. Sadly, I can't recommend this one.
Great read when you need funny, snarky and romance.
The semi naked green house kissing
Amanda is just great!!
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 3/4
What is one to do when they are part of a family that has a curse looming over them? And said person is the first successful person in the family in generations? And said person owns the family’s haunted island? Well if you are Deacon Whitney, you hire a group of the best of the best and clean and revamp that house. All while ignoring the things you don’t want to see.
Deacon may have everyone’s best interest at heart in this new project but it becomes clear that they are not the only ones on the island. The biggest question is who is going to win?
Love love love this book!! But then again I have not picked up (or in this case listened to) a Molly Harper book that I have not loved. I just love her snarky characters that always have a way of getting into a lot of trouble with minimal damage inflicted on others. I really hope that this will not be the end of the Whitney Island gang (as I would like to call them). I have already submitted my request for a novella for Jack & Cindy and a book for Dotty. Why you ask. Well you will just need to pick up a copy of Better Homes & Hauntings and find out ;)
I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley, Pocketbooks & Brilliance Audio in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
I enjoyed this book, but it doesn't equal her other series and independents. The witty banter was there, and the storyline was great, but at several points throughout the story I felt like the characters were kids playing at being adults and not actual adults, with professional business (even if some of them were just starting out) , and that kind of set the book off a little. It didn't carry a maturity level through out in the characters. Sometimes they seemed like what they were, young successful, mid 20s other times I felt like they were 12-13 year olds pretending to be adults or acting out what they imagined their adult lives would be like. There was something missing in the possession scenes, no real build up or end they were just there then gone again, and it seemed a little jarring. I feel like Molly Harper needs to explore the world of ghost and hauntings more to bring it to her level of Vampire, witches and werewolves.
That said, it was still a great story and great narration and I do not regret the credit, or the time in the least, I have yet to read / listen to any of her books that were not worth it and Amanda Ronconi as usual did an amazing job with the voices and emotions, and I didn't even feel like I was hearing Jane tell a different story.
"Lots of fun"
This is a light hearted read of a ghost story.
The characters are a lot of fun and their relationships grow during the book. It's part a romance, part a ghost story, part the story of a group of characters pulled together by circumstance.
Dotty was my favourite character. I saw a review that said they didn't like Amanda's style but I enjoyed it's light character that contrasted well especially when the ghostly happenings start.
This made me laugh.
Worth a go.
"She done it again!!!"
Yes cause I have dyslexia and it better for me to have it read to me so I don't stuck and I enjoy it being read to me .
Tall dark,and dead but not as good as this one but good to .
Yes in Tate hallway books that why I like them to she good narrater .
Yes did it in one day .
Love all Molly harper book and love Amanda ronconi's reading them so worth buying.
"Perfect Molly Harper Book"
Light and enjoyable story in the Molly Harper style - I liked the characters and the strong but serene story line. If you look for aggression and stress this is not the book for you but its a good story well performed.
It made me smile
I Ioved the way all the story lines come together and I will read it again - it's the sort of book I can have playing when we travel to Scotland later this year, an 8 hour trip, when my husband can listen as well.
I absolutely loooooved this audiobook i have read it before and its still just as good as the first time i read it. It has all the things i love humour romance and ghost it definitely had the hairs standing on end a couple of times an me looking over my shoulder to see if anything was there lol i would definitely recommend this book :D
"Not my favourite sotry from Molly"
With reservations. I really enjoyed Molly Harper's other stories, which were all first-person ones. This one, a third-person story with multiple major characters, didn't have the same flow as there needed to be narrative backstory for each.
It was exactly what I'd expected it to be by the time I got to about 35% of the way through the story, in other words far too predictable.
I love her readings, great voice and delivery
Not for me
Not a bad story, but I thought Molly Harper has done far better work with some of her other books
I listened to most of the book with a smile on my face!
Her sense of the ridiculous and excitement and fun in the story then changing to serious and somber! I love listening to her.
I have read (or listened to) all of Molly Harpers books and thoroughly enjoyed them all!!
"Narrator grated on me!"
This was an interesting concept.
I liked the idea of the book, I liked the reviews of the book i even started to like to book....
BUT BUT the narrator grated on me so much, I just could not finish listening to it!
She is all happy and upbeat, even sing-songy, in this is just not appropriate in placed where the writer clearly means to build a little tension - being it about the haunting or the relationships.
Dissappointed! Going to ask for a refund on this one!
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