A history professor in a tweed jacket, a cheeky Goth chick, and a pipe-smoking, book-hurling ghost. Put them all together in an antiquated library and, well....
Professor Jack Wood's silver-streaked hair definitely ages him, and he can thank Killer Dawn for that. He won't be falling into the love trap again anytime real soon. But this new librarian has him curious, with her head-to-toe black Goth garb and piercings and a defiant attitude to match. Definitely not his type of girl, but still....
Abigail Stryker's got her work cut out for her. The last two librarians didn't last a month before airborne books chased them off. But Abby's determined to make her new life a go - and to stay as far away from older men as possible. Once was enough. Might be tough to do when the library's best patron is none other than dreamy-eyed Jack Wood. And it seems the eccentric ghost may have taken a shine to her as well.
Set in the fictional town of Caldwell, NC, Phantom Traces is the contemporary story of Abigail Stryker, a young librarian struggling to revive the antiquated and reportedly haunted Harvey Library. A pipe-smoking ghost has suddenly begun hurling books at anyone he doesn't like, and if the haunting isn't stopped, the library will be shut down. Abby enlists the help of history professor Jack Wood to figure out what has stirred the spirit of the library's founder and why he's still trapped within its walls after over 100 years. In so doing they uncover a tragic, 19th-century tale of love - creating one of their own along the way.
©2015 Frances Susanne Brown (P)2015 Frances Susanne Brown
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but I have only high praise for this wonderful novel about a young woman who takes a job in a small town running a library that is caught up in a battle for its own continued existence. A library with history, and a ghost! Abigail Stryker has her work cut out for her, dealing with those who seem determined to destroy the library…and her…and coping with the attention of an ally, Prof. Jack Wood, who awakens emotions in her that are both exciting and frightening. Abby has a ghost of a different sort from her own past to deal with. So does Jack. The writing throughout is extraordinarily good, evocatively creating the settings and characters in a way that makes them totally real and believable. Abby and Jack will tug at your heart and get under your skin. There are layers of mystery about everything in this story, revealed one by one, that surprise and delight and make complete sense. Lovers of romance, whether human or ghostly, will not be disappointed. I highly recommend this book.
The narrator is the perfect choice for this book, moving the story forward in a solid and compelling manner, voicing the different characters each in their own distinctive way, clearly in touch with the author’s words and intent, and so skillfully that I forgot I was listening to someone “reading” the book and was completely caught up in the story.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review, but I now consider myself a serious fan of both the author and narrator.
Phantom Traces is an excellent love story with a ghost story twist. A young, Goth librarian named Abby gets a job at an old private library after a tragedy occurs during her college days. The library is haunted. The ghost has scared off at least a couple of the previous librarians. The mystery of who the ghost is and why he is haunting the library was compelling. I also liked that Abby’s aunt was Wiccan (and that her name was Diane like mine). The dialog and voice acting seemed so real that sometimes I felt like I was listening to a friend on my phone rather than to an audiobook in my car. Overall, an first-rate audiobook!
I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The relationship between Abigail and the ghost. Her confidence in her ability to understand him and belief that he wouldn't harm her were key to the story.
Abby's aunt. I believed there was more to her than revealed in the story, so I'm hoping for a sequel.
It's always fun to have a character you love to hate and you do have that in this book. I also enjoyed the parallel stories of the May-December romance of the Harveys and the, oh, let's say August-December romance between Abby and Jack.
Please note that I received a free preview copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.
The well-balanced mixture of romance and ghost mystery, past and present complementing one another perfectly, weaving both plot lines into an intricate tale of love, loss and reunion. And the library setting, of course.
Harry the ghost! Because of his undying love for his wife and because he not only used Abbey for his own purposes, but helped her keep the library going.
The smooth voice and subtle changes in pitch to reflect different voices or situations fit the story perfectly and was a pleasure to listen to. Being able to close my eyes while listening, I was able to visualize a very vivid image of the story taking place.
Two, actually. First the discovery of the graves, and second Harry's happy end.
The tension between Abbey and Jack was perceptible from the moment they first met, and what followed was the well-known romance routine: the first awkward encounters until both realize and succumb to their mutual affection for each other. The misunderstandings that leads to their breakup, leaving both of them miserable. The ultimate happy end when love overcomes all obstacles and brings them together again. While this may sound corny and boring, it was anything but, not least by the added ghost mystery.
With ardent zeal I followed Abbeys and Jacks inquiries about the history of the library and its ghostly resident Harry and his wife. The solution was a sad yet at the same time happy one. The past and present love stories complemented one another perfectly, weaving both plot lines into an intricate tale of love, loss and reunion.
The characters were well-drawn, very vivid and each one unique in their own way, creating a kaleidoscope of odd and endearing personalities. Add to that the library itself, which can be considered a main character as well. Following Abbey's tireless struggle to revive the musty old building against all odds was a pleasure by itself.
A note on the audio book version: this was my first real audio book and not being a native English speaker I was concerned about understanding everything correctly. However, the speaker was very well chosen, with clear pronunciation, using only subtle changes in pitch to reflect different voices or situations. The soft smooth voice fit the story perfectly and was a pleasure to listen to.
An outstanding romance/mystery novel in every sense - highly recommended.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)
This book leaves the reader with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Beautifully written and crafted in a way that makes you feel every bit of the characters emotions, this will make you yearn for that "special someone" to cuddle up with afterwards.
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