Series: Peyton Clark #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published by: Montlake Romance on May 20, 2014
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Do you believe in love after life?
Looking for a fresh start, Peyton Clark becomes the proud owner of a piece of New Orleans history: an Antebellum-era two-story house in the Garden District. It’s going to take time and a fat wallet to restore the fixer-upper to its former glory, but after her recent divorce, Peyton could use the distraction.
It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.
When Peyton grows closer to her general contractor, Ryan Kelly—who is as charming as he is alive—the chill in the air could only suggest Drake’s jealousy from beyond the grave. But even though she’s definitely attracted to and interested in Ryan, Peyton also can’t get Drake out of her dreams, or her heart, as she begins to uncover the frightening truth behind his death a century ago…
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ll start off this review by saying that I very rarely mark a book DNF, I think I’ve only done it twice before this book so that says a lot.
H.P. Mallory is not a new to me author, I’ve read most of the books in her Dulcie O’ Neil series. She tends to write lighter paranormal romances with plenty of humor which I enjoy reading from time to time. I didn’t love every book in that series but was hoping GHOULS RUSH IN would be a totally different reading experience after reading its description. When I saw this book up on NetGalley I requested it thinking it would be a fun and flirty read, just what I wanted after reading a few “darker” books in other genres. Needless to say that’s not what I got. I really tried to like this book but after 100 plus pages I couldn’t deal with its repetitiveness.
I liked the idea of this story when I first read the synopsis but unfortunately only got halfway through the book so that’s what I’m going to talk about.
GHOULS RUSH IN begins with Peyton Clark moving from Los Angeles after divorcing her controlling husband and learning she’s inherited a house from a great aunt she never knew, in the Garden District of New Orleans. Starting a new life, she moves into her new home only to find out it’s in need of many repairs. Her sexy neighbor Ryan shows up on her doorstep one night to check on her during a storm who just happens to be a pretty well known retired contractor specializing in restoring historic homes. The two hit it off instantly and with a little push from Ryan’s sister, Peyton convinces Ryan to manage her new home’s renovation.
This story starts off slow and never picked up for me. There is a lot of time spent on Peyton moving in and interactions with Ryan, to the point where I questioned why this was even labeled paranormal in the first place, “where are the ghosts?” I kept thinking to myself. World building is important to a story but I felt it was not as necessary in this book. In the 100+ pages I read there was no sign of ghosts, spirits or anything supernatural which I thought was the main element to this story. There was more dialogue and less action which isn’t always bad but I really didn’t feel invested in the characters enough to enjoy their conversations, especially when every sentence is followed by an exclamation point. I couldn’t decide whether they were super excited or yelling at each other!
Peyton is very immature for being a grown woman who just got divorced, she acts like a cat in heat when it comes to Ryan which was the product of multiple eye rolls from me while reading. Ryan seemed to good to be true in my eyes and I didn’t get how an accomplished man like him could fall head over heels for Peyton’s “high school” charms. Not sure if these two every actually “get together” but I skimmed a few reviews on Goodreads and no one mentions any nookie between them so I’m guessing the romance was PG-13, not typical for this author.
The insta-lust between Peyton and Ryan wasn’t a big seller for me and then there is the constant use of the same word over and over. How many times can a girl read the words “he chuckled” before throwing a book (or ereader) across the room?! Ah, yes…we’ve arrived to my major pet peeve with this book, the infamous chuckling.
I don’t claim to be a writer, but I do know how to use a thesaurus from my many high school and college term papers. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word chuckle I either think of a giddy teenage girl or Scooby Doo. I don’t know any men who chuckle or find that particularly attractive but that’s just me. Now before you get on my case hear me out, this wouldn’t have been a big deal for me if it was mentioned a few times, but the author has a love for this word. Not only was it one of her go-to descriptions of her male character’s laughs in previous books, the word chuckled pops up at least 48 times in this book, yes, I actually did a search on my NOOK and got six pages to search, no kidding! (See photo –>) I really feel the author dropped the ball on this one.
Although it’s no secret GHOULS RUSH IN didn’t work for me, it might work for some readers. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to try a light romance with some humor and a slight touch of the paranormal. I honestly don’t know if my tastes in books have changed since I started blogging or if I’ve just been spoiled after reading some phenomenal books in this genre but I just couldn’t get myself to make it to the end. My feelings towards this book won’t prevent me from reading more of H.P.’s future writing but I don’t think I’ll be giving the Peyton Clark series another chance any time soon.
Do you write reviews for DNF books? I’d love to hear your thoughts!