Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
“What now?” he [Deacon] huffed.
Anthony continued past them, taking a seat next to Nina on the fountain. “Did Jake go too far with his version of quote-unquote flirting?” she asked quietly.
Anthony shook his balding gray head, folding his hands over his beer belly. “I’m not sure. I was in the grand ballroom with my crew and ran to do damage control when I heard the yelling. Blood is hell to get out of parquet flooring.”
“Surely it won’t go that far,” Nina murmured.
“You missed the part where she threatened him with grout cleaner.”
“Well, there’s a complex history there,” she started, but Anthony cut her off.
“They’ll either stab each other or sleep together before the first month is out. Given the grout cleaner, I’d be willing to put a twenty on stabbing.”
“That would be completely wrong and unethical and . . .” Nina said just as Cindy called Jake an “overgelled, classless troll” in a tone so sweet it sounded like a compliment. Nina lowered her voice to say, “I’ll put thirty on sleeping together.”
Anthony gave an exaggerated mock gasp. “And you seem like such a nice girl!”
“Whit, would you tell this woman that she has no right to move entire rooms around on my blueprints?” Jake demanded.
Cindy was all acidic smiles and saccharine sweetness. “Mr. Whitney, would you please explain to your architect that these storage areas are part of an organization plan that you approved?” she practically cooed. “You asked Anthony to knock out one of the walls between guest rooms to create storage and display space for your collectibles.”
“Collectibles?” Nina whispered.
“I’ve seen the sketches,” Anthony whispered back. “The guy’s a big fan of those weird sci-fi/fantasy movies. Flash Gordon. Krull. Tron. Ladyhawke. Did you know they made Krull action figures? Because I sure didn’t. I’ve never even heard of that movie.”
Nina shook her head. “I did not know that. But now that I know that there’s a tiny posable Liam Neeson out there, I sort of want one.” The look Anthony gave her was equal parts confusion and speculation. She just shrugged. “Don’t judge me.”
Deacon asked. “Jake, didn’t we have this conversation about the storage rooms last week?” “Yeah, but I didn’t think you were serious!” Jake exclaimed.
“Why not?” Deacon asked.
“Because when you told me about those plans, I said, ‘That’s fine, as long as you’re OK with two of the guest rooms collapsing on themselves, because you’re removing a load-bearing wall.’ Remember?” Deacon frowned. “No, I’m pretty sure I tuned you out after you said, ‘That’s fine.’ ”
“Gah!” Jake threw his arms skyward. At Nina’s snicker, he turned on her. “Quiet, you.”
Nina mimed zipping her lips and tossing the key to Anthony, who “caught” it.
Okay first let me start by saying, Now I too want a tiny posable Liam Neeson! I am right there with Nina on this.
I won the dead tree version of this book from another blogger and was thrilled, because I adore Molly Harper. Regardless, I had noticed that this book got some very mixed reviews, so I was a bit... conflicted about reading the book. The first couple of chapters were hard to get into, mainly because the POV kept switching between the 4 main characters in the book: Nina, Deacon, Jake and Cindy. There were ruminations, memories, and getting to know you's to help get us caught up on each of the characters. And with 4 of them, it did take a bit. But once the framework was in place, the story took off.
Molly Harper's signature dialogue was found throughout this book. I love the way her characters interact with one another. With 2 would be couples, 1 slightly kooky cousin, multiple ghostly encounters, and a bad guy, there is a lot going on in this book. The initial set up was critical to make the rest of it seem not only plausible, but probable. As this is a Romance, albeit one with paranormal aspects, there is a guaranteed HEA. Plus stand alone, so no cliffhanger ending. There were several instances that made me smile, a couple that had me giggling out loud and several deep, satisfied sighs. Overall, a most excellent use of my lunch time over the period of a week. I gave it 3 stars.
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 nineteenth-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.