Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: The Haunting of a Duke by Chasity Bowlin

Title: The Haunting of a Duke
Series: Dark Regency
Author: Chasity Bowlin
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: June 13, 2014
Publisher: Chasity Bowlin

Communing with spirits has been both gift and curse to Emme Walters. Now it's made her a killer's target.

Emme knows why the Dowager Duchess of Briarleigh invited her to a house party—to investigate whether the duke, Rhys Brammel, murdered his wife years ago. But Emme never imagined she would fall in love with the brooding duke. Branded by society as a possible killer, Rhys is suspicious of Emme and her alleged "gift."

Then a late night encounter creates awareness of her other, more attractive, aspects. When Emme's life is threatened, Rhys becomes her protector. Emme and Rhys find passion and peril as they join forces to solve the mysteries at Briarleigh.

She made him believe in spirits, but can she make him believe in love?

My rating:

***eBook available for free on Amazon***

The Dowager Duchess of Briarleigh invited Emmaline Walters to a house party to determine whether the duke had indeed killed his wife a few years ago and finally put the rumors to rest. But the late duchess isn't the only ghost in the house, and someone among the living will prove to be the most malevolent creature of all.

I'm having trouble rating this one. The story was great. The suspense, the mystery, the ghosts, the living, good and evil...all mixed up in this historical paranormal with a slight gothic vibe. But there were problems as well. First, it was the flowery prose during the sex scenes, which made me cringe a little. The second was the pacing, also suffering from the overabundance of sex scenes. They were hot and sensual, yes, but they also stopped the flow of the story.
The plot was so intense, with the vivid imagery of the manor and its wordly and non- inhabitants, the malevolent thoughts of the villain, goosebumps rose as the (almost) imminent danger, the intrigue of what would happen next beckoned...and the MCs decided to bang. *record scratch* Then, we were back in the gothic mood, the villain was lurking in the background, peeping through holes, imagining all kinds of dastardly things, then ghosts started to appear with warnings and taunts...and the MCs decided to bang again. *record scratch*

And so it went. The story flowing beautifully, the plot progressing nicely, with good character development, great mystery and suspense, and chilly apparitions, then it stopped dead in its track for some matress dancing, and then resumed.
It was jarring, since the love scenes seemed to be added as an afterthought, either to fill the pages or to...I don't know why. Again, they were well-written, but disruptive to the overall flow of the story.

3½ stars


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