Reading Level: New Adult
Length: 438 pages
Publisher: A.G. Howard
Release Date: August 11, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Haunted Hearts Legacy series
Source: Gift for Xmas
Rating: 3/5 stars
“A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.
For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.
To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.”
I was a huge fan of Howard’s Splintered series, so imagine how excited I was to see another book by her! This book was really slow to start and very hard to get into. I really struggled to read the first half of this book but the second half was much better. This is a paranormal gothic romance of sorts, with some interesting mystery as well.
I almost stopped reading this book around page 100; but I decided to stick with it a bit longer. Around 150 pages in the story actually starts getting interesting.
Our heroine, Juliet, is deaf which adds an interesting dynamic to the story. A number of characters in here have disabilities; one has a clubfoot and another is colorblind. As I said it was an interesting addition to the story. I didn’t really like Juliet much as a heroine, she was too gullible and too needy. She does gain some backbone as the story continued but she never really grew on me.
I really didn’t like the lead character of Hawk either and despised how thoroughly our main heroine, Juliet, lets Hawk emotionally manipulate her. Hawk continually tells Juliet he loves her and constantly uses her for his own well being.
The end of the story is better. I will just say that Juliet finally feels more empowered and unravels the mysteries between Lord Nicolas Thornton and Hawk. I can’t really say more without spoilers. The romance in the second half of the book is well done and sweet. I also enjoyed some of the twists and turns that happen later in the book; although they were fairly predictable.
Overall this was not Howard’s best book by far, I definitely prefer her Splintered series to this book. The book just moves too slow and some of the lead characters are very unlikable and irritating (including our heroine). I do have Roseblood as well and plan on reading that book. However, if Roseblood is as slow as this book is I may be done with Howard as a writer after that. I wouldn’t recommend.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Paranormal Reading Challenge