Since I’m reading on a Kindle I have no idea what page I’m on, but I’m estimating that I’m 1/10th of the way through this book, and I don’t want to continue. The WTFery is piled so high, I can’t see my way to the end.
Jillian Brightman purchased a big ol’ house with her sisters, and they’ve teamed up to turn it into an inn. Jillian, according to the cover synopsis, has a secret fantasy that comes to life when she meets Ian, who isn’t who he says he is. I was curious about this book from the synopsis, but the opening chapters were so completely barmy I had to stop reading. Behold, in convenient list formation, the reasons this book is receiving a DNF – did not finish.
1. Backstory introduction: the main character is talking to a ghost in the opening chapter, and telling the ghost all about herself, her sisters, her new hotel, her toenail fungus… no, not that last one. If you’re ever wondering how to reveal everything about yourself in two pages, try talking to a ghost. It seems to make one very chatty.
2. Ghost introduction: there’s a ghost! And she appears! In a Harlequin Blaze? I thought they were steamy, not steam-like diaphanous apparitions in mirrors.
3. Mystery door: the magic ghost who knows the heroine’s entire backstory because the heroine told her (and me) opens a magic hidden door.
4. But wait there’s more! A secret room with the hidden door contains a linen hatbox that’s full of envelopes. On the top is written, and I quote:
Fantasy Box: Choose carefully. The one you draw out will come true.
So Jillian pulls out an envelope, because, and I quote, “What could be the harm?” and is so freaked out by how close to her own fantasies the fortune in the envelope had been that she asks the ghost out loud what she’s doing with a hatbox full of fortunes in her secret room, and then she runs down the stairs.
If this were made into a movie, I have to ask, is there music that goes with “WTF?” What’s the soundtrack for that?
5. Introduce the hero: Over a year later since the hatbox ghost secret room envelope thingy, Jillian almost wrecks on a tight curve with an oil patch and the hero, Ian, sees her swerve and nearly crush her car. He gets out to make sure she’s ok… and is immediately seized by this crazy desire to kiss her. Dude. Did he hit his head?
6. More about the hero: he’s investigating the hotel that Jillian and her sisters own because someone had been playing potentially deadly pranks on the guests, but, and I quote:
After hearing [the story,] Ian had agreed with the hotel manager on three points. He was right to be concerned, it was too soon to tell if the incidents were related, and, therefore, too soon to worry the sisters.
I can handle ghosts, hidden rooms, secret boxes, and stuff in envelopes that comes true. But a whole mess of potentially damaging “accidents” befalling guests in a hotel, including a WIRE STRUNG ACROSS THE TOP OF THE STAIRCASE, and they don’t want to tell the owners because it might upset them? THAT I am not buying. I can handle any amount of woo-woo paranormal activity, but treating the heroine(s) as if they are too delicate to handle what is clearly a concerted effort to drive up their insurance premiums does not a hero make, nor does it create a romance I wish to read.