Friday, July 25, 2008

Ghosts and Secrets and Romance, Oh My!!

The Haunting of Josie
by Kay Hooper

Sometimes I'm looking for a short read, something I can finish in a night. I just don't have the time to waste by grabbing the nearest Harlequin only to find it's badly written or too cheesy for words. I still want something with a plot I can sink my teeth into. That's why I was so pleased to find this little gem by an author I already know and love.

Like many popular authors, Kay Hooper has started to reissue many of her older romance series titles in order to keep up with the voracious appetite of her readers. The Haunting of Josie is one of those. It is, in fact, the last book she wrote for the LoveSwept line before she started writing her more meaty suspense titles.

Josie Douglas is an elementary school teacher who has taken a sabbatical to write The Great American novel -- on the surface anyway. Actually, she has some secrets and another agenda entirely. Marc Westbrook is a high powered prosecutor who is convalescing after a serious car accident at the cottage of the estate where Josie rents a house. The two, of course, hit it off right away albeit with some resistance on Josie's end. Marc quickly sees through her flimsy cover and uncovers the real story of her past and the infamous father whose innocence she is trying to prove.

Meanwhile, a mystery surfaces regarding the death of one of Marc's more famous ancestors. Luke Westbrook, a famous mystery writer of the 1940's, had supposedly committed suicide in the very house Josie is staying in. However, between the antics of a gypsy cat who showed up the day she moved in and the sightings of the ghost of Luke Westbrook who seems to be trying to tell her something, Josie and Marc come to the conclusion that foul play was involved. It takes both of them working together to solve the mystery and learn the lesson that comes with it.

My take:
I enjoyed it. This little romance has it all - light paranormal, mystery, hot romance. It wasn't too dated as some of the older romances can be. I was a little confused by the gun that was made so much of in the beginning of the story since nothing ever came of it and the plot line it suggested went absolutely nowhere. It is a minor quibble though and I recommend the book for those looking for a short beach read with a little meat to it.

Reviewed by Michele

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