5.0 on the Masq Scale. Ghostwriter by @LissaBryan #romance #bookreview

Cover links to Amazon.com


Written by Lissa Bryan

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Book Synopsis

Newly single, unemployed, and with her savings dwindling to an all-time low, Sara thinks things are finally looking up when she lands a job ghostwriting a popular politician’s biography, and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Strange things begin to happen as objects break, go missing, and terrifying visions appear, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left, or if she is slowly losing her mind.

She gets no answers from his family who closely guards the secret of his disappearance. Through an old trunk of letters Sara discovers in the attic of her seaside cottage, Sara unravels the mystery and becomes caught up in a tale of greed, lost love, and the horrors of WWI. Will she be the one to break the “Fortner Curse” by helping Seth conquer his demons, and heal both of their hearts in the process?

Beverly D's Review

Sara Howell is a likeable, plucky heroine who is determined to succeed on her own, whether or not her super-critical, controlling mother or now ex-boyfriend approves or not. When she is down to her last funds, it makes perfect sense to snatch up the dirt-cheap offer of a beautiful house on a small island off the North Carolina coast. Rather than lonely, it strikes Sara as the perfect writer’s retreat; no other houses, no phones or internet, but not too primitive, either, boasting electrical power and plenty of hot water. Better yet, it once belonged to Sara’s all-time favorite novelist, Seth Fortner, who died mysteriously, decades before she was born. Sara feels for the first time in her life, she’s come home.

Eerie things begin to happen, and an angry, blood-stained Seth appears to Sara in her dreams, shouting at her to “Get out!” of his house. A ghost story should be satisfyingly spooky, and this one made my heart pound. At the same time, I wondered, along with Sara, if Seth was real, or conjured up by her guilty conscience (after she discovers and reads a stash of his private correspondence) and vivid imagination. Or is she losing her mind?

Real or not, Sara is stuck there on the island; she can’t afford to leave and go elsewhere until she finishes the book. She can’t even afford to replace her glasses or see a doctor instead of eating pain pills by the handful for her killer headaches.

Finally Sara decides that for all intents and purposes, Seth is real. Not only real, but suffering from PTSD from his experiences during World War I. They become friends, and over time, their friendship blossoms into romance. Seth even helps Sara with her book. But what future is there for a couple who can only touch in dreams?

Characters and Details: Blended in gradually, no info-dump. Enough details sprinkled in to visualize each setting and character, without bogging the book down. Pacing: I found it to be a real page turner, while at the same time with the romance arc, it allowed for an unrushed build up from creepy to acceptance to love. Plot: Extremely original, with many plot twists I did not see telegraphed from a mile away, yet as each occurred, there had been enough seeds planted that they made perfect sense.

As a ghost story, this sent chills down my spine. As a love story, what star-crossed couple could be more impossible to bring together for a happily ever after than a live woman and a dead man? If you like romances, ghost stories, mysteries, or simply a good story well told, read this book.

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.

Content Disclaimer: There are some steamy scenes and much sexual tension, but nothing overly explicit.

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