An addiction counselor & a security guard struggle to free a little girl and her father—lost spirits trapped inside an abandoned mental asylum.
Laura Horton returns from college to move in with an old friend & start her career. But her homecoming is jarring. Her friend’s moved out, leaving Laura alone with the gorgeous but intimidating ex-boyfriend—in a house that snugs up to an ancient graveyard.
Officer Miller Stanford is a man with a shattered past. His alcoholic dad destroyed their family, a weakness Miller is terrified will consume him too. The last thing he needs is a sexy, blonde addiction counselor watching his every move. When he begins to see specters in the dark, he starts questioning his own stability.
But Laura sees her too—a pathetic child-spirit searching for her father. Can they unravel the mysteries of Talcott Hall without jeopardizing their love—and lives—in the process?
The set-up for the novel is intriguing with the surprise roommates, the personal struggles both of the protagonist are dealing with, and the hunted environment where they live and work - the unexplainable instances with lights, voices, and people appearing.
Both Laura Horton and Miller Stanford lives have turned into a mess. They both have baggage from the teenage years that they have not dealt with, that affect their everyday life still to the day. Their current lives are not much better, from living situation to their careers to their families everything seems to be in upheaval or a problem.
When the stress from their lives are at the highest point, the unexplainable appearances of noises, voices, lights, and people could not be more distracting and fearful, mostly fearing for their sanity.
The story is an interesting mix of genres.
There is the Young Adult part where Laura is trying to start her life after school, find her place in her career, still looking for what, where, and how she is going to move on now that her life can truly start. Miller is also looking for a new chance with his career and continuing education.
Then there is the Women's Lit part that tells the journey of the protagonist and their families, the growth and the development of the characters, their relationships with their families, and their relationship with each other.
And then the touch of paranormal with the haunted grounds and houses where the main characters try to find help for the lost souls.
The story started a bit slow for me, it took to the half part of the book to set up the scene. I am glad I didn't give up on the story because when it picks up the tempo and the flow, it delivers a riveting and alluring tale of redemption. The characters get a chance to show their true colors, the people they grew up to be. The maturation of Miller and Laura is evident and a rather beautiful thing to witness, as well as the progress of their relationship.
A thought-provoking and a puzzling story about life both here on earth and there on ever after.
~ Four Spoons
Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of five titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books, and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.
Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, is a HOLT Medallion Award finalist, and her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, is a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Awards.
A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 38 years, now live in central Massachusetts.
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