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Monday, November 9, 2009

The Resident by Susan Stitely

The Resident by Susan Stitely
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (381 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 3 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

When Franchesca Pearl falls for the ever-capable Lathan Davidson, carnal instincts preside over future rapture. Upon finding the memoirs of a stranger, written in 1962, she and Lathan embark on a journey to rid Shelbyville of a curse that plagued the besieged populace for over two centuries.

The Memoirs bespeak of a golden-tongued ladies' man, a rake with whom women should err on the side of caution. His spirit furtively traverses hallow ground, awaiting the heir of the one who impassioned him from dusk till dawn –- the only one who can eradicate the curse that masquerades his immortal soul.

Francesca and Lathan delve into the past while history unleashes a slew of events that ensue their every move. Lathan vows to follow Francesca to Hell and back, an avowal that finds the lovers in purgatory. Together they attest a bygone era but must separately face the iniquities shorn of eternal renewal.

Covering two centuries of restless ghosts, and conflicted live characters, THE RESIDENT becomes a tangled web that lures the reader into a scary story.

Franchesca Pearl, born deaf and badly treated most of her young years, finally meets Lathan who takes her to a regal house at the end of a private lane and indicates it is hers. Here she finds Catalina’s memoirs. At this point the story becomes Catalina’s.

In the 1960’s, when Catalina comes to live in the house near Shelbyville, Vermont, her pure nature makes her susceptible to the spirit that seeks release from the curse pronounced so many years ago. As she and the members of her blended familydeal with eerie happenings in their new home and with the hostile, superstitious townspeople; their lives take on some nightmarish elements. As they try to find answers, things deteriorate.

As ancestral connections become known and dangers build, Catalina and her family find themselves tangled in complex, life-threatening situations both paranormal and earthly.

Catalina and Jared’s love story is a bright, beautiful thread among all the dark tangled threads of evil in the web that, at times, overshadow their love story and the family love seen in the story.

THE RESIDENT has many intriguing parts, but the complex imagery, the many characters, descriptive and misused words along with a spirit and a live character with the same name (even though one is italicized) make the story difficult to read at times. However, I read it with determination because I really wanted to know how all those souls finally found peace and how love conquered the hurts that piled up for so many years.

THE RESIDENT is an unusual story that circles around to Franchesca Pearl and gives the reader closure after lots of twist and turns.