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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Haunting Passions by Maureen McMahon

Haunting Passions by Maureen McMahon
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave - Blush
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (125 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Stacey Christian and Peter Mansfield join forces to help solve the mysteries surrounding Lady Katherine O’Flannery’s Irish castle—mysteries of hauntings, suicide, desertion, embezzlement and revenge. Skepticism turns to incredulity and finally terror as Stacey and Peter come face to face with a reality that neither could ever have imagined. Their complicated romance only adds to the mounting tension.

Ghostly castles and mysterious tales from the recent past... put them together and you have Haunting Passions.

Stacey and Peter meet after several years apart. Their romance fizzled out, but Stacey still feels something for Peter and eagerly accepts his offer of a stay at his aunt’s haunted Irish castle. This could be exactly the subject she needs for the magazine article she’s writing. Peter has been called in to find out why the fortune his uncle left to his sister has disappeared.

After a slightly chilly welcome to the castle, Peter starts his search of the records and then follows the lead to Dublin. Stacey wanders about the countryside and the castle. She is warned by all that the ghost of Victor haunts the west wing and the cove where he died.

Annoyed at Peter’s repeated absences, she decides to search for the meaning behind the ghost stories. Despite her disbelief of the supernatural, as she digs deeper into the mystery she begins to wonder if she’s out of her depth.

A slightly shivery romantic tale that picks up pace as it gets deeper into the story. Secrets hidden from the present, mysterious servants and friendly neighbors make their appearance in Haunting Passions. The introduction of the scenery in the Irish countryside really made me feel as if I’d been there. My main concern was I guessed the end of the story after only reading a third of the book. I’m not sure if it was because I’ve read similar stories in the past, but it certainly dampened my reading enjoyment. However, this could just be me.

Haunting Passions does have mystery, suspense and ghosts and the story rolls along seamlessly. A little bit jerky due to the romantic interest keeping a low profile, but the story recovers smoothly and continues at a fast pace. A good read with only a touch of romance.