Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Better Homes and Hauntings
by Molly Harper
Release: June 24, 2014
Goodreads  Amazon
Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!

When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.

But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Review by Gretl:

Molly Harper is an author that pops up a lot in my recommendations on Amazon and Goodreads, but I’ve never actually read her before. Now I think there may be some naked werewolves in my future. She had me at the very first line, “Beware all enterprises that start with the purchase of Crocs.” I hate those things!

Better Homes and Hauntings is . . . let’s call it a haunted romantic comedy. It’s definitely not a typical romance. There are two potential couples. The second is Jake, the architect and Deacon’s best friend, and Cindy the professional cleaner and organizer. The two of them dated years ago when he was home from college. He never called and now doesn’t even remember her. She is understandably upset with him but he has no idea why, so their interactions are kind of a train wreck you can’t help but watch. Plus there’s Dotty, Deacon’s eccentric cousin who’s determined to discover the house’s secrets and break the family’s supposed curse. She’s a flake at first, but seems to find her strength by being part of this group. And there’s even a ghostly love triangle.

The story is full of pop culture references, with Nina and Deacon bonding over sci-fi movies and superheroes. And I love that the characters acknowledge the inherent Scooby Doo-ness of their situation and reference the cartoon a few times. It all makes for a charmingly quirky narrative with some creepy ghost encounters throughout. There are also some non-ghostly adversaries to keep their lives interesting. I thought Regina, Deacon’s former friend and interior designer, was delightfully bitchy in the way of all good rom-com villains.

The heart of the ghost story is the quest to solve Catherine Whitney’s murder. The friends find clues throughout the house, which I love, by the way. The details are wonderfully vivid from the ceiling tiles to the parquet floors. And they get (mostly confusing) glimpses of Catherine’s life from their encounters with the ghosts. My only real issue with the book was that I solved the mystery about halfway through and got frustrated with the characters for not seeing it too.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this book. I can almost see Better Homes and Hauntings as a movie – it would make a great girls’ night out. Definitely a fun summer read!

Recommended for fans of: Light paranormal romance, Molly Harper, Dakota Cassidy’s Accidentals series

This review is based on a finished copy that I won from Goodreads.



  1. I've heard good and bad reviews for this one. I'm going to see if my library will get it on audio. They have some of her other stuff on audio.

  2. I LOVE Molly Harper but for some reason this one didn't grab me. I DNF after about 100 pages. But I might try it again at another time.

    1. I could see it being something you have to be in the mood for. It's kind of hard to classify, like a contemp with ghosts.


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