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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ARC Review The Ghosts of Ravencrest byTamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

Darkness Never Dies ...
Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold ...
Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own - from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants - the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest ...
Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who - or what - is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

I received a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

The Ghosts of Ravencrest starts out like many ghost stories, a young woman having an interview at a home the locals know is haunted.  I was a little bummed that the author didn't pick a specific ghost style. Right away we are informed that the house history has suicide, murder, devil worship and orgies. Later on witch craft is added to the mix. I like it much better when a ghost story decides what kind it wants to be instead of all over the place.

There is certainly some dark and gruesome aspects to this story, which I enjoyed. Deliciously macabre with whispers of eroticism, which was very reminiscent of Hell House. 

I can't say I was frightened, but I was intrigued by the story line. The writing was decent and told the tale well. Ravencrest was a wonderful back drop.

There were many haunted house cliches in the story line, so I can't say the plot was unique. Mrs. Heller is a mad woman and by far scarier than the "haunting."  The MC, Belinda, a governess, was child like and naive so while she was well written I had a hard time being sympathetic to her or caring about her in any real way. She's kind of a special snowflake.

I enjoyed how the chapters went from present day to the past, drawing the reader further into the history of the house and people who lived there.

All in all I enjoyed reading this and if you like gothic ghost stories you might like this one as well.

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