House of Seven Spirits by Julie Howard

House of Seven Spirits by Julie Howard
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (130 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Some secrets are deadly, and ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester and her photographer boyfriend discover it’s true when they set out to investigate an Australian family who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s.

An abandoned sheep station rumored to be haunted by the Kinsley family with ghosts instead of dead bodies or clues is one challenge. The other is the beautiful but deadly Outback.
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As Jillian probes deeper into the mystery, one thing becomes clear: She might not make it out of this quest alive.

Certain secrets are impossible to keep.

This story was filled with rich details that immediately sucked me into the plot. Even though I’ve never been to Australia in real life, I sure felt like I had due to the care the author took to explain not only what the climate was like but what Australian culture is like, too. I had such a good time exploring this part of the world. It was pretty hard to stop reading once I started because of how immersive this experience was and how curious I was to see what long-buried secrets might be revealed next.

I would have liked to see more attention paid to Jillian’s character development. She could be pretty stubborn and impulsive at times. While I definitely appreciated the fact that her flaws were so realistic and meaningful to how the storyline played out, it would have been nice if she’d shown how she changed as a result of these experiences. I sure would have been impacted by them, so it felt a little odd to meet a character who reacted the way she did to it.

The romantic subplot was handled nicely. I got the impression that this book was or will be part of a series, but I couldn’t confirm that for sure either way. At any rate, their shared history was explained so well that I felt totally comfortable jumping in at this part of their journey. They were young and in love but still had so much left to figure out about life and romance. It was pretty interesting to see how Jillian and Mason attempted to sort some of it out while at the same time both of them were juggling heavy work responsibilities.

I enjoyed reading House of Seven Spirits and would recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal mysteries.

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