ebook, 433 pages
Published March 24th 2011
by Kristen Ashley, via Smashwords
Cash meets Abby, who is posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he’s willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck but both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.
Cash realises very quickly that Abby isn’t what she seems and while he changes strategies, Abby discovers that Cash’s legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say – very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.
Abby’s found herself in the battle of her life so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbour; Jenny, her no-nonsense friend; Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them); and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.
Well, I really enjoyed a later book in this series, Lucky Stars, so I had decided to read the entire series from the start. Penmort Castle is the first in the Ghosts and Reincarnation series. The premise of this book is very promising, and the opening chapters drew me in like a moth to a flame. The characters are sharp, vividly portrayed and I was blown away with the circumstances Abby has found herself in and not quite sure what to make of our hero, Cash.
I was stupid. What was I to make of him? That he's awesome. Kristen Ashley paints a strong character in Cash, he's determined, driven, hard headed but intelligently so and his word. Is. Law. Period. Abby crosses him several times, but each time she realizes even as she does so that by doing so she's picking up a beehive and shaking it. Hard. Cash is formidable and everyone knows that. And yet, Abby dares.
This isn't to say exactly that she's a daring, or independent character who stands up to Cash on principle. This is just Abby--she doesn't always think before she acts and while she's thinking, this is stupid she just keeps on with whatever she's doing. She's cute that way. At least, Cash thinks so. I honestly thought her vulnerability, her determination to hang on to her memories, her kind heart made her an endearing character. But I also thought she was a bit of an idiot too. She's made some bad choices in the past, and I think she was lucky Cash was such the sort of man who was perceptive and caring because the situtation she puts herself in is nothing short of stupid. Girl got lucky with this hero, let me tell you.
The ghost story line is more of a side story, but it was well done and I liked how the author really interwove her plot lines. She's smart that way, not a stray fray out of place in that respect. My big compliant against this book was length. At at about seventy percent through the novel, I started to feel like it dragged. The romance that had been sweet and endearing started to feel repetitive. I thought a lot of it could have been cut out and the ghost story line (and thus the novel) wrapped up more quickly. But, the novel was well written, smart, full of sassy, fun and wonderful characters that I just loved and brought tears to my eyes.
3.5 glittering stars