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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Storm Swept by Linda Palmer

Storm Swept by Linda Palmer
Publisher: Wild Horses Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (151 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 5 suns
Reviewed by Snapdragon

When Jenny Jefferson agrees to help her sister open a B&B, she doesn't know that Jase Edwards will be working there, too. Jenny and Jase have history--an angry encounter at her sister's wedding four years ago. This time around their chemistry is as intense and supercharged as the lightning snaking down from the storm clouds overhead. Not even a mischievous house ghost can distract them from each other. But something far more sinister lurks in the shadows, and its eye is on Jenny. Can she and Jase unravel the mystery of the house's tragic past before history?

Told in the first person in a comfortably conversational style, Storm Swept engages the reader immediately. Just out of school Jenny, (asthmatic) agrees to take over as cook at pregnant sister Lucy’s bed and breakfast.

She isn’t there five minutes when she meets her brother-in-law’s brother, handsome and kindly Jase. Before they have any chance to get acquainted though, a myriad of problems, from major to minor, confront them.

The B-n-B is everything one could imagine: a real chandelier-clad Victorian Mansion bursting with atmosphere…but everything seems unfinished, none of the renovations are complete. What’s more the place is loud and kind of creepy. Lucy the sister is in tears half the time. She admits the harassing ghost about the place almost at once, but Jenny isn’t known as the ‘sensible one’ for nothing.

She doesn’t worry about any ghost, she can’t wait to start cooking in her summer chef position, and, suspiciously soon after meeting Jase Edwards , she semi-dumps the super-hot, hair-obsessed Nick. There’s no quick happy relationship for the two of them though.

First, there’s a few regrettable statements between them, then they argue over someone else’s relationship, and somewhere in there we realize these two characters are a lot alike. Both Jase and Jenny are hard-headed and stubborn, alongside being well-meaning and caring. It’s wonderful to meet two characters you thoroughly admire, even though their mutually antagonistic approach is incredibly frustrating (and also intriguing) from the romantic point of view! From that point forward you will just want to know how this all ends. We know they are both loyal… but couldn’t one of them be a bit less hard-headed? Dialogue is snappy and fun and sometimes sarcastic.

Storm Swept is a fun and lightning-fast read; the romance is wonderful and in many ways unpredictable and the house’s creepiness factor becomes more and more believable, adding to the overall suspense. Romance fans should mark this one a must-read.

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