Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley ~ Review

Sommersgate House (Ghosts and Reincarnation #2)Source: Purchased.

Sommersgate House (a Ghosts and Reincarnation Novel) by Kristen Ashley

Douglas Ashton is the cold and unfeeling owner of the gothic Victorian Mansion, Sommersgate House. Julia Fairfax is his stubborn American sister-in-law. After tragedy strikes, Douglas and Julia are forced to live together at Sommersgate and raise their newly orphaned nieces and nephew.

Douglas has no desire to raise his dead sister’s children nor does he want the distraction of the tempting Julia living under his roof. Julia is struggling with grief and trying to make a go in a new country without much help from impossibly handsome but even more impossibly remote Douglas. Not to mention, she has to deal with the active hostility of Douglas’s frosty, Attila-the-Hun-in-a-skirt mother, Monique.

Douglas decides the best way to give the children what they need, get his mother to behave and give himself what he wants is to marry Julia. When he tells her (yes, tells her) she will be his wife, Julia thinks Douglas is (probably) insane. And anyway, she’s decided if she ever has another husband (since the last one wasn’t so great), he was going to be short, balding, have a paunch and worship the ground she walks on (none of these characteristics define Douglas in the slightest).

One more thing, Sommersgate House is haunted by the ghosts of the man who built the house and the woman who was the love of his life. They both died mysteriously at Sommersgate months after it was finished. When they did, a curse settled on the house making it seem strangely alive. And the only way for the beautiful but frightening house to rid itself of this curse is for its owner to find true love.

So I'm just going to start this review by saying that I actually have no idea what the reading order for this series is. Amazon and KA's website show this as the book to read first, but Goodreads shows this as book 2. I decided to read this first, since 2 out of 3 places showed that as the right thing to do.

Now that I've got that out of the way, Sommersgate House. I've been holding off on picking up this series for a while because I was worried it wouldn't live up to what I generally expect from KA. The Ghosts and Reincarnation series just seem like the type that'll be hit or miss for me and I haaaate reading misses, as I'm sure anyone does. I want to love every book all the time. So yeah, I held off on picking up Sommersgate. But now I'm in need of some KA, so I figured it was a good time to try it out. And...honestly, it's not anywhere near my favorite.

The premise sounded great. A marriage of convenience mixed with some haunting? Sounds cool! Unfortunately, it took me a while to actually get into the novel. I think this was partly because it was written in third person POVs. I was glad to get multiple perspectives (Douglas' mainly) but the third person made it tough to really get attached, which made it take a while.

Another negative for me was the way Douglas pursued Julia. I'm always here for an alpha male. Persistence and devotion make my day--his solid interest and protectiveness for Julia were actually my favorite things about him. HOWEVER. Douglas was uncomfortably pushy at first, in my opinion. She was very adamant with her no, and while she did change her mind I just wasn't 100% on board with Douglas' actions in the process.

That said. Douglas and Julia had a great push and pull chemistry, and their relationship built slowly on the page in such a satisfying way. Not a surprise, since KA is a romance master. I was so pleased with their overall journey as a couple, and I loved them together. I wish we did get more of them solidly and comfortably TOGETHER, but that's me making a small greedy gripe.

There were two other notable aspects to the novel along with the romance: the children and the haunting. As for the children, I loved seeing both Julia and Douglas with them. Julia as the loving aunt, and Douglas with his melting heart. It was so sweet. And the haunting added a fun little something extra to the overall story. There's ghosts and a curse on the house, and it was nice seeing that come full circle as our main characters reached their own.

Overall, I really liked Sommersgate House. The romance built in a satisfying way, and there were some extra aspects that I definitely enjoyed. However, this is nowhere near my favorite Kristen Ashley novel and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed that this one didn't fully click with me. I do plan on continuing the series--and I am actually looking forward to it!

3.5 stars - Not my fav KA, but I really liked it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm big on character drive stories. Even though you mention it being hard to connect with some of these, I still think I might enjoy the book. Thanks for sharing your review:)