REVIEW: Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish: A Halloween Romance by G.G. Andrew
A zombie. A vampire. A witch. Nora Travers is none of these things.
But the former mean girl has to hide behind costumes if she wants to scare the pants off Brendan, the horror geek with the power to make or break her haunted house. Because Brendan is the nerd Nora used to torment in middle school. But now he’s all grown up and so scary hot, even her zombie heart starts beating.
And he’s looking a bit too long at her bloody fishnet stockings.
Nora has to be everything she’s not this Halloween so she can hide her true self and terrify Brendan. Not to mention protect her heart.
Because what happens when he realizes she’s a monster behind the mask?
Dear Ms. Andrew,
I’d already started reading Christmas novellas when I had a brain (or braaaiiinnn, as Nora would scream it when dressed as a zombie) storm. Why was I not looking for any Halloween novellas? Truth was I’d never thought about it but darned if I didn’t find that there are quite a few out there. This is the first one I tried.
Nora Travers is working in a haunted house trying to scare the living daylights out of a man she once tormented as a thirteen year old. Brendan Forrester developed a website devoted to horror movie and scary stuff fans and he’s come to judge and post the results of his visits to various haunted houses. If her work site scores big, then all the workers will get a bonus – something Nora desperately needs in order to pay her college tuition bills. What she hadn’t counted on is how freaky hot Brendan would have turned out.
After a lackluster initial impression as a zombie nurse (Braaaiiinnns!), Nora chases Brendan down through the haunted house and really turns up the wattage succeeding in getting him to drop his phone and scuttle away. Afterwards, Nora checks out his website and before she can stop herself, posts a message on twitter from @zombienurse. Soon she and Brendan are texting.
Now Nora is long reformed having had to endure a bit of teasing and comments after she and Brendan moved on to different high schools. She knows what she did was wrong and is sincerely and honestly sorry for the torment she caused not only Brendan but another girl. That girl has had a bit of revenge on Nora (which Nora feels was totally deserved) but she’s not ever seen or contacted Brendan since the bad old days.
The problem is the more she gets to know him and text with him, the more she really likes him. He’s smart, funny, caring, and seems to be truly interested in @zombienurse and what she has to say. But Nora knows her time is running out and chances are Brendan will find out who she really is. What will he do then?
There are a few elements of the story that just have to be accepted. Nora needs money but as far as we know, is only working in a haunted house. True it allows her to express her inner horror fan and act while there but I somehow doubt this would come close to paying even part of a semester at college. Also, how have she and Brendan never crossed paths in the intervening seven years? But all this is needed for the set up and way their relationship plays out.
Since it’s first person, Nora’s is the only POV seen. I feel that Nora has changed and isn’t the person she was. Even she’s disgusted with that person. She also had some family issues (parental divorce) going on then and has worked out that she vented her anger and feelings of helplessness by bullying others. Nonetheless she did instigate verbal attacks on these students.
Through a comment on his website, Brendan has posted that, in part, starting it was a way to rise above those who tormented him and specifically names “that witch Nora” so he hasn’t just let bygones be bygones. When he does realize who she is, he lets her have it even as she apologizes repeatedly. Nora then goes online as herself and repeats that. We all know that what shows up on social media lives forever but one thing I would have liked to have seen was a face to face, in front of others, public apology from her.
The story ends on a happy for now relationship, Brendan appears to be a better person that I’d probably be, Nora is truly contrite – and faces the music again about her other victim. But I’d still like to have seen her go public in saying sorry, the way she publicly hurt Brendan before. B-