REVIEW: Haunted by Lisa Childs
Dear Ms. Childs:
Ariel Cooper is a descendant of a family of Durriken witches. Not every Durriken woman is born a witch but many are. And many, like one of the first, had their lives ended in tragedy. Ariel’s mother could foretell the future and knew her three daughters would be taken from her. Her mother entrusted one charm of three charms to each girl, telling them to always keep it close. Child Protective Services came and took the three girls away. The three girls were all placed with different families.
Ariel, the middle child, was raised in various foster homes and because of her secret she was often mistreated. Ariel sees the ghosts of the recent dead. This curse or blessing, depending on the viewpoint, prevents Ariel from developing deep and lasting relationships. She currently is in love with David Koster, a software billionaire, but she is afraid that he would turn away if he knew the truth about her.
One day after a particularly harrowing time, she sees her mother. Something impels her to search out her sisters. As she begins to search out her past, her life becomes jeopardized. It appears that someone is killing the Durikken women and that someone is after Ariel. David has secrets of his own that lead the reader to suspect that he might not be innocent of the danger in Ariel’s life.
The book contained a couple of twists not often seen in romance books. First, Ariel’s memories of her mother are tangled. Some of the memories are of a loving, caring woman. Others were that of a mother more interested in her own pleasure. I liked the conflicted picture of the mother, not wholly self absorbed and not wholly good. Second, the male protagonist is presented as a possible villian.
The conflict revolves around whether Ariel will open up to David about her secrets or whether her secrets will eventually get her killed. Having the possible hero be a suspected danger to the heroine is a hard thing to pull off in a romance with its predetermined ending, but I thought, mostly, that you did. One of the main problems I had with the story was the faint rendering of David. Perhaps that was necessary in order to create the aura of menace you were trying to build.
This is not a detailed oriented book. The characters are a bit vague, Ariel can be a bit of a flighty pain in the ass, and the plot is not much more than finding out who is trying to kill Ariel. Much of the arc of the story depends upon the other sisters’ tales. However, the story is well paced, goes by quickly and is an enjoyable read. I look forward to more from Nocture and from you. B-.