HAUNTS OF THE HEART
1996/Re-Released February 2009
Blue Star Books/Re-Released Aspen Mountain Press
Rating: 4 Cups
In life, Deanna Butterworth considered herself forgettable and useless; at least that is how she perceived her parents to see her. Never measuring up to her mother’s standards, she thought she had finally become who she wanted to be when she started dating Jay. Then came the fateful night when all her secrets came to a head, and she was left hooked to the monitors in the hospital while her soul wandered home.
Neal is a gentle ghost who cannot remember exactly how he died other than through the ramblings of Anthony. Being told he committed suicide really never set well with him, but why should he not trust Anthony, the fellow ghost stuck in the house? Anthony does not have anything to hide from him; they were friends as well as worked together in the hospital during the Civil War.
Now that her body is lying in a coma in the hospital, Deanna makes her way to her childhood home, the one place she felt the most comfortable. Finding two ghosts floating around in the house is bad enough, but finding out they have always been there and saw her grow from a chubby child to a plump woman without a backbone was even worse. Neal finds himself attracted to Deanna in a way that makes him wish he could touch her. Meanwhile, Anthony comes to realize that Deanna is a threat to his very existence; she could turn their lives upside down if she discovers the secrets he has kept from Neal. They are secrets that not only destroyed the one woman they both loved, but that inadvertently had a direct hand in Neal’s death; Anthony will stop at nothing to keep those secrets, even if it means making Deanna disappear for good.
Haunts of the Heart has various elements that give it such a remarkable effect. Ms. Scott opens the reader’s eyes to the world of ghosts in such a way that most of the tale comes easily, and we find ourselves falling a little in love. With only a couple of rough spots here and there, this beautifully written and sometimes sad story of haunting love is so achingly bittersweet that I found myself hoping for a HEA for Neal, Deanna, and at times even Anthony. After a slow journey into a past that is filled with deception, murder, and the black market, this tale quickly heats up and definitely left me at times hating Anthony and his attitude about his past and the secrets he has kept. Just when I thought Haunts of the Heart could not shock me anymore, the twists and turns of the ending had me raging and screaming because of the story’s stunning cliffhanger.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More