Maggie Durarnt is the heir and lord of Magwood Hall in Castlecoombe, a gothic castle in the English countryside. As the heir of Magwood Hall, Maggie is cursed to not live longer than her 31st birthday, a fact that her conniving brother is betting on so that he can get his hands on the family fortune.
In the city, orphaned Emma Blewitt discovers she has inherited a country cottage and money from an aunt she did not even realize that she had.
A link that crosses generation brings Emma and Maggie together and the Durrant heir, ever closer to her fate.
Maggie Durrant is the lord of Magwood Hall and is well loved by the people who work her estate, she is fair with them and does her best to live up to her forbearers and the responsibility that she carries. She is offset by her cruel and callous brother who feels that he should have inherited the money and land that came with the title of being the lord of Castlecoombe simply because he is a man, however he is perfectly happy for his sister to bare the brunt of the deadly curse.
Emma Blewiitt is an independent, ambitious city girl who wants a big change, however she is not sure that moving to the country is what she is looking for. Orphaned at a young age she is brought up by her adoptive parents and has no connection to her biological parents apart from knowing their names.
The Writing Style
This book is a mixed bag when it comes to writing style, at times there are very evocative ghost story passages that make you want to make sure there is a light on in the room while you are reading, some parts of the book are reminiscent of the cozy mystery genre which pairs well with the ghost story aspects of this book.
However, this book is not a straight up ghost story or even mystery, it is a romance in which those aspects come in and out of the story, and while the romance was sweet and well done the ghost and mystery enthusiast within me was craving more.
I loved that this was not a typical romance and did bring a mystery and supernatural element into the book. I definitely think that there is room in lesbian fiction for stories with a supernatural spin that does not centre around werewolves.
I also loved that this brought back nostalgic feelings of the Nancy Drew books that I read as a young girl, except with actual ghosts.
The supernatural elements could have been included more and that would have increased my enjoyment.
The story needed tightening and a good editor would have helped with this. It wasn’t bad, but tightening the story would have taken it from a good read to a great read.
If you like gentle supernatural books (no gore), cozy mysteries and romance or any one of those things then this is worth a try.
Excerpt from The Ghost of Emily Tapper by Nita Round
The reassuring sounds of the ancient clock echoed through the cavernous kitchen and marked the passing of the minutes and the hours with mechanical exactness. Maggie Durrant, a kettle of a hot water in one hand and a teacup in the other, paused, her tea all but forgotten. She stared at the old age-word clock, its craquelure fascia discoloured from a long and extended life in the kitchen, and waited.
The spring mechanism groaned and strained as it reached towards its next movement. The moment lengthened and stretched, like elastic, almost to the point of breaking.
Released with a sigh of relief, the instant ended and moved on to the next.
Time took a deep breath and held it. The world slowed, and everything in it moved with great deliberation.
Maggie, aware of the nuances of her clock, stilled her mind and body. She knew this place, knew it was not then and not now, but caught between and she knew this moment well. The moment expanded and stretched, until this instance was everything. Maggie, still and readied, attended to her world with the fullest extent of her senses. The chill of her skin warmed by the head radiating from the solid fuel stove, the lingering aroma of chicken pie wafted up from an oven door left ajar. Her clothes grew heavy and clung like silken chains to her body. She strained to hear more, as if she could improve her ability by the force of her will alone. Her mind focussed, and then mundane fell away to leave a quiet stillness in which she could seek further understanding. Then she heard the whispers, the echoes of voices and distant words. These were sounds that had no place in this world, and yet they reverberated through the corridors of Magwood Hall as though they had always been there. And they had.
With exaggerated deliberation, she put the hot kettle back on to the stove, put the teacup on the counter, and stepped away. Her ears no longer considered the distant whispers, but settled on nearby sounds. The electric buzz of the old fluorescent lights, the hiss of the gas burners on the stove, and the wind that rattled the kitchen windows until she thought they would break. Hearing nothing strange was worse than hearing the whispers. Her eyes darted left, then right, but there was nothing to see. Not at first.
A shadow, at the very edge of her field of view, flashed by and Maggie took another step backward. A steel pan flew from the top shelf and crashed on the floor at her feet. Maggie sighed, picked up the pan, checked it for damage, and placed it on the kitchen table.
Tock. Time breathed out.
“I hear you,” she whispered, “and it is not my time yet.”
“Do you?” A voice echoed. “Do. You?”
“No,” Maggie answered. A chill draft of air blew around her shoulders and wrapped her skin in bitter cold. She shivered in spite of herself.
“Do you?” The wind asked once more.
Maggie slammed her hand on to the table. “No. You know I don’t. Why don’t you leave me alone?” A sigh, like a heart broken afresh, breezed through the kitchen and then it was gone.
The whispers stopped.
The kitchen was a kitchen, and Maggie knew she was alone again. “And it is still not my time,” she shouted, even though no one listened. “Not my time. You hear?”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: B071RPMKDH
- Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
Nita Round Online
Note: I received a free review copy of The Ghost of Emily Tapper by Nita Round. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.