REVIEW: Secrets of Seacliff House by Stacey Coverstone
A contemporary rendition of the classic Gothic romance style, this novel is filled with intrigue. Amongst the mysteries, love is blossoming between Kayla and Tanner. Will the murderous past of Seacliff House allow a happy-ever-after in the present?
Kayla Grayson lives with her agoraphobic mother, Suzanne, who has always been secretive about her past. Kayla begins to doubt everything her mother has led her to believe when Suzanne shows her an email from a cousin in Maryland, one that Kayla never knew existed. Kayla decides to drive to Maryland to meet her cousin, and find out if the man this cousin mentioned in her email is actually Kayla’s long-assumed-dead father, now alive.
Before Kayla has a chance to explore the Bed and Breakfast owned by her cousin, she meets Tanner Bishop. Tanner is a journalist, who has his own goals, but also becomes a much needed, knowledgeable friend for Kayla, whether she wants one or not. Realizing that they’re both staying at the same B&B is an unexpected coincidence, but ends up being the perfect opportunity for both of them.
Driven by the clues found in a family journal regarding the disappearance of his great-grandmother in the 1950s, Tanner came to Maryland to find out what happened to her. The last anyone remembers, his great-grandmother worked at Seacliff House, so he can’t believe his luck when Kayla turns out to be the owner’s long-lost granddaughter.
It doesn’t take Kayla and Tanner long to realize that the ghosts of the past have a lot more to say than either of them imagined. Working together on their common goals to discover their individual family history, they can’t deny their attraction to each other. Is it safe to hope for a future when the past wants to repeat itself? Seacliff House holds the secrets, but do they really want to know them?
Kayla is a likeable heroine who craves family—so much so that she’s willing to overlook a few oddities to give even the most cantankerous relative a chance, including the grandmother who chased her daughter away twenty-four years ago. I’m not sure I’d have as much patience with the mean old lady, but Kayla looks for the good in everyone. Tanner helps Kayla by offering his strength when she needs it. Their romance is sweet and slowly builds amidst the danger of snooping where the truth wants to stay buried. I generally like a more sensual love story, but the subtleness of the characters’ attraction was appropriate for the plot.
This self-published novel is an adventurous read, with some evil characters who push the envelope in their cruelty and disrespect towards others. Even though I felt the story could use some tightening, there wasn’t a lag in my interest. I could tell that the author had this book edited—that in itself makes this eBook a great value for those who want something different. I had a good time trying to outwit each revelation because there sure were enough of them to keep the pacing engaging. For those who miss the time-honored Gothic romance of the past, I think you’ll enjoy this contemporary rendition, which has a more complicated plot than most.
Author Stacey Coverstone has taken the traditional Gothic romance idea and updated it with a modern couple, each successful in their career. No governess hoping to marry the dark hero in this one, just two intelligent people looking for family connections together. The unassuming small coastal town suits the spooky appeal, complete with stormy nights to increase the eerie feeling that the house already exudes, while getting to know some creepy residents. SECRETS OF SEACLIFF HOUSE juggles twists and turns within a mystery combined with ghosts and family secrets. In classic Gothic romance style, the house is alive with stories waiting to be told and if you’re like me, you’ll race along to hear them. Can a house full of secrets continue to harbor the evil it has always known? If you’ve often wondered about Gothic romance, or love it as much as I do, this novel is a fun way to explore it.
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