The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Okay, I’m not going to lie – when I book walked my way into this book, I totally thought it was going to be a three crown read. No way in book heck did I think that this book would wow me, it would become a favorite, and or move above a four crown star at most.
I once saw a reviewer say that she walked into every book thinking it was going to be a five star read or at least hoped it to be. And I really do – for the most part. However, there are just some books that I know aren’t going to be amazing or five crowns or going to knock my book socks off – actually, Disney socks since that’s what I have on right now. Anyway, knowing this, I still do read a few because who knows – maybe I was wrong, maybe the review community was wrong about it for me personally, or I just want to read that genre of book even if it isn’t five crowns.
Then this book came along. It was one of those books you needed to put in your cart on Bookoutlet to get you to the limit for the coupon. I had been dying for a good, gothic ghostie read for a while now, and after accidentally stumbling upon the Bookoutlet ghost sub-sub genre, I found this book and put it in the cart and discovered one of the best ghost reads I’ve read in a long, long time.
Let’s start with the basics: this book centers around a team of early 1900s ghost hunters. There’s the passionate and fun Alistair who everyone’s a little in love with and their fearless leader, Matthew the grumpy and scarred secretary and fixer, and Sarah Piper, the newest member of the team who has had no interaction with ghosts whatsoever. However, Alistair hires her because the ghost that they are hunting reacts terribly to men – in her past life and the present. Not only is the team there to document the troubled ghost of Maddy Clare, but also to get her out of haunting the Clares’ barn. However, this team has no clue what they’re in for they break some of Maddy’s rules…
Guys and girls, this book was good – so good. Not only was it a breeze to read, it was so likable from the plot, the setting, the romance, the characters, their characterization, did I say the romance? I wasn’t sure I would even get a romance in this book with the description not hinting at much and truthfully, half the time, I didn’t care if I had one because the ghost hunting was so interesting, but goodness, I was not prepared for the feels I had for Matthew and Sarah – yeah, I thought it was going to be Alistair for a while but nope, should have read the summary more carefully. Sarthew all the way. Oh, ew, that doesn’t look right. Can we forget I did that?
The setting was amazing, too. It’s placed in the early 1920s, so we’re seeing the effects of the first World War on these two men and what it’s like in an a small English countryside. It’s a tight-knit small town that doesn’t take too kindly to outsiders. St. James’s descriptions are wonderful, and it added another eerie element to the story.
Also, the plot was so interesting. Okay, I pretty much knew the gist of what was going to be one of the big secrets and reveals a long time before Sarah even thought about it, but there were still little twists that surprised me. And even though I knew what was coming sometimes, I still wanted to see how it played out and whipped through those pages.
And the romance. Oh, the feels. I loved Sarah and Matthew together. Was I not completely sold on them for a while? Yes. It was a tad instalove, but to be truthful, it worked with the situation and I just didn’t care. I literally flung my instalove meter and lecutre out the window before it even started to simmer.
It was also a super spooky read. I didn’t get as freaked out as I had with other ghost stories – we’ll talk about my masochism another day on why my paranoid brain decides to keep reading the same books that freak the crap out of me – but it was still creepy. I might have expected Maddy to pop out at me a few times.
I can’t stop raving about this book. I have another Simone St. James book looking at me at my bookshelf that I had to talk myself out of reading since I need to actually at least attempt to read my December TBR I set forth. But I will definitely be reading her books in the future – I may have just added every single one of her other books to my to read list immediately. A five crown rating, and definitely a Rapunzel rating for this one.
Check it out:
- Barnes and Noble
- I got mine from Bookoutlet and it appears they still have in stock last I checked
What are your thoughts? Do you read horror/ghost novels? Do you ever go in with a rating in mind of what you think the book is going to me? Let me know – I’m eager to hear your thoughts! 🙂