Haunt Me by Heather Long
Recently divorced author MacKenzie Dillon has lost her writing mojo. When she inherits her great aunt's haunted house in Virginia, she is determined to make a new start. The creepy old house provides inspiration but at what cost?
Successful architect and paranormal skeptic Justin Kent returns to Penny Hollow to fulfill his father's dying wish of revitalizing their small town. To do that, he needs the allegedly haunted estate at Summerfield. Mac, the new owner, may be gorgeous and spunky, but she refuses to sell.
These two have a dangerous history that spans the ages, but will they discover the truth in time to save their lives?
About the Author
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren't douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories--her characters drive the books. When she's not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you're sure you've been friends with women just like them, you'll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
Read an Excerpt
By Heather Long, Rochelle French, Kate Fall
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Heather Long
All rights reserved.
Justin Kent's tombstone would read Dead from Terminal Boredom if the meeting of Penny Hollow's first families didn't wrap up soon. The Founder's Council meetings used to be once per quarter and involved a lot of gin — both the drink and the card game — but not anymore. For the last year, ever since the death of Justin's father had forced him back to town, the council had met over a dozen times, and always to cover the same ground.
How to save Penny Hollow.
No one wanted to just let the sleepy little Virginia town die. During the last year, the entire council had devised their cockamamie scheme to become known as the most haunted town in Virginia. And the council had determined that the Summerfield estate would be the capstone, which was the focus of their current discussion.
Old Katherine Summerfield's place harkened back to shadowy, dark era of Penny Hollow's past. It was perfect — from the facade to the columned porch to the elegance of the imposing wall and wrought iron gates. After Justin had moved in next door to Katherine a year ago, he'd cultivated a friendship with the elderly woman, the town fixture with a spine of steel. He'd check on her after every bad weather event, or if he hadn't spotted the local senior van picking her up for a doctor's appointment in a while. It was Katherine who'd promised to leave instructions for the deed to be sold to Justin upon her passing.
His request to buy the property had been due to his father's will, which stipulated the Kent children reinvigorate the dying town or forfeit their inheritance to the town entirely. Not only would Summerfield satisfy the need for a house with a spooky history to cap off Penny Hollow's "haunted" tour, it would also conclude the last of the requirements he needed in order to fulfill to honor his father's willed requests. He'd get to fix up Summerfield, the town would have their pet project on the fast track, his siblings would get their inheritance, and he'd be on his way back to a life outside his small hometown.
Win-win, all the way around.
Although truthfully, his interest in the historic place went a lot deeper. He'd liked the house — lusted for it, really — for most of his life. The shivery sensation he'd experienced the first time he passed through the gates couldn't be explained.
Next to him, his friend and lawyer — and member of the council — Clinton Pope held up his phone, interrupting the meeting. "Bad news, folks," he announced to the group. "I just got a text. Katherine Summerfield passed away a couple of hours ago."
Dammit. Justin swore internally and fought to keep his struggle off his face. He'd liked the grumpy old lady — her spunk, her fire, her odd sense of humor. And he'd liked what her property meant for his father's plan.
Gasps and murmurs of sorrow burst around the room, and the brief lull of shock quickly gave way to demands as the town families argued over what to do next. He overheard an argument breaking out in the corner between two of Penny Hollow's founding families descendants. The words "duke," "burial," and the "lost bride," were thrown out like exploding grenades. He hated that story — a bunch of pseudo-tragic romantic myths cobbled together about a stolen bride and her true love. True love didn't exist, and it certainly didn't in a story where the couple were torn apart.
Clint lightly punched his shoulder. "Look at it this way; if we get Summerfield and you rehab it, you're done and out of here, just the way you want."
"When," Justin said. "When we get Summerfield." He couldn't allow it to be an if. Guilt shafted through him. He shouldn't feel grateful that old lady Summerfield had passed on, even if it meant he got what he wanted.
Although, he realized, he had no guarantee Katherine had actually left him the estate. All the town's plans could blow up in their faces if he didn't get the deed.
* * *
Two days later, Justin's anger solved his guilt problem. He'd had to read the e-mail three times before picking up his cell and calling Clint. "Who the hell is MacKenzie Dillon?"
"As far as I can tell, she's Katherine Summerfield's great-niece." Clint went straight to the facts. "She wasn't born in Penny Hollow, and I'm not entirely certain she's ever stepped foot in the town."
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Justin stared across the room. He'd drawn up designs over the weekend based on historical records and styles, and the blueprints and designs now decorated the board on the far wall of his office. He'd been sketching an idea for a gazebo for Summerfield — an image that kept recurring in his mind. Could there have once been such a structure on the property? If Clint couldn't figure out who held the deed, he may never know.
"Maybe she won't be interested in our little town ..."
"That's possible. Google says she's an author," Clint continued. "Appears she wrote a lot of chick books. And according to her fan page, she just came off an ugly divorce."
The last thing they needed was a stranger holding the deed to the "key" of the town's plans. The council would go ballistic if they couldn't secure the historic property. Justin glanced back down at the sketching. Crumpling the paper into a tight ball, he sighed.
"Justin?" Clint's raised voice jerked him out of his thoughts. "What do you want me to do?"
"Okay, but that means jail time and I think my sister would be a little put out if I missed her wedding. What else do you want me to do?"
A laugh burst from him, then he considered the question. "Make a preemptive offer. If she turns down the first one, double it."
"Are you insane?"
"Quite possibly. I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen?" Katherine Summerfield's niece had to say yes. He was too close to getting his life back. He shot the crumpled sketching of the gazebo at trashcan, but could only stare as it bounced off the rim.
Apparently, this wasn't his lucky day.
* * *
In the kitchen of her great-aunt's home she'd inherited a week before, MacKenzie Dillon leaned against the counter and stared at a chocolate bar. She knew she'd left it on the counter by the door. But now it sat next to the sink. Nudging it back to where it belonged, she blinked hard as it began the slow slide back. Either the house was tilted or her grandmother's ghost stories were more real than she remembered. Either way, she wanted that darned chocolate to stop playing games with her.
She grabbed the bar, unwrapped it, then broke off two full rectangles, popped them in her mouth, and sighed as the chocolate melted on her tongue. Heaven, after living on a diet of freeze-dried noodles and tap water for weeks, courtesy of her ex-douche. Although if I had actually paid attention to the finances instead of trusting him, I would've known what he was up to.
Closing her eyes, she did a mental count to ten, twice. Just thinking about her ex caused her an instant headache, but her life would be okay. After dealing with a silent muse for months, she'd been overwhelmed with the desire to start writing the minute she'd stepped foot on Summerfield. She could do this — write a great book and kick-start the next chapter of her own life.
Getting a divorce? Four thousand dollars. Moving to Virginia? A couple hundred dollars. Hiding away in a haunted house and finishing a book? Priceless.
Her cell phone rang in her back pocket. She pulled it out, only to glare at Kevin's number and face that appeared on the caller ID, then declined the call from her ex-husband. Her life now was all about the future. Bigger and better things.
And right now, the only obstacle to getting her better and brighter future was unpacking the U-Haul.
Ready to get back to work, she headed out the open door. In the U-Haul, she grabbed a box, only to have the lid pop open. She stared at the number of unfamiliar books inside. They were old, some plain and well-worn. She flipped open the top book and read the first page. A diary?
Now she remembered. She'd received the box along with the notice from an attorney that she'd inherited Summerfield. As tempting as it was to start reading the books now, she made herself put the diary back and closed the lid. She could read them later, she promised herself. After she'd unpacked, settled in, and started in on her new book.
"It's all going to work out," she told the box as she folded the lid shut. "Everything happens for a reason."
"Does it?" A purely masculine voice echoed behind her.
MacKenzie screamed and jumped. The box fell, hitting her foot, and she had to steady herself with a hand on the wall of the trailer. She stared at the blond Adonis blocking her exit. Six feet of pure, masculine sex appeal stood before her, wearing well-worn jeans and a plaid button-down and attractive enough to eat. Broad-shouldered and thick-chested, this was a man who worked hard rather than worked out.
He grimaced and held up both hands. "Sorry. I thought you heard me pull up."
"Clearly not." No way she would have missed him if she had. "May I help you?"
"Justin Kent." He took a step forward and picked up the box. "Your neighbor."
She knew that name. Had heard from his lawyer several times since she'd inherited Summerfield. So this is the guy who wants to buy my house ... He wasn't exactly a welcome sight. She reached out and took custody of her box. "MacKenzie Dillon. Not selling."
At first she didn't think he would let it go, but then he relented and turned sideways to let her exit the U-Haul. She made it two steps when she realized he'd grabbed another box and was following her.
"Seriously, Mr. Kent. Not interested in your offer. Told your attorney three times, in fact. I think I was pretty clear." Although, two people could definitely off-load the truck faster — and he was so not hard on the eyes. But she didn't want to accept help from someone who wanted something from her. She'd had enough of that.
She took a closer look. He'd seemed so solid, dwarfing the interior of the little trailer, but outside of it? Tanned skin crowned by wheat-blond hair and those blue, blue eyes were the icing on top of a very attractive beefcake package. Not interested, she reminded herself. Moving to Summerfield was supposed to be a new beginning for her. Lusting after her neighbor — who, in turn, was lusting after her property — was the last thing she needed. Hell, she hadn't even fully moved in and already a ghost was making its presence known.
Haunted house for the win.
"Helping you unload is about being neighborly," he said. "I don't mind, especially since it seems like you're on your own. Besides, it's a guy thing."
"Alone doesn't mean helpless." Defensiveness edged her tone, but she didn't care. Sure, it would be nice to have help, but she couldn't afford any more bites taken out of her pride. "I'm fine. As you can see, I'm almost done."
"Uh-huh. Well, just point me where you want this to go and I'll help you finish."
"Nothing personal, but I just met you, and I would really rather you didn't come in my house." She slid the box she carried onto the counter and turned to catch the one he had, effectively blocking him from entering at the same time. The shirt did little to hide the flex of his muscles and she tried to ignore the flutter in her stomach.
Surprise filtered through his expression, and his mouth tightened. "My apologies, Ms. Dillon. I was just trying to be neighborly."
"Really? Were you just being neighborly when you doubled your offer to buy my house? Or was it more neighborly to let me know about all your plans and how I was getting in the way of what my great-aunt really wanted for the town?" Guilt stabbed her at the less than hospitable reaction, but dammit, she held her ground.
"All right, then."
The nonanswer didn't do much for her, but the corners of his eyes crinkled. Her heart did a little back flip at his easy smile, but she reminded herself no one looked that good and turned out to be. Her ex had been a damned attractive man, too.
Once burned, lesson learned.
But he didn't leave. He pivoted and walked back into the trailer, retrieved another box, and returned to the door before she could slam it shut. He held the box out, being obvious about not crossing over the threshold. The corners of his mouth curved upward when she grabbed it from him. Then he turned and left her to gape at him as he strode back to the trailer. His jeans stretched taut over his rear, and she snapped her mouth shut before she started drooling.
She gave up. He could help if he wanted to.
Twenty more minutes later, between them they'd off-loaded all but the furniture. A fort of cardboard, stacked two-deep in front of the kitchen cupboards, surrounded the two of them. Sweat soaked her shirt and her throat had gone dry. She grabbed two bottles of water from the fridge — one for her and one for her irritating yet hunky neighbor.
"Water?" She held out her peace offering.
Justin accepted it with a smile. "Thank you." He twisted the cap off and took a long drink. Sweat darkened his gray T-shirt, which clung to the damp skin beneath. "That bed frame in the U-Haul is pretty heavy." He cast a sidelong glance at her.
"I'm a lot stronger than I look. I can handle it."
"Or I could help you." He pointed out the obvious, all reasonable-like.
Amusement bubbled up, surprising her, and she wrinkled her nose. She shouldn't laugh, because it might encourage him to stay. "You don't seem to take no for an answer."
"I didn't step a foot inside your house, per your request." He gestured at her with the water bottle. "But it's hot out here. And you're on your own ..."
Again, he sounded perfectly reasonable, but that didn't change the fact she didn't know him, and if she were honest with herself, she didn't want to know him. This move was about finding who she was without a man in her life, without all the shadows, doubts, and insecurities that came from her past. Thank God for Aunt Katherine and the out-of-nowhere inheritance.
"I'm sorry. You're trying to be nice ..."
"But?" He raised his eyebrows, not bothering to disguise his amusement at her predicament.
"But I'm not comfortable asking anyone for help — especially the person who wanted to buy my house."
Instead of answering, he tipped the bottle of water up and drained it. After recapping it, he handed her the bottle. Then he stripped off his shirt.
All the moisture fled her mouth at the ripple of muscle. He tossed his shirt on the counter, headed back to the U-Haul, where he lifted the heavy footboard with a flex of those same muscles.
"You ..." she sputtered.
"No worries." He exhaled the words on a hard breath. "You didn't ask for help." He carried it right on inside, leaving her no choice but to follow.
It took Justin less than ten minutes to unload what few pieces of furniture she'd brought with her. When the U-Haul was completely empty, he dusted his hands on his jeans and strode outside. On the porch, he paused and turned back to face her. "By the way, welcome to Penny Hollow," he said. "And I'm right across the street if you need anything."
Right across the street must mean the positively gorgeous Southern plantation house up the half-mile-long gravel driveway, across the two-lane road, and down a bit. If that was his house, he hadn't been exaggerating about being her neighbor.
Puffing a loose strand of hair away from her damp forehead on an exhale, she nodded to him. "Thank you for your help." When he grinned slowly, her stomach did a little flip.
"You're welcome. Not that you asked for any help." With a wink, he was off. Electricity sizzled over her. Damn if he doesn't look as good walking away as he did arriving.
* * *
A few hours later, after returning the U-Haul and splurging on fast food for dinner, Mac headed home, pushing thoughts of her sexy new neighbor out of her mind. After parking her ten-year-old Ford Explorer under the carport, she glanced around the little plot of land.
Sitting squarely atop a hill in the middle of twenty acres, behind a stone wall and overgrown hedges, was the single-story saltbox house with an added-on wraparound porch and a swing. Mac swung her gaze around the property, taking in the overgrown vegetation. She'd have to either grow some muscles and learn how to landscape or write another bestseller and hire someone.
Excerpted from Haunt Me by Heather Long, Rochelle French, Kate Fall. Copyright © 2014 Heather Long. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A love that lingers through time. Trying time and again to get it right. This is a tale that will bring out the romantic in even the most stone hearted. This book is a well written page-turner from first to last.
I loved this book! It has a nice combination of romance with a healthy sprinkling of a complex plot and paranormal mystery. I sympathized with Mac's confusion and hesitation to trust Justin. Nice development of the characters and a great ending!
MacKenzie Dillon has hit her low. Reeling from the recent divorce from her controlling & manipulative ex, bitter from financial ruin created by him, and finding a void where her writing muse should be, MacKenzie feels inheriting her great-aunt’s estate, Summerfield, is a chance for a fresh start. Sure Summerfield comes with peeling wall paper, an over-grown garden, and it’s own haunted tales; however, MacKenzie can’t help but feel it’ll also be her refuge & her second chance. Justin Kent had returned to Penny Hollow to fulfill his deceased father’s desire to reinvent the small dying town. Justin thought his bid on Summerfield was a done deal. When MacKenzie claimed her inheritance to the Summerfield estate, she took away Justin’s plans to make the estate the cornerstone to market Penny Hollow as “Virgina’s most haunted town”, thereby fulfilling requirements for his own inheritance. Neither of these new neighbors was looking for the other’s help; neither MacKenzie nor Justin was looking for a potential love interest; and neither could’ve imagined that the draw they each had to Summerfield & each other had actually begun generations ago with the ghosts of ages pasts. I’ve not read Heather Long before, but this paranormal romance, Haunt Me, has me curious about her other books. I’ll admit I tend to shy away from books deemed “romance” because I’m typically not into “heaving bosoms” & “rock-hard abs”, but this simmering romance was steamy without being slutty or cheesy. I appreciated Long’s character development as she took us through MacKenzie opening her heart to the possibility of love once again. I found the love story within a love story clever, but I also loved the fact that there was a ghost story going on as well! A quick & fun read that will keep you on your toes!
This book was a great read. Mackenzie "Mac" was starting over in Penny Hollow after everything she's been through and meeting Justin wasn't in her plans to move on. But fate has it's own way for them to have a happy ever after.
Justin Kent wants nothing more than to complete his father's final wishes of saving the beloved town so he can put Penny Hollow behind him. His hopes of using the haunted house known as Summerfield is dashed when an unknown heir moves in. MacKenzie Dillion sees inheriting her great-aunt's house in Penny Hollow a chance to start over. After a nasty divorce and a silent muse, she hopes to put her life back together and start writing again. Little did she know the very house she inherited had other plans. I could not put this book down! The characters and their struggles were so real. This is not your normal sappy romance novel. The ghosts started out as things that go bump in the night then transformed into the stuff of nightmares. I don't want to give too much away but if you love to be scared and the chance at finding a real second chance, you will want to pick up Haunt Me.
I admit that I'm afraid of ghost. But fear can lead to curiousity, even in my case, curiousity not kill the cat. So I request Haunt Me, because I somehow want to torture myself with all thing that go bump in the night. And well, this book not disappoint me, even not spectacular either. Haunt Me is a unique read for me, for the heroine is an author. I always fascinated by author's life, their writing process, etc. One plus factor is the hero. Justin is alpha but not douchebags, a kind of hero that I despised. Their relationship is not too fast but not slow either.When Mac accept Justin, it was handle well. Not rushed, not forced, just the way I like it. I want to give this 4 stars, but I don't like the ending. Contrary to relationship aspect, the ghost plot seems like not well written. Don't get me wrong, it still give me heebies jeebies, but I feel something lacking. I think maybe because the amount of pages, this one can be counted to novella. If the story written in full-length novel, maybe Ms Long can explore more about the ghost of the Summerfield (Summerfield is Mac's house) I recommend this one, if you love a ghost story with small town setting and need a quick read
<i>I was given a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing for an honest review.</i> So I'm going to try and give this review without any spoilers. MacKenzie Dillion is a writer whose life has just fallen apart and she has lost her writing muse. Just when she needs a new start she finds out she inherits her great aunt's house in a small town in Virginia. When she moves in she meets Justin Kent who has put an offer in to buy her house to use in the towns plans to reinvent Penny Hollow as the most haunted town in Virginia. I found it interesting that the ghost in the house has become MacKenzie’s muse without her noticing it. The story she is writing has become the true story of the ghost, but MacKenzie doesn’t like how it ends and no matter what she does she cannot seem to change it. And when she’s not writing she is trying to fight her growing feelings for Justin who has forced himself into her life by offering to help fix up her house for free. I’ll stop my review here because this is a story that you have to read to see how it ends. At first I wished that they told the history of the house and the ghost that lives there at the beginning instead of hinting at it. But when I finished the book I was glad that they kept it vague until the end because it made the reveal at the end that much better. So if you are looking for a story about two broken people finding each other while dealing with a ghost story thrown in then this is the book for you.
In Haunt Me by Heather Long, MacKenzie Dillon is moving in to her late great aunt's historical home, Summerfield, which was surprisingly left to her. Mac is hoping this will be the catalyst for positive changes in her life. Her divorce and financial situation have left her struggling, plus she's also dealing with a dry spell in her writing career. The locals in Penny Hollow want to buy the building and surrounding property to help with the revamping of their small town. The rumors that the house is haunted will only help draw tourists. However, Mac is not interested in selling, much to everyone's dismay. 'Lusting after her neighbor--who, in turn, was lusting after her property--was the last thing she needed.' Mac's sexy neighbor Justin Kent is the one pushing her to sell. But he also seems to have taken a more personal interest in her. Mac just got out of a horrible relationship and is intent on proving she's strong on her own. But Justin starts to win her over with his charm and his caring ways. As strange things begin to happen during her time in Summerfield, can she trust her feelings for Justin? Or are there other forces trying to push Mac toward him? 'Don't get attached, he warned internally. The point is to get the house, not the girl. So what if he wanted both?' Justin Kent has spent his lifetime in Penny Hollow trying to dismiss stories and legends about local homes being haunted. Now the town is focused on that very fact to draw business and the one property they need to complete their plans is Summerfield. Justin's first assessment of Mac when she moves into her great aunt's house is that she's beautiful and sassy. While he gets to learn more about her, he realizes she's been hurt badly and it becomes his mission to take care of her. His initials plans to try to change her mind about selling the home begin to fall by the wayside and he must figure out what it is he really wants. Haunt Me was a really unique and intriguing story that I loved. The storyline is one that kept my interest through to the last page and was a mystery I just had to solve. The history of Summerfield becomes woven into Mac and Justin's lives, changing the course of their relationship completely. The idea that there was something paranormal drawing them together and mixing the past with the present was an interesting twist to a love story, I thought. And the way the scenes were written set everything up as though we readers were actually watching a movie, it was so vivid. There was a nice flow to the story which made this a quick read. I also really liked the fun bantering between Mac and Justin, the romantic tension they had between them was quite evident. Haunt Me is a complex and entertaining paranormal romance about a love that transcends time. Highly recommended.
In Haunt Me by Heather Long, Justin is trying to fulfill the terms of his father's will, biding his time in Penny Hollow until he can move on with his life. Between legends, curses, the town council and his work, he has it all figured out. Or he thinks he does, until MacKenzie arrives in town to live in the house her aunt has left her...the same house Justin needs to do his part to save the town. MacKenzie is in Penny Hollow to make a new start, to find her muse - she feels like it's meant to be. She has absolutely no intention of selling her aunt's home to Justin. Justin is determined to buy the house and has some unexpected help from persuasive towns people. Soon though, Justin is drawn more to MacKenzie than the thought of buying her house. As he helps her around her home and they spend more time together, slowly MacKenzie thinks she just might be able to trust Justin...they just might have something. There are powerful forces at work though...ghosts of the past that linger, and not just your usual hauntings. Will the past cost them their future together? Justin and MacKenzie are fun to get to know, and I loved the interactions between them as they slowly began to get to know each other and trust each other...especially MacKenzie! With MacKenzie, Heather really brings her to life and makes the reader feel for her. She is determined to be independent after her past, but slowly begins to realize that with Justin, accepting help doesn't make her dependent. I think he is really good for MacKenzie and I really like Justin for the hero of Haunt Me. He was flexible with his 'game plan', patient with that and MacKenzie, and seemed to genuinely care. Once you delve further into Haunt Me, it would be easy to question Justin's actions with MacKenzie...but Heather will keep you reading and move you away from the obvious to something much deeper. MacKenzie, Justin and the secondary characters and small town feel of Penny Hollow in Haunt Me will captivate you. Heather gives us a fast paced, paranormal romance in Haunt Me. Haunt Me is more than just a ghost story, Heather will pull you in and take you beneath the surface to a place you never imagined when you picked up Haunt Me! Heather's writing is easy to read and her characters are the people of real life, easy to relate to. Heather weaves a magical, unique story line that will keep you guessing and then surprise you! With just the right amount of romance mixed with goose bumps of fear, I'd highly recommend Haunt Me to any romance reader looking for suspenseful paranormal action!
I really enjoyed this story. It is the first book that I have read from Heather Long and it held my attention from beginning to end. MacKenzie Dillon has recently gone through a divorce and has had trouble writing the romance novel that she has been working on. But when her great aunt passes away and leaves her home to Mac it just might be the new start that she needs. Mac has been brought up on the stories of the haunted house that is now hers, and the nightmare she had quite often while growing up has returned since she’s been in the house. When strange things start happening with more frequency and she finds herself wanting to write so much that she forgets about the time she wonders if something is seriously wrong. Justin Kent left the small town of Penny Hollow, but now he’s back to fulfill his father’s wish of bringing their small town back to life in order to attract tourists again. The one thing he needs to do is to get Mac to sell her house to him, but it’s going to be a lot harder than he thinks. The house needs a lot of work so he decides that he will help her fix it up and try talking her into selling. The more he spends time with her the more he feels attracted to her. He might have to think of another way to get the house without him buying it. Justin does not believe in ghosts, but there is definitely something going on that makes him think that he and Mac are experiencing the lives of a couple who had love ripped away from them, and the only way for the two of them to survive is to right the wrong that was done a long time ago. But is it too late? I received an e-ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
MacKenzie has just got out of a bad marriage and when she inherits her great aunt's house it seems a perfect sign. She can move to Virginia get a new start and hopefully get her writing juices flowing again. The house is supposed to be haunted but that doesn't bother her. Justin has return to Penny Hollow to finish what his father wished. He only has to buy the haunted house from the new owner so he can move on with his life. He finds Mac won't sale and as he helps her fix up the place he discovers he may care for her. There is a few things standing in their way of having a relationship. A spiteful ex and even the ghost have plans for them. This book is very well written and gets you intrigued from the start. Mac has a horrible ex husband who has made her trust no one. She is scared to let anyone get close to her. She is also dealing with a writers block but now that she is in her new home things seem to be falling together in her story. Justin starts out wanting to buy her home at any cost but after he gets to know her he wants her to stick around. He is a sexy man who is full of charm. He won't let anyone hurt Mac if he can help it even if it puts him in danger. I really liked him. The ghost story is a great one and I love how it ties into the characters now. You keep wondering what will happen next. Mac and Justin start out both wanting different things then they slowly work towards becoming friends even when Mac sometimes makes that hard to do. There is action, intrigue and much more rolled into this book. I would recommend to anyone looking for a romance story with ghost.
Inheriting her great aunt's house couldn't have come at a better time for author, MacKenzie (Mac) Dillon. Her ex has taken everything in the divorce, including her muse, but once settled in the old house, Mac's inspiration returns with a vengeance. Soon she finds herself sharing her new home with a ghost, and telling a story that merges the past with the present Justin Kent doesn't believe in ghosts, but he does believe in family and returns to Penny Hollow to honor his father's dying wish. The town needs a financial boost, and being touted as haunted is just the ticket, but they need the old Victorian house, rumored to have a resident ghost, to draw in tourists, but the new owner refuses to sell. This isn't your average ghost story. Once Justin began making repairs on the old house (totally on his own)the story began to unravel. The author does an amazing job, detailing each newly found clue to the past so smoothly that you don't realize it until the words jump out at you and you sit back and say, "Ah." I'm very much hoping to see a book about Justin's siblings in the near future! I was provided with an ARC in return for an honest review.
Ghosts, Haunted Houses & Romance! Oh My! The story was a good one. Justin's father's will has a clause that requires Justin and his siblings to help revive their hometown, Penny Hollow. If Justin and his siblings cannot fulfill this clause, they will not receive their inheritance. The town's comeback plan involves drawing tourists to take haunted house tours there. Penny Hollow's elders feel that the acquisition of Summerfield Estate, long known to be haunted, is critical to the town's plan. Justin sets about to make that happen even though he doesn't believe in ghosts. However, when Katherine Summerfield, the elderly recluse who owns the home, dies and leaves Summerfield Estate to MacKenzie Dillon, an author, instead of Justin and the town, Justin's plan to obtain the house for the town is put in jeopardy. Justin vows to make it happen no matter what he has to do. Mac is still reeling from an acrimonious divorce coupled with finding out that her ex-douche had also left her deeply in debt. Receiving Katherine's house is a lifeline she desperately needs and Mac sees the home as her new start. When her sexy neighbor, Justin, pays her a visit as she is moving in, she doesn't exactly give him a friendly welcome. She knows that he is the one behind the offers she's had pressuring her to sell her new home and she is not interested in whatever he wants. I want my own Justin! He's a caring, sensual guy who happens to be a talented home builder specializing in refurbishments. What a find! Mac was a successful author who hasn't been able to write since her marriage fell apart. However, once she moves into her new haunted home, writing becomes an unrelenting passion. Both of them, unbeknownst to the other, are experiencing disturbing flashbacks to a previous time. Are their destinies sealed or will they be able to trust each other and change the hands of fate? An enjoyable read! 3 1/2 stars!
Wow! When I started this book, I didn't quite know what to think. At first, I thought it would just be a typical ghost story, but boy, was I wrong! I absolutely loved Justin and Mac, and was thrilled to see their story unfold. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into detail about their relationship, but I'll just say that I loved where the author took their story. I hadn't read anything like it before, and I couldn't put the book down until it was finished. So, so good! **I was given an arc to review from the publisher
A haunted house mystery in a very small town. Our heroine Mac has inherited a haunted house that our hero Justin needs to finish his plans to help rejuvenate the town so he "can get the heck out of there". She doesn't want to sell...this is her chance to start over after a bad divorce. She's a author and a skittish divorcee who thinks he's "too good to be true" and too much like her abusive ex-husband. He doesn't believe in ghosts and she not only thinks she's seen one, she's being possessed by one to write a book and finish her story. This is an interesting story with a very likable hero and heroine and a satisfying ending. I hope its the beginning of a series because even the secondary characters were interesting....I know they have a story to tell and I want to know more about them. I Highly recommend it
When I received an ARC of this I was a little unsure of the book. It was so far from what I normally read that I just didn't know what to expect. I was drawn in really quick. I wanted to see how the author would bring in the ghost part of the story. The reason I've never really read anything with this kind of feel is I assumed it would always come off hokey. This didn't. This was just a genuinely enjoyable read. It kept me guessing where the author was going to go with it throughout the whole book. As soon as I thought I had figured out what was going on something happened and made me keep wanting to turn the pages because I was wrong. Mac has been burned. Her ex husband, the man she was supposed to be able to trust and depend on, used an abused her. She no longer believes that people are nice for no reason. When her great aunt passes and leaves her a home she thinks its her one chance to get her life back on track and begin a life of independence. She figures the reportedly haunted estate is just the thing to help her ease back into her writing career. Justin had been forced to return home following the passing of his father 18 months ago. He's made sure his sister has graduated high school and has only one more task to complete before he is able to leave the small town of Penny Hollow. According to his fathers will he needs to help revitalize the town. To do so he needs Mac's estate. The one that her great aunt was supposed to give to him. Now he's got to get Mac to agree to sell, or open up the estate to the public. To do that he's going to need to spend time with and get to know her.
REVIEW This is the first book I have read by this Author. Justin Kent a very sexy and successful Architect who has returned to Penny Hollow Virginia to try and fulfill his fathers dying wish of rebuilding their small town. In order to fulfill that wish he will need to get the house in which is elderly neighbor owns. The Summerfield Estate is long known to be a Haunted Estate. Justin is well liked by Katherine Summerfield and prior to her death had made it known in her will that he was to get the chance to buy the property. Well something happens with all that and he doesn’t' get it because it turns out she has a Great Niece who has now Inherited the property and not only that she moves into it. On the day she is moving in Justin decides to go over and be neighborly offering to help and introduces himself he then learns the name of said woman. Mackenzie Dillon a recently divorced author has lost her writing stamina. But she is determined to start fresh and that means moving into the creepy old estate of her Great Aunts. Mackenzie has learned one thing about men especially attractive men. She is determined to keep her guard up where Justin Kent is concerned. But she finally gives in and accepts his help of unloading her moving trailer belongings. Mackenzie knows or thinks she knows why Justin is being nice to her its because he wants the Summerfield Estate and well she is not about to give up her Inheritance even if it is a creepy old house to her. She wants to start over and she is going to try to do that without a man in her life. But she has to admit it is nice to have some help. Summerfield Estate is known by all to be cursed and filled with ghosts. Will Justin be able to get Mac to go along with what needs to be done? What about a relationship? Will that take front and center? Will Justin and Mac finally break the curse? Well you have to pickup your copy of the book and find out !! The book is very well written and the flow is very smooth. Great Job !
Haunt me is an amazing tale of second chances and finally getting your happily ever after. Mac is a woman who has recently gone thru a horrible divorce and jumps at the chance to make a fresh start with the inheritance left to her by an aunt she barely knew,Justin is a man who wants to acquire her home by any means necessary, or at least that is how it starts out. The ghost that resides in Mac's new home is supposed to be friendly but it wreaks havoc on her in more ways than one. This is a definite must read this story had me twisted in knots until the end!
This is a great ghost story. Mac, an author has inherited her great aunt's haunted house, she is trying to finish writing her book. Her hunky neighbor Justin is a contractor, helping her fix up her house. There is an immediate attraction between the two. Mac is afraid due to just getting over a nasty divorce. It turns out there is a long history between these two with the haunting of the ghosts. This is a fast paced story that I could not put down, plenty of action and romance. I received this book from publisher for an honest review.
Wow – I wasn’t sure what to think of this book based upon the blurb and Heather Long didn’t disappoint! What a lovely story, steeped in ghost stories, local lore, and all the color of a small town. When MacKenzie Dillon inherits her great-aunt’s house “Summerfield” in Penny Hollow, she puts a monkey wrench in the town’s plans to use her house as part of their revitalization plan. Recently divorced and in a writing slump, Mac finds her writing muse once she moves to Summerfield, and sees this as a chance to start over. Justin Kent has returned to Penny Hollow to settle his father’s estate, which includes a stipulation in his will that Justin and his siblings help the town with their revitalization plans – plans which included purchasing Summerfield. What Justin doesn’t anticipate is the attraction that he has towards MacKenzie, an attraction that has him rethinking his plans of becoming her friend and convincing her to either sell to him or to allow the town to run tours through her property, plans that may now have changed to those of pursing a romantic relationship with Mac and finding alternative ways to help the town. When events from the past try to force outcomes in the present, MacKenzie must figure out what events she needs to re-write to ensure a happy future for everyone. This was a love story, wrapped up in a ghost story, and covered with lots of sweetness and emotion. Justin was perfect – sexy, sweet, smart, caring. MacKenzie was a broken woman trying to pick up the pieces and put herself back together again – all of which showed her inner-strength. It was so much fun watching their relationship develop, watching Mac learn how to trust and seeing Justin realize his true intentions towards Mac. I loved the portrayal of the small town locals – it was such a great representation of how things are in a small town, with everyone in everyone’s business and a grapevine that is more efficient than the internet. Heather Long did a wonderful job weaving the legend of Summerfield into the story – she was able to add the supernatural element without it overtaking the love story that was being told. I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down (I read it in one sitting!). A very well written story that kept me turning the pages! I was given an eARC from the publisher for an honest review.