With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more.
But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission.
Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street.
Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried….
Old homes fascinate me. As I come across one, I often wonder about the people who lived there, what their lives were like and what the inside of the homes look like. I love visiting the historic district of Charleston! Its not often I get to. So when I discovered this series, I was thrilled! The first book, The House on Tradd Street is by far my favorite in the series. I have read the first three books and skipped over the fourth one to read The Guest on South battery. I did not do that intentionally, mind you. When this came up for review at NetGalley, I immediately requested it.
In the first couple of characters or so, I found the story to be interesting and I felt the main characters were a bit different than the first three books in the series. At first I contributed that to that fact that maybe it’s because Jack and Melanie are now married and have two children. Or that because her relationships with her mother and father have changed. But as I read on, that wasn’t the only reason the story-line had changed for me. I am sad to report it wasn’t for the good.
What bothered me the most about Melanie in this story was, she is very uptight on small things that don’t really matter and ignores things that do matter. Or maybe she is just being overly cautious and her insecurities are getting the better of her? Not entirely sure. Melanie’s personality is all over the place and her relationship/marriage with Jack wasn’t believable to me and I couldn’t figure out what they saw in each other anymore. Jack was quite changed as well but not as bad as Melanie. I didn’t like her one bit in this story. The other characters were-just- okay. I liked Melanie’s mother-Ginnette-much better.
The best parts of this story was when there was talk of the old homes and the people who lived there. Also, Jack’s research into the home of Melanie’s client they were trying to fix up and potentially sell. I enjoyed reading that most of all.
Overall, I felt this story was weaker than the first three and I found it too predictable. I had the plot all figured out half way through and I was disappointed with the ending. Hopefully there will be another book in this series and it will be stronger and less predictable.
I have rated this story, two stars.
I obtained a review copy from the publishers through NetGalley, for an honest review.
Stephanie M. Hopkins