by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?
So where have I been? Reading this book. Yes, life made getting through this book a bit harder, but even with a new job, I was struggling through this one and putting me into a bit of a reading slump. It wasn’t that this book was bad – It was good. The writing was good, the idea of it had me hooked instantly. I loved the idea of how this book started, from a perspective not from June, or Cassie, but the house. I was completely in love with this idea. However, that perspective was just a short lived idea. Soon we went to Cassie and June and the uniqueness fell away. And to me, it was like I was reading two different books. It was the same place, just years apart, but for some reason, I felt like they two should have been two different books due to being so disjointed from each other. The June’s in the story weren’t the same. Time changes people, yes, but it never really clicked, even when past met the present of the story.
This book had such great ideas, but they fell flat more often then not. For one thing, —(spoilers ahead. Ish.) —
Cassie when she meets Nick seems to be visited by spirits within the house when June and Jack are mentioned. However, this doesn’t happen again until half way through the book with Nick seeing them as well. It’s a supposed connection between them, but to me, it didn’t make sense. I felt that it should have been something that came up more. If there are spirits, I felt they should have had a bigger role in this. They show up in a dream as well, but it felt like something that was intended to have a bigger effect in the story but didn’t pan out as so. Same with having the house be almost alive and the focal point of the story. It did play a big part, but it quickly fell to the side when everyone came to Two Oaks. Cassie’s dreams (aka the parts from the past that she basically stopped seeing half way through and we kept reading it anyways) continued it for a bit, but it ended soon after Tate and others showed up. It would come up now and again, but it fell away. To me, if it had kept as the start of the book had been, it would have been one of the most original stories I’d read in ages.
The stories were interesting. I did want to know what happened. But it was never exciting. Nothing really climatic happened. It felt like a slow line in which nothing really changed. The romance fell flat, the characters though interesting, nothing really changed within them. It simply was. Cassie just suddenly had money. That was really the only change. You could guess the story and what would happen less than half way through and get it right (I did). It was simply a story I had high hopes for only to force my way through it, like it was a school book, and hope for a surprise that never came.
As for suggesting this story? I do know people who ate it up and loved it. I do think people will like this book, even if I didn’t. So yes, to some I would. But if they’re looking for something exciting, I probably wouldn’t.
Rating – 3 stars