'New friends,' Jack said.
'Practically strangers,' I said simultaneously.
Sophie's brows furrowed for a moment before she began nodding knowingly. 'Ah. A little anonymous sex in the afternoon.'
'No!' I shouted.
'Count me in,' Jack said at the same time.
(from The House on Tradd Street, page 56)
Though it took me a few chapters to really get into The House on Tradd Street, once it pulled me in, it refused to let go. The above passage made me laugh out loud and really appreciate the chemistry between Karen White's lead characters, Melanie Middleton and Jack Trenholm. While the book is full of sexual tension between the two, it mostly is a good Southern ghost story.
Melanie Middleton is a Realtor in Charleston, South Carolina, who can see ghosts. Despite her dislike of old homes, she specializes in the sale of historic properties, and she inherits the house on Tradd Street from an elderly man she met with just days before to discuss the sale of the property. There are some questions about the infamous disappearance of his mother when he was just a boy, and given that he realized Melanie could see (and smell) his mother's ghost outside the house, he figures she can solve the mystery. Jack Trenholm is a writer whose career is in shambles because of his previous book. He befriends Melanie and helps her take on the monumental task of restoring the old home while seeking out missing diamonds that once belonged to the Confederacy.
Although the bantering between Melanie and Jack makes for some pretty entertaining scenes, I really looked forward to the ones involving the hostile ghost in the upstairs window who doesn't want the secrets of the Vanderhorst family uncovered. I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, and while The House on Tradd Street isn't scary, I was so engrossed in the story that it felt like I was in the house...which explains why I refused to stay downstairs by myself when my hubby decided to go to bed. The book was a real page-turner with intriguing characters, romance, ghosts, a mystery, and a beautiful old house that I'd snap up in a heartbeat if I had the money. White does a great job describing the home and making Charleston come to life, and she perfectly balances the paranormal aspects of the story with the romantic tension between Melanie and Jack, the family problems that make Melanie cold at times, and the stresses of restoring a decaying home.
For those of us who fell in love with the characters of Melanie and Jack, a sequel to The House on Tradd Street will be published next year. I can't wait!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The House on Tradd Street from the publisher for review purposes.
As part of her Pump Up Your Book Promotion tour for The House on Tradd Street, Karen White will be stopping by Diary of an Eccentric tomorrow for an interview! Hope you'll stop by!