Monday, November 24, 2008

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White

'So, how do you two know each other?'

'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!


bermudaonion said...

This is on my wish list. Thanks for the review.

Serena said...

I really loved this book. It took you longer to get into it than me, but I guess as a poet, I love that flowery language. I told you Jack and Melanie were great...very funny.

Anonymous said...

"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."

That's my kind of book. well, I like the grab you right away'ers too, but when a book slow builds and then captivates you, that's good writing.

Nice review. I'll have to read this book.

William R Potter said...

Nice review!

Sounds like a good choice to ad to the must read pile.


Anna said...

Bermudaonion: I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

Serena: I liked it a lot, too. I think my taking awhile to get into it was because of the book I finished right before starting it, which was written in a very different style. I did love Jack and Melanie!

Marvin: If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think!

William: Thanks for stopping by my blog! Glad you enjoyed the review.

Leslie said...

Wonderful review. I have this in my TBR pile and your review just made me want to read it even more.

Anna said...

Leslie: So glad you enjoyed the review! I hope you like the book, too.

Dawn said...

Oooh, a good ghost story sounds perfect in this dreary weather we've been having! I'll look out for this one! Thanks Anna! :)

Anonymous said...

I want to read this now!

See how you are?

Anna said...

Dawn: Hi there! Let me know if you get a chance to read it. I hope the weather improves where you are soon!

Sheri: I'm sorry! I just can't help it! Actually, I'm not really ;)

Shana said...

I love a good ghost story. This sounds great!

Anna said...

Shana: There's nothing like a good ghost story! I bet you'd enjoy it!

Literary Feline said...

Great review, Anna! I enjoyed the bits with the malevolent ghost as well. :-)

Anna said...

Literary Feline: Thanks! The ghost scenes were my favorite parts of the book.