Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Deception

Title: Deception
Author: Lee Nichols
Series: Haunting Emma #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Published: September 5th 2011
Source: Publisher for review

When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

Not only does Emma Vaile learn that she is a ghostkeeper but that she's a descendant of one of the most powerful that ever existed. As she discovers her abilities and duties, she makes friends, falls in love and enters a brand new family with a twist. This novel is packed full of heart-stopping conflicts and exciting action. I can't love it any more than I already do and hope everyone else will come to enjoy this too!

At seventeen, being a partying rebel isn't particularly surprising. With her parents always absent on business trips, Emma constantly finds ways to get into attention-grabbing mischief. When a party goes wrong and her parents go missing, Bennett Stern kick-starts her journey of self-discovery. Did I mention that Bennett is very handsome and crush-worthy...and that Emma has been in love (or lust) with her brother's friend for years? The romance and plot in this novel are very well balanced. There's not too much romance to overpower the mystery, yet there's enough to satisfy romance lovers like me. I fell head over heels in love with considerate Bennett but my desire to give him a smacking never wavered. He resists Emma's advances even though he has obvious feelings for her too - how aggravating! Men. Stupid, sweet, thoughtful, self-sacrificing men. *grumps*

So many mysteries are at play in this plot-driven novel. The old incident of an attacker in smoke keeps replaying in Emma's mind, she has flashes of another life which seems so familiar and is terrorised by a serial killer who could be linked to her mother. Secrets in her family are abound as betrayals are discovered and unexpected alliances are formed. Everything is very much connected and I enjoyed following the branches of suspense with Emma as she deciphered the strange events in her life!
"Omigod! Here we go—woo-hoo! The front wheels are off the ground. There go the back wheels. We are officially airborne. We are in the sky. Look at all the tiny buildings. Hey! There’s boats and fields and ... We’re in the clouds! Oops, nope—we’re over the clouds. Wow. It’s like a whole new world up here.” Bennett spoke nothing but monosyllables the entire trip, like something was bothering him. Possibly me.
I adored these characters. Emma is determined and sarcastic, yet readers can fully relate to her loyalty and strength. Bennett is not alone in his interest for Emma because Coby Anders has his eye on her too. I might've loved him even more than I did Bennett...but don't tell him I said that. Cute, smart, athletic, gentlemanly, caring and completely patient? *swoon* He and his friends take Emma under their wing when she transfers to their school, and they are all impossible not to love. Ghosts are obviously scattered throughout the book and you'll enjoy getting to know all of their different personalities. Give me more!
The dark-haired ghost jock must have somehow seen an episode of The Simpsons, because he made a perfect Nelson impression as I slunk back to the locker room. Ha-ha.
Be prepared for unexpected twists and revelations on every page. Hopefully your heart won't fail in excitement and anticipation! What a brilliant start to a series I'm very eager to continue. Watch out for the shocking ending! I might've died had I not read the sneak peek of the sequel. Things are about to get interesting; in a very good or very bad way, who knows?
Did we love this book or what? Cannot wait for the sequel to be released in Australia!

Find Lee on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Deception from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

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