Billionaire social media magnate Deacon Whitney contracts a group of renovation specialists, including landscape designer Nina Linden, to live and work on his remote island estate.
After generations of neglect, the Crane’s Nest is getting some attention. The once-beautiful estate—which sits in Narragansett Bay—has been left mostly to disintegrate since it was built by Gerald Whitney for his wife, Catherine. Just after the mansion was completed, Catherine was murdered, and the shadow of her mysterious death hung over Gerald for the rest of his life; the family has never been able to restore its fortunes or its reputation. Until Deacon. The island has long been rumored to be haunted, but Deacon—a man of science—refuses to believe it. Nina is so desperate to rebuild her life and career after her former partner (in business and romance) betrayed her that she’s grateful for the opportunity, no matter what misgivings she may have about the place or its oddly attractive owner. As the collection of people—Deacon’s cousin Dotty; his best friend and architect, Jake; and professional organizer Cindy—become colleagues, then friends, none of them can deny that there is some malevolent force on the island, and they have to solve the mystery of Catherine’s murder before history repeats itself. After writing successful Southern contemporary and vampire-themed paranormal romances, Harper turns her humor and charm to a Gothic-haunted-house-on-a-remote-island story. The characters are authentic and appealing, the sexual and romantic tension are perfectly balanced, and the snippets of the past as experienced by modern-day characters in dreams and trances should seem trite but work quite well. With more than one enemy, it’s sometimes hard to know who’s responsible for what, and the ending almost makes it seem like the heroes were at times too easily misled. But Harper is a witty, engaging writer, and any weaknesses are completely overcome by the strength of the writing and storytelling.
Fun, sweet, spooky and sexy.