I met Francene through Absolute Write. I had posted a notice that FromFactToFiction features romance writers every Wednesday on their blog. She was the only one who responded to my post, so we kept in touch until our features appeared. On hers, I saw that she had her debut novel out, so I wanted to support her. She’s very nice.
Shadows of Yesterday is the twelfth book of my reading challenge. Here’s my thoughts:
Madeline Hart is torn between two men–and one of them is lying. Who should she trust, and why does Ravenswood exert such a strong hold over her?
Madeline has turned her back on her past to pursue her dream of opening a real estate agency in the country. When she is called out late one afternoon to look at a property called Ravenswood, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever.
As Madeline is caught up in a bizarre, love triangle between Michael Denver, the mysterious owner of Ravenswood, and handsome Daniel Eastman, her business rival, strange things begin to happen to her. She becomes convinced that both men have something to hide, and despite her horrifying experience within its walls, she cannot break the spell that Ravenswood has cast over her. When she hears of a ghost story involving a young woman who died at the house a century earlier, Madeline feels compelled to dig deeper.
Her search for answers uncovers a shocking crime and rekindles a love that even death could not destroy.
This 15 chapter book scared the bejeezus out of me. Let me tell ya, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected a ghost story by the book’s description, but it went well beyond. The two scenes that made me jump out of my seat were 1) when Madeline gets chased down the hallway by a crazy blond in the pitch dark 2) when Madeline enters the shed and is locked inside. Notice a pattern here? The crazy blond wanted to mess with her. Was it a ghost? Or a person playing tricks on her? It’s worth reading the story to find out.
When Madeline first met Michael about selling his home, I was very suspicious. Part of his house was off limits for her to view, and he didn’t want her influenced by the town gossip (that he may have killed his wife). The intense vibe I got as a reader was that the house was haunted.
I was also automatically suspicious of Daniel too. He seemed like he was just buttering her up to hear her news to steal her clients. Plus, he kept trying to constantly throw shade Michael’s way. It was like he was hiding something.
I’m happy that I was correct in my assumptions; sometimes it does pay to have a vigilant personality style LOL. All the mystery was interesting. What happened to Laura (Michael’s wife)? Why did Madeline’s first clients snub her? What happened at Ravenswood a century ago?
I loved the twist at the end and how all the answers were revealed. The author has a great talent of building suspense and having readers not want to put the book down. Every new scene brought new questions that needed explaining. And since the story was written in third person point-of-view through Madeline’s perspective, readers were left in the dark. We didn’t get shocked or startled until Madeline did, which made the story even more entertaining for me.
I don’t want to give the ending away, but I will say that it was brilliant the way it played out. If you believe in reincarnation or are a hopeless romantic at heart, then you’ll find the ending cute. I know I did. My favorite line was “They say traumatic events can linger in the energy field for centuries.”
Francene Carroll was so descriptive with her writing that I could see it as a Lifetime movie. This was her debut novel, and I was definitely impressed. I hope the writing industry continues to find more talented first time authors like her.
Shadows of Yesterday was a very fast read. And, I’m a huge fan of love triangles, especially when my ship wins out in the end.
I RECOMMEND this book to read.