ASIN #: B00JZ2TVVS
File Size: 421 KB
Page Count: 203
Copyright: April 26, 2014
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
(Taken from Amazon)
Meredith Reed, a forty-year-old architect turned demolition expert, desperately searches for the means to bury her grief. When she inherits her family’s historic plantation home in Tennessee, she decides to start anew by razing the antebellum house and replacing it with a memorial garden. A plan met with outrage from her family and her grandmother's estate lawyer.
James Maximillian “Max” Chandler needs two things to complete his life plan: become a senior partner and find his soul mate. He's been promised a promotion once his proposed legislation to protect all of the county’s historic properties is approved. The wife part he finds more challenging, having never met the right woman in all of his forty-six years. If only the talented and attractive Meredith weren’t so aloof toward him and didn’t want to destroy the very property he’s grown to cherish.
Meanwhile, Meredith's estranged sister moves in and refuses to leave. The memories of their childhood spent there causes turmoil between them. And while Meredith struggles to reconcile her past and her future, she learns a lesson from the spectral Lady in Blue that may save both her family and the family home from destruction.
In one of the novels I've read recently, one of the characters said (and I'm totally paraphrasing here) that to be a successful novelist all characters needed to be fleshed out and well-rounded. The reader should be able to get to know the supporting characters as well as they're getting to know the main characters. And, looking back over my list of favorite novels, I would have to say that's true. I enjoy getting to know all characters of a novel, even if they're only around for a little while. I want to be able to miss them when they're gone and wonder what became of them. I can't do that if they're not fleshed out ... which I think is part of the problem I had with Traces.
Meredith and Max, being the main characters, are fleshed out enough for the reader to be able to gain an understanding of who they are and how they think. Meg, Sean, Brock, and Dina were not fleshed out. Yes, the reader has knowledge of some of their pasts, but they don't become well known by the reader. I would've enjoyed knowing how each couple met and came to be married. I would've liked to have seen more of their personalities given life on the page.
** SPOILER ALERT **
Meredith basically wants to tear down the plantation home because she's always imagined her, her husband, and their children living there. Due to an unfortunate accident, it's stated in the novel that Meredith can no longer have children. Well, when we meet Max, his goals are to make senior partner and find a woman to settle down and have some babies with. As they draw closer together, Max learns of the event that has taken Meredith's husband away from her, but not once in this novel does she tell Max that she can no longer have children. If they get married, is Max really going to be satisfied with not having any children when it's something he's been longing for? Also, the man is 46 years old. If he does have children, he'd be in his 60s before they graduated high school. That's a little old, don't you think? I digress. Max and Meredith did not have one conversation about children in this novel. I just think this could be a source of contention for them in their newly found romance.
Paulette is included in this novel as one of the semi-main characters. I'm not sure why. It's not often I give advice like this but I think Traces would have still worked without Paulette being in the center of things. There was just a lot going on and then you add her into the mix. Yes, I know the author added her into the story to help Meredith and for the two sisters to work out their differences, but I think with some editing and minor re-writes Paulette could've been excluded from the majority of the novel. My suggestion concerning Paulette? Let her be the cliffhanger at the end of Traces leading into the next novel, Remnants. For example, give the same ending that Traces has now, but have Paulette enter the scene at the end stating her intentions to stay even though she knows she's not welcome by Meredith (because without Paulette in Traces, the two sisters haven't worked out their differences yet). I think that would've given Remnants a jumping off point.
For a quick read that has a Harlequin-esque flair, Traces was not all that bad. I did enjoy the ghost story aspect and I'm still (secretly) a lover of happy endings. I don't know that I'd read this again, but it was entertaining the first go-round and I think those of you who enjoy the Harlequin romances would enjoy Traces.
*An ecopy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.