Hi there, and welcome to my stop on the ECHOES IN THE GLASS blog tour sponsored by AToMR Book Tours. For other stops on the tour click here. Today’s read is a YA paranormal romance from Cheri Lasota–and it kept me up most of one night!
I read most of this book in the middle of the night. Ghost stories do that to me. And this book is a two-ghost story, so I had a doubly hard time setting it down to sleep. I liked it a lot. Here’s why:
It’s a two-arc story. One contemporary, one historical. Both Romance. We get two couples, with two plights, in one book. Alternating chapters rock us between now and then, which is fun and keeps the story rolling.
First, the contemporary side: Finnian Bell is a runaway. He fled after a brutal fight with his younger brother Joss–a fight he believes ended Joss’s life. After three years on the streets he’s decided it’s time to make amends to his parents–the only way he can. His dad runs a foundation devoted to restoring and preserving lighthouses in America, so Finnian signs on to help restore the post at Sorrow Island, the lighthouse his father most adores knowing he will be required to confront his dad at the lighting ceremony. Finnian prays this will pave the way to a reunion. Of course, he doesn’t expect to meet the lighthouse keeper’s estranged daughter, Tiria, on the island. And he really doesn’t plan to like her.
Tiria Vaugh is a broken girl. She’s survived a brutal experience that Finnian doesn’t know about but senses has changed her into the angry person she’s become. She knows he’s trying to befriend her, but pushes him away time and again. Plus, she’s mad at the world and her father, and Finnian is an easy target. Despite the tension, they develop an uneasy alliance. Divulging their deepest secrets to each other, Finnian learns that not only is his brother alive, he’s a dangerous person. A chance encounter sets the climax into motion–and pits brother against brother in a battle over Tiria. The ghosts appear from the moment Tiria and Finnian set foot on Sorrow Island–almost as a warning about how dangerous this place will end up being.
Tiria’s father isn’t happy about Finnian being around his girl. She needs time to heal–and warns Finnian to stay away from her. He does his best, but they become adventurers together in the lighthouse’s caverns. It’s a quiet teen romance–chaste and thoughtful–but the attraction simmers. I had a bit of trouble with language in the book–and I mean it simply as this: Finnian doesn’t talk like a contemporary teen. I think the author tries to describe him as Irish, and some of his speech and thoughts have a British ring to them, but it didn’t jive with the “growing up on a commercial fishing boat/raised helping restore lighthouses” backstory that was offered. He’s no foul-mouthed hooligan. In fact, I think he’s more stiff than I can imagine a lad from Eire being–if he is one. Perhaps this is ironed in the finished version, but it struck a chord with me and I wonder if it will cause younger readers to stumble. I still loved Finnian, and I adored his story arc–for the most part. Coincidences aside, the end of his storyline seemed a little forced–but I get why the author wanted the parallel experience. I just had a had time believing Joss was so…obsessed? It seemed a bit cartoon-y, to me.
For the historical part: It’s Depression-era Oregon, and Carina Jane can see Sorrow Island’s light from her family ranch where she serves as a “workhorse.” Lack of funds and men on the ranch leave her as the main hand–under the abusive watch of her father. As bad luck would have it, he takes on a boarder to work as well–Morgan Graves, orphaned son of the lighthouse keeper. Morgan’s mother fell to her death a month prior and his father fled the murder charges. While Morgan works the ranch, he and Carina develop a deep friendship.
Seeing her abuse, Morgan stands up for Carina–only to lose his shelter. They flee together to the only home he’s ever known–his lighthouse. They camp there to regroup and Carina soon learns the rumors of a ghost aren’t rumors at all–and to join Morgan’s grandmother’s ghost a new one has arrived–his mother. New perils arrive as well: the new lighthouse keeper. He’s a shifty sort, willing to allow them to stay–in exchange for their services. Of course, the service he’d like from Carina isn’t decent. And by then she’s head over heels for Morgan–and he, her.
Ready to flee again, the climax builds quickly leading to the rather dramatic scene I had expected, but found well-written and thoroughly engaging. So many delightful breadcrumbs had been sprinkled between the two storylines I felt the payoff was rewarding. Their romance is more passionate than Finnian and Tiria’s, though it still Fades To Black and gets my Safe For All YA Readers seal.
I did enjoy ECHOES IN THE GLASS as both a romance and a paranormal. We don’t get any supernatural powers or flash-dash, but the ghosts add some mystery and play pivotal roles in the action. Won’t give you the Heebie Jeebies, if that’s an issue for you.
Disclosure: An ARC was provided to me to review for this tour, so if the final edition doesn’t match entirely–that’s not me being senile. I say this because some of the description of the book is different from what I read–not much, but I don’t want to be called out for it later.
Interested? You can find ECHOES IN THE GLASS at Goodreads and Amazon.
About this author:
Cheri Lasota has written poetry and fiction for sixteen years, edited fiction for nine years and recently jumped headlong into design work for enhanced e-books. She has a great love for all things techy, so she finds herself pushing the boundaries of e-book marketing and design at every turn. Her passion for fiction and helping other novelists achieve their goals is without limits.
Her bestselling debut novel, ARTEMIS RISING, is a 2013 Cygnus Awards First Place Winner and a 2012 finalist in the Next Generation Indie Books Awards. Cheri just released her how-to e-book DESIGN AND UPLOAD YOUR EPUB and has just finished up her second YA novel, ECHOES IN THE GLASS. You can find her on her website, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.
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