Book Review: HAUNTED HEART by Carolyn Rosewood

HauntedHeart
Publisher: Etopia Press
Released: July 1, 2011
Source: Review copy from the author
Note: This is a re-post of the review that appeared on my old blog in July 2011. As of today’s date, July 13, 2013, I can no longer find this book for sale anywhere, so I’m not sure what’s going on with it.

All Rowena Sommers wants is a quiet life away from Hollywood gossip and her vicious Oscar-winning ex-boyfriend Brett Fontaine. Her career and reputation in a shambles, thanks to Brett, Rowena returns home to restore her ancestral home and soak up some familiar, hometown sympathy. But having won a twenty-million-dollar defamation suit against Brett hasn’t endeared her to the hometown fans, and the man she’s hired to restore the old home is none other than the ex-jock who used her cruelly in high school to win a bet. And now a paranormal investigator is telling her the place may be haunted.

Van Whitney is no stranger to gossip. He’s been struggling to keep his family’s restoration business afloat, and when he agrees to restore Rowena’s home, he vows to keep their relationship professional. His childhood friend has become a beautiful, sexy woman, but she attracts gossip like flies to honey. When strange things start happening at the house, Van discovers secrets upon secrets, and a plot that may be other than it seems. But his attraction to Rowena might be more dangerous than anything from the past…

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Haunted Heart is a touching and romantic story about forgiveness and starting over. Carolyn Rosewood is a new-to-me author, and I really enjoyed her writing style. She has a talent for bringing the reader into her characters’ lives. The heroine of the story is Rowena Sommers, a costume designer from Los Angeles. Rowena is in a very bad place in her life. She has just won a lawsuit against her cheating actor boyfriend who destroyed her career. In an attempt to escape the gossip magazines, she returns to her small hometown in Ohio.

Unfortunately for Rowena, she does not get the warm “welcome home” she was hoping for. Just about everyone in Creek Ridge sees her as the uppity Hollywood-type who just won a truckload of money from a rich actor. Everyone except contractor Van Whitney. Van and Rowena were childhood friends until Van pulls a hurtful prank in high school driving a wedge between them. Now she’s back in town, and Van is hoping for her forgiveness – and a job restoring her aunt’s house. She reluctantly agrees to hire him for the job, but forgiving him is another matter.

The situation becomes more complicated when a ghost hunter shows up at Rowena’s door pressuring her to let him investigate the house. Rowena doesn’t believe in ghosts, but when some unusual and unexplainable things start happening in her house, she is very concerned. In addition, her ex-boyfriend Brett Fontaine continues to add grief to her life. The only person she trusts to turn to for help is Van.

The title of this book fits perfectly with the story. Haunted Heart is more than just the mystery surrounding the eerie happenings inside Rowena’s house. On a deeper level, it’s about Rowena and Van being haunted by their pasts, and their own hearts being burdened with a lot of pain. I really got pulled into the story by these two characters. Their relationship felt very real given their history and the current situation. Despite their rocky past, Rowena and Van had passionate chemistry between them. As a bonus, Van turned out to be my favorite type of hero – strong and sexy, of course, but with just a touch of vulnerability underneath it all. Irresistible.

Haunted Heart is a very sexy romance, suspenseful mystery and a touching “second chances” story.

Thank you to the author for a review copy of her book.

Rating: 4 Stars

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