Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Acquisition: received for review
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies? (from Goodreads)
Historical, paranormal fiction? Pretty much rocks if done right and Haunting Violet is oh so very right! A ghost story that is so much more. I was pulled in pretty much from the first page.
What I really liked about Haunting Violet is the way all the elements of the story work together. We have Violet and her newly discovered ability to speak to the dead. Violet's mother, a fraudulent medium with some deep issues of her own. The Victorian setting, the ghosts, the mystery -- it was all spot on! And it all worked!
The romance was also very very well done. No love triangles, no instant infatuations. Falling in love with Colin was easy. Despite his role, he is an honest and sincere person. Really, everything he does, he does for Violet. The certainty of their love for each other, mixed with the uncertainty of their situations made for some really sweet scenes. I would read Haunting Violet again for the romance alone.
The ending, while dramatic, was maybe a little too good to be true? Unrealistic perhaps but even so, I really loved it. All the pieces fit together.
Reminded me of:
Not all books remind me of others but Haunting Violet did. The setting and even some of the characters had me thinking of The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell. The paranormal elements and the settings aren't exactly the same, but the overall feel of both books are. As for the mystery - I was reminded of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's The Twin's Daughter. No ghosts in that one but the enclosed, secretive worlds that spurred on both mysteries are the same.
A really great read for me. Whether writing about vampires or ghosts, Alyxandra Harvey's words are always captivating.
Haunting Violet is a stand a lone novel but I can see it working as the first in a series as well. No loose ends to tie up but I would very much enjoy reading more about Violet, Colin and the new world they have found themselves in.
5 / 5 stars