Book Review: Ghouls Rush In

Ghouls Rush In (Peyton Clark #1)
Published By: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
Page Count: 269
Source: Kindle Lending Library
Audience: Adult - Urban Fantasy

New Orleans + a ghost + amazing homes in the Garden District + a quirky heroine + a hot neighbor = my kind of read

Ghouls Rush In is the first installment in H.P. Mallory's newest series about the fiesty and hilarious, Peyton Clark. Peyton is a recent transplant to New Orleans after her marriage crashed and burned. The only thing Peyton has that is all her own is the crumbling down mansion her great aunt left her in the Garden District. She's determined to restore the home to its former glory, but she realizes it's going to take a lot of work and some help with someone who has an eye for historic preservation. Luckily for Peyton, she has a handsome and construction minded neighbor, Ryan Kelly, who agrees to help her with the renovation.

Peyton feels like she was meant to live her life out in New Orleans all along. She can't believe it took so long for her to make her way down south, but everything isn't sunshine and beignets. Peyton's dreams are haunted by a handsome policeman, Drake Montague, who can't seem to let his house go. Peyton fears Drake at first, but soon learns that something much darker lurks in her home. Drake becomes an unlikely ally as the darkness comes for Peyton. Can she escape with her home and sanity in tact? 

I loved the setting of this one. New Orleans is the perfect town to host ghosts and Mallory does a beautiful job of bringing Drake to life. I love his sassy attitude and his desire to protect his home and Peyton. Mallory also describes New Orleans well; I felt like I was on vacation as I saw the city through Peyton's eyes. I am seriously longing for another trip back to the Big Easy after reading this one.

In addition to the setting, I enjoyed the characters. Peyton does come across as a little immature in some moments, but I chalked that up to her sheltered days of wedded unbliss. She wasn't truly given a chance to find herself and experience her youth due to her husband's domineering ways. I was able to overlook her silly, flighty moments. I found that Peyton is fiery and loyal; you couldn't ask for a better friend. Likewise, Ryan also exhibits qualities that make him appealing. Not only is he gorgeous (which never hurts), but he is also intelligent, interested in history, and protective. Even when Peyton seems crazy with all of her ghost talk, Ryan supports her. We could all use a friend like Ryan Kelly in our corner. Lastly, I enjoyed Drake as well, but I felt like the summary of the novel was slightly misleading. There isn't a romance between Drake and Peyton - just some playful banter and slight innuendo. I did enjoy the relationship between Peyton and Drake, but I was expecting something far different.

In spite of how much I enjoyed this one, I do have one major complaint. What was up with that ending? There is all this buildup about the dark entity in Peyton's house, but the ending seems anti-climatic. I just don't think things could be wrapped up so easily. I'm hoping that the second book will shed some light on this complaint. Surely, things can't be so simple. In addition to the simplicity, the ending felt rushed after the slower beginning. I hope that the next book balances the action a bit better. I didn't get a strong sense of closure with this one.

One Last Gripe: I felt like this one only scratches the surface of Peyton's family history and Drake's connection to the house. I need more details.

Favorite Things About This Book: The setting and historical connections

First Sentence: It was time for a fresh start.

Favorite Character: Peyton

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one.

Do you believe in love after life?

Looking for a fresh start, Peyton Clark becomes the proud owner of a piece of New Orleans history: an Antebellum-era two-story house in the Garden District. It’s going to take time and a fat wallet to restore the fixer-upper to its former glory, but after her recent divorce, Peyton could use the distraction.

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

When Peyton grows closer to her general contractor, Ryan Kelly—who is as charming as he is alive—the chill in the air could only suggest Drake’s jealousy from beyond the grave. But even though she’s definitely attracted to and interested in Ryan, Peyton also can’t get Drake out of her dreams, or her heart, as she begins to uncover the frightening truth behind his death a century ago…