Feature book: Haunted Ever After
Sally (Sal) is a nurse and all round straight laced, slightly OCD about germs, pragmatic woman who is going to be married to Greg very shortly. She is celebrating a hen’s weekend with her best friends. They have a full Friday to Monday adventure of activities planned. Sal is a little concerned that her fiancé, Greg, has started travelling and coming home late more frequently from work—she misses him. To add to this and the wedding stress, Sal becomes haunted by a free-spirited, childishly behaving ghost who won’t give her name, but does answer to Red as bestowed by Sal on account of Red’s hair colour.
Ty, a disability worker by day, stripper by night, is saving to go to medical school having already sat and passed the entry exams. He looks after his brother, Cody, who needs a fairly constant level of supervision due to his intellectual disability. Ty is employed by one of Sal’s friends as entertainment to start off their hen’s weekend. He likes Sal despite their inauspicious meeting via shopping trolley earlier in the day and often refers to her as Sexy Sally.
This book, and indeed Sal and Ty’s relationship, is somewhat of an oxymoron—a dramatic comedy and an unconventionally conventional romance. The story is really, a dramedy (to borrow from TV terminology) involving infidelity and apparent suicide with the conventional part of the romance covered by the boy meets girl in a humorous situation set-up. The unconventional romantic elements are that although they do get an implied HEA, Ty and Sal don’t have a traditional romance. Sally is engaged to be married to Greg, but spends most of the book doing embarrassing things in front of Ty because of the antics of Red, the ghost. Ty and Sally do have deep and meaningful conversations, they never get more physical than kissing and keep having reasons to be with each other.
It’s a funny, sweet – heat level romance wrapped in a dramedy. The humorous situations in the book where Sal tries to ignore Red are entertaining. Ty is an enjoyable character, maybe a little too perfect (he seems a genuinely nice, caring, responsible, well-balanced guy with no visible flaws). The tears and tissue section with Red the ghost toward the end leaves a lingering happy/sad feeling and having some girl friends like Sal’s who are supportive and respecting of individuality would be fantastic. Overall the story was humorous, and if you don’t mind leaving the book with a bittersweet feeling then you should enjoy Sally’s tale.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.