Better Homes and Hauntings - Molly Harper

"[...] Just for your information, he is very ticklish."


"How will that information ever be of use to me?" Nina asked.


Dotty wiggled her eyebrows.  "I can think of a few ways."  Nina stared at her, adopting Deacon's "impassive" expression.  "Oh, come on, I've seen the two of you together.  It's like watching a nature documentary on scientists trying to get the two most socially awkward people in the world to mate."



I'd been trying to pinpoint why I thought the romance in this book between Nina and Deacon was kind of refreshing.  And so when cousin Dotty made this point, it really made me think:  "Yea.  That's so true."


Although I still have to input that, despite being a good percentage into the book, it still kind of feels like little to nothing has actually happened in the way of Big Haunted Mansion On Isolated Island, aside from Nina's nightly dreams (only one of which was described in detail), a few sightings, and Cindy's one encounter.  Somehow, they just don't feel creepy or even significant enough to concern myself with.


And no one's even really doing anything about the whole "Haunted Mansion" thing aside from being avoid-y.  I might start getting frustrated, which will be disappointing considering I loved the last Molly Harper book I read.


However, the book is giving off a vibe reminiscent of some 90s era tacky haunted mansion on an isolated island movie-like feel where things move along for a good portion of the story without anything too significant save for a few hints here and there, and then by the end, all hell breaks loose and the excitement just comes in blasts with no holds barred.


I'm kind of looking forward to it being this way... even anticipating it a little bit.  So we shall see where this heads.  Of course, this book is also a romance as well, so I'll give it leeway to be lighter fare than most haunted house movies with a touch more cute and cuddly for the love stories unfolding.


Speaking of which--two romances occurring during this time are also kind of bland so far.  In a sense, Nina and Deacon are now sharing some kind of quiet courting relationship where they stand around and chat each other up with pop culture references, old and new, while trying to impress each other with their nerdiness.  It's cute, but I haven't seen much happening along the lines of actual romance yet... but then again, maybe something will soon.


As for Cindy and Jake, they just need to sit down and talk about their problems civilly.


And all the while, the characters just feel detached from the book, so far and I'm not feeling any connection to relate with at all.  Aside from the whole social awkward main character bit, that is.  At least I DO like the budding friendship between Nina, Cindy, and cousin Dotty--they short, quiet side quips are at least keeping me entertained.