Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #1
Published by Self-published on December 7, 2013
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Douglas Ashton is the cold and unfeeling owner of the gothic Victorian Mansion, Sommersgate House. Julia Fairfax is his stubborn American sister-in-law. After tragedy strikes, Douglas and Julia are forced to live together at Sommersgate and raise their newly orphaned nieces and nephew.
Douglas has no desire to raise his dead sister’s children nor does he want the distraction of the tempting Julia living under his roof. Julia is struggling with grief and trying to make a go in a new country without much help from impossibly handsome but even more impossibly remote Douglas. Not to mention, she has to deal with the active hostility of Douglas’s frosty, Attila-the-Hun-in-a-skirt mother, Monique.
Douglas decides the best way to give the children what they need, get his mother to behave and give himself what he wants is to marry Julia. When he tells her (yes, tells her) she will be his wife, Julia thinks Douglas is (probably) insane. And anyway, she’s decided if she ever has another husband (since the last one wasn’t so great), he was going to be short, balding, have a paunch and worship the ground she walks on (none of these characteristics define Douglas in the slightest).
One more thing, Sommersgate House is haunted by the ghosts of the man who built the house and the woman who was the love of his life. They both died mysteriously at Sommersgate months after it was finished. When they did, a curse settled on the house making it seem strangely alive. And the only way for the beautiful but frightening house to rid itself of this curse is for its owner to find true love.
It’s no secret we here at EDGy are devoted fans of Ms. Ashley’s writing. Having some mandatory free time on my hands I decided to give her Ghosts and Reincarnation series another go and then realized we hadn’t reviewed them on the blog! Thus I set on this very pleasant task.
Douglas is the typical chic lit hero: aloof, controlled and apparently cold. A nobleman by birth and successful businessman in his own right, the last thing he needs is his sister’s three kids living with him. Sadly, after the accident that took his sister’s and her husband’s life that is exactly what happened.
Fortunately for the kids, Julia (their dad’s sister) was also appointed as their guardian, but there was a delay in her being able to leave her life in the states to move in with them at Sommersgate House.
We soon learn that both Julia and Douglas have felt an incredibly strong attraction for each other since the very first time they met. For various reasons they never let it show, but now living together and spending more and more time in each other’s presence while caring for their nieces and nephew… well, shit starts to happen.
Julia is a funny, loving, sassy delightful woman. She made me laugh at her antics and her temper and I just loved how she little by little got under Douglas’ skin and melted his heart.
I absolutely adored witnessing Douglas’ slow but steady progress in getting in touch with his heart. With a less than lovely childhood, although he had everything a boy could dream of, his parents left much to be desired. This works in our favor as we get a bossy, extra alpha, sexy hunk with a title…. Total score!
With an explosive chemistry, these two stubborn souls go (sometimes hilariously) head to head, time and time again. And not only do they need to learn how to care for their grieving charges, but they also have to deal with a conniving viper (aka Douglas’ mother), dangerous criminals and a cursed house.
I just love KA’s storytelling, there’s something that makes me dive into the story and completely engage with each and every character. There were some parts of their inner musings I felt were a bit too lengthy, but I absolutely loved that we get quite a lot of Douglas’ PoV.
I laughed, I sniveled, I smiled through most of the book and my heart melted more than once. I had forgotten just how great this story was and how unbelievably hot Douglas and Julia could be together. I highly recommend reading Sommersgate House a story of true love and magic, a bit different from her other stories but a totally ®KA nonetheless.
Rating: 4.5 “KA magic” Stars
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