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The Haunting by Hope Tarr
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The Haunting
1 Star

Quickie Review
Idiotic plot and one dimensional characters that I couldn't care less about.

The heroine is an obsequious doormat and despite the fact that her boyfriend is a complete jerk, the fact that she cheats on him, albeit with a ghost, is inescapable.

The hero is a pathetic excuse for an alpha male and is actually in love with the heroine's past life.

While the villain is suitably obnoxious, even his comeuppance couldn't save this catastrophe. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
I'd loved two of Hope Tarr's earlier historicals--My Lord Jack and Tempting, but forgot to keep up with her books until someone on an email list mentioned her. Now I'm scrambling to catch up.

American history professor Maggie Holiday is putting her life back together after losing her parents and her sister in a plane crash. Part of that is a new house (well, an 1850s Victorian) in a new town, and a new job as assistant professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Except that her lover, D.C. psychiatrist Richard, calls it running away, and Maggie's starting to notice that he takes every opportunity to belittle her choices, and she realizes she needs to break things off with him.

There's no rush, though--he lives in the city, and hates the small town, and her old house, so he's out of her hair most of the time. First things first--exploring her house.

She finds a diary of a previous inhabitant, Isabel, who describes her romance with a Union officer, and Maggie begins having vivid dreams about the war and Isabel's life.

She gets a little more than she bargained for in the attic: an intruder, dressed in a civil war uniform--though how he got in, she doesn't know. He doesn't seem violent, and the way he talks and the fact that he calls her "Isabel" leads her to believe he's a relatively harmless reenactor who's a wee bit too caught up in his role. And then he seduces her.

Actually, he's Captain Ethan O'Malley, the same man Isabel had written about in the diary, and he was hanged when a man who wanted Isabel framed him for espionage. Now his ghost is trying to be reunited with Isabel, or rather, Isabel's reincarnation in Maggie, and to clear his name.

The Haunting is a short book, 244 pages, but it's complete nonetheless. Maggie's reactions are much more realistic than I've come to expect in this sort of paranormal romance--she keeps trying to figure out how the "intruder" got in, gets a new security system, etc. Even after the seduction, she doesn't immediately trust him, and it takes a lot of convincing before she believes, and remembers.

In addition, her relationship with Richard is, sadly, all too realistic. He tries to control her by belittling her and trying to make her doubt her sanity. But when she's doing what he wants, he acts loving and charming, so it's a real effort for her to break up with him--especially when she's not sure he's not right about her sanity... after all, she's having an affair with a ghost.

Even as I enjoyed the story, I had no idea how they'd resolve the issue in the end. We learn early on that Ethan has a limited amount of energy he can use to become corporeal, so their physical relationship can't continue in the same way indefinitely. I won't give away the solution, but it was clever and satisfying.

This was an "Extreme Blaze," but obviously, I read too much erotica, because I didn't even realize it until I read an Amazon review complaining that the sex scenes were too extreme. Obviously, a case of YMMV.

I'll definitely continue to look for more of Hope's backlist. ( )
  Darla | Nov 18, 2008 |
I just finished The Haunting by Hope Tarr. It is from Harlequin BLAZE. It takes place in Fredericksburg, VA which was a joy to read about. The main heroine just got hired as a assistant professor of history of UMW (huzzah!). She totally pwns her first boyfriend when he insults FBURG. One of the things she mentions is that one of the English professors at UMW was recently awarded a Pulitzer. ^____^ She also mentions Hyperion, Becks, Walker Home... Despite all the shoutouts to my adoptive hometown [via college] I really did not enjoy the book. You could easily tell the author does not really write paranormals [The main hero is a ghost]. I did not enjoy her writing style. She really did namedrop FBURG too much. The main bad guy had too much hyperbole for my taste. The resolution was stupid in my opinion.

Also big problem, so the main chick is the reembodiment of the ghosts lover [Ghost Guy is from 1862]. So she is essentially that person from the past. So Ghost Guy keeps calling her by his lovers name, Isabel [her name now being Maggie]. Even during sex. Now Maggie notes this but says it does not bother her. Well it bothers me. She is Maggie now, and Ghost Guy should respect that especially if he loves her and happens to be her TWU LUV. ( )
  rexe | May 13, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373793219, Mass Market Paperback)

Investigating a noise in the attic of her historic home, Maggie Holliday encounters a handsome man in a Civil War uniform. He calls her "Isabel," seduces her in ways the shy academic had never dreamed of…then literally vanishes.

With every fleeting visit, Maggie's mysterious lover—Ethan—takes her closer to the edge of ecstasy and madness. Is he really a ghost? Far from chilling her, his touch is incendiary—it all feels so real and so very, very good. And so very familiar…

Ethan insists Maggie's the reincarnation of his long-lost love. And after a few incredible nights in his arms, Maggie is inclined to believe him. But does she dare surrender to a passion that transcends time, tragedy…and even death?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:49 -0400)

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