Book Review: The Ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman

Publisher: Sapere Books
Format: ebook
Release Date: December 15th, 2021
Genre: Regency Romance

Rating: 2/5 Stars

I spoke recently about my delving deeper into Romance in my review for Knock Down Dragon Out. I also mentioned my dislike of Romance where the couple meet and immediately get along, with nothing standing in their way (such as each other or society, especially applicable to Historical Romance). I like couples with tension, either because they can’t help but bicker, or because their love is ‘forbidden’, or because of, well, any other reason.

Unfortunately, The Ghost of Glendale is another instance of a couple meeting and just instantly getting along. Initially I liked Phoebe – an independent ‘spinster’ at 24, who helps manage Glendale. Right from the get-go there’s hints at a darker history to the house, and part of me was hoping for something with a little hint of the Gothic to it. There’s indications early on that the Marcham’s do not get along with their nearest neighbours. Shortly after, Phoebe comes across Duncan while out riding. My instant thought: Oh, I wonder if he’s linked to the family they have a feud with…

Nope – though that could have possibly been slightly more interesting.

I want to emphasise this is a perfectly fine book, but for me it didn’t really reach above ‘fine’. It’s written well enough, but quite quickly I found the characters to be boring, except for the older folks who had some funny moments! There’s a bit of tension added when Phoebe’s aunt joins them, but her attitude disappears quickly and she becomes almost a totally different woman. Almost every time something interesting seemed like it was about to happen, it either didn’t, or it veered into a situation that was quickly resolved and over with. The ghost plays a small role, but even the ghost wasn’t exciting, appearing now and then to make the characters feel chilly for a second before disappearing.

I also think the ‘mystery’ became fairly obvious to the reader quite quickly, and the longer it took for the characters to find out more, the more frustrating it became.

The ‘obstacles’ that did come between the pair just felt forced in, and essentially resulted in both characters acting really petty, to the point of annoyance, even when in one instance Phoebe learns Duncan’s very reasonable excuse for disappearing, and explains he doesn’t know when he can return but that he will, and she mopes about thinking how she might never see him again, when there’s nothing that shows that.

Again, this isn’t a bad book as such, but it lacked real tension and at times felt like it dragged. The two elements that drew me to the book – the romance and the mystery – were a bit of a let-down, but if you enjoy couples who get along and work to solve something together, maybe this will be a bit more up your alley.

I received a copy of this book from publishers Sapere Books – views remain my own.

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