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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 5 star ratings
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    Loved this book!

    I do not usually read paranormal/ghost stories but something about this book made me want to read it and I am so glad I did. The story takes place in Hyde Park, New York in 1875 when Alva Webster returns after the death of her abusive husband. She buys Liefdenhuis, a dilapidated mansion and wants to restore it. Rumor has it that the house is haunted. An inventor, Professor Sam Moore, wants to explore the house for ghostly activity and he falls for Alva after meeting her. This is a really cute, romantic, story with paranormal activity. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for the ARC of this very delightful Gothic Romance.
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    An amazing historical with a pinch of paranormal

    Will the open to life scientist be able to break down the defenses of the lonesome widow. Twice in a short span of time I have read the first published book of a new historical author. Twice if was left stunned by both story, With one only expectation, to read more about these awesome talented writers. Mrs Diana Biller is one hell of a gifted with words person. She has crafted a moving and transcendental story of healing and redeeming the wrong done to others. She brought all her characters to life, they are more blood and flesh than paper with their shortcomings and successes. Sam and Alva are two sides of the same coin, they need to trust on each other and themselves to make things work between them. Sam is one man to love so easily, the perfect portrayed scientific, losing himself in his work, very singleminded when focused to get what he is looking for and rebuffs do not deter him. With his sole smile as his weapon, he disarms anyone his simple and quite naive view of life, not influenced by rules, gossips and expectations. Alva never experienced love even in her young years, every aspect of her life controlled by her overbearing family, so when a handsome man seduced her, she mistook it easily but too late, she was already in an other gilded cage. To break free, she confronted scandal and nearly lost everything. But now she is ready to wipe the slate clean of her past if only it hadn’t the wrong habit to jump at her face. It was a tale about darkness and light, Sam is the light source in this tale with Alva, only surrounded by gloom and as her past is slowly revealed, will Sam’s life force be enough to pull her out of her nightmares. When she drowns in her fears and doubts, he brightens and alleviates the whole scene. With his truthfulness close to candor and his humor, he slowly brings back Alva on the side of the livings, opening her to a colorful avenir instead of the dreary one she was designing for herself. This was a big five stars read to slowly devour to appreciate all its various depths and layers, the painful past of Alva, Sam’s appreciation of life, the Moore family’s humor, eccentricities and their shared love and the mystery behind the ghosts tale. Everything combined a wondrous journey beyond love and time. I was granted this advance copy through Edelweiss via the publisher St Martin’s Griffin. I so loved it I purchased my own copy. Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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    Historical romance with a paranormal twist!

    One of my favorite bloggers, Natasha is a Book Junkie, recently talked in her Facebook group about reading this book and how amazing she thought it was. I take what Natasha says to heart, and Diana Biller has taken a couple of my favorite tropes and melded them into one fantastic story! This is my first time reading a historical romance combined with some paranormal and I absolutely loved it! This book is categorized as Gothic Romance, which I admit is a trope I am not familiar with, but will be one that I plan to research thoroughly now that I've had a taste! I truly felt for Alva, her life has been less than glamorous even though she comes from a very prominent family. And her married life was even worse, so she has really had no guiding light through it all, having to rely on her own inner voice to make decisions. Sam was so refreshing as a male character. He was such a good man. That was what Alva thought of him, he was a good man. He bore no pretenses and he was scatterbrained and couldn't seem to match his socks, but he stood up for what was right and he helped those who needed a hand, and he knew exactly what he wanted, and he wanted Alva. Even though there is a paranormal element in this story, it isn't a creepy book, and in fact the ghost story per se doesn't really come to a head until the end of the book. The majority of the story centers around Alva and her journey to restoring her name that has been besmirched, and how Sam helps her to see what her truth worth really is. There are plenty of entertaining secondary characters that come along for the ride. This story moves at a steady pace and I found myself not being able to put the book down until I turned the last page. I'm highly impressed that this is Ms. Biller's debut novel and I very much look forward to seeing what she has in store for us in the future! Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
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    Fun and lively read

    This story centers around Sam, the bright oblivious professor and Alva the wronged widow. Alva has been abused and wrongly accused and Sam comes to her rescue. There is a major supernatural force at work along with past evil, there is romance, humor and steam. Enjoyed this story immensely, not my usual read, put at the top of your TBR.
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    Sweet and slightly spooky historical romance

    I was just expecting a late Victorian/Edwardian romance, but I got much more; a really strong, rather gothic storyline, a wonderful, smart, wounded heroine and a lovely inventor/science geek hero. First of all, the setting was somewhat unusual for a gothic. Rather than being set in England or Europe, it was set in the Hudson River Valley of New York. That's where our intrepid heroine, Alva, an infamous widow thanks to the lies her late, unlamented husband spread about her, buys an old estate with the hopes of renovating it so that she can write a design book aimed at making interior design accessible to the middle classes. Unfortunately, her new house comes complete with rampant ghost stories and hauntings. It's this reputation that attracts Sam, an absent-minded but brilliant inventor who comes from a brilliant, eccentric family made wealthy and famous by dint of the various inventions and patents. Sam is a bit obsessed with investigating ghosts in hopes of quantifying them and proving that they actually do exist. As soon as he hears the rumors, he introduces himself to Alva and requests permission to investigate her ghosts. He's also absolutely thunderstruck by a strong attraction to Alva. Unfortunately for him, she does not want to get involved with him, refuses his requests to come and investigate her house, and doesn't believe in ghosts. However, she arrives in upstate NY to find that her workmen have all run off and if she's to have any hope of getting them back, she will need Sam's help to try to get to the bottom of it all. Alva had a horrible childhood, and was married off at 16 to a monster. Now that she's finally free, she has plenty of trauma to deal with and just wants to get on with her life. Sam meanwhile is everything sweet, light and easy to Alva's darkness and the two of them together were just magical. Their romance was swoony, there were plenty of sparks, and Sam was so considerate and so in love with Alva, although admittedly, he was sometimes a bit dense when he got caught up in one of his inventions. There were just enough spooky moments for me without overshadowing the romance, and I felt the ghost elements were very well done. I absolutely loved this book and am having a hard time believing that this is the author's debut. I hope there will be more books - maybe featuring Sam's brother or sister next? I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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