Publisher: Random House
Amy Goodnight's family are far from normal. She comes from a long line of witches, and grew up surrounded by benevolent spirits and kitchen spells. All fairly harmless, but Amy can't wait to get to college and escape the "family business".
But things take a darker turn when she and her sister Phin spend the summer looking after their Aunt Hyacinth's ranch. Amy is visited by a midnight spectre who is clearly trying to send her a message. It seems that the discovery of an old grave on a neighbour's land has been the catalyst for an apparent ghost uprising.
Aided by local friends and Ben, the handsome cowboy who just can't take his eyes off Amy, the sisters investigate. And they soon find that there's something strange and dangerous going on, deep in the heart of Texas . . .
There are a number of things TEXAS GOTHIC has going for it but I'll only mention a few! Firstly, there's this cool and familiar Nancy Drew vibe (I'm all for the red-headed heroine sleuth). You see I'm a hardcore fan of Drew, so pretty much any book with a familiarity to that favourite detective idol of mine, I'm sooooooo there! The second thing is, there's this awesome setting in the dustlands of ranches and thirdly there's this an old-fashioned ghost-hunting and haunting mystery that surrounds the hot Texan summers. And by meshing together my favourite three elements, it's the perfect book for all readers.
Being already a fan of Rosemary Clement-Moore's The Splendor Falls, I had high expectations for this book despite its mixed reviews. While at times I was irritated by the main heroine's choices, but Amy (Amaryllis) was ultimately the perfect gal and there wouldn't be TEXAS GOTHIC without her because she brings everything to the novel. She's more outgoing compared to her sisters and other characters, and I'm oddly finding the whole running-around-outside-chasing-things-in-your-underwear so amusing. She maybe the outspoken, confident, strong girl, and say things without thinking for the most part of the book, but readers will love seeing her sensitive personality and how the author showed her vulnerability when it was needed.
Now onto the love interest of the story - or should I say the unexpected love interest. In TEXAS GOTHIC we meet the arrogrant and cocky Ben, the cowboy with more to him than meets the eye. Ben was the kind of character I just had to like immediately and after all, he's a smexy hot cowboy and who doesn't love a hot cowboy, eh? When we're introduced to Ben and seeing his character develop throughout the book, readers - much like with Amy's character - will enjoy seeing the different sides to Ben's personality. But there's no boy without his complications and boy did I LOVE how he was able to give Amy a run for her money. With hilarious moments of comebacks and insults, fangals will be falling head over heels over Ben. And not to mention that fangals will also be swooning over the romantic banter and steamy chemistry shared between Ben and Amy. Trust me here folks . . . there is plenty of chemistry to go around and around.
Despite a couple of flaws in the book - in regards to being confused in certain parts - however the storyline within itself was really entertaining and I was definitely intrigued by the twists and turns offered. On a whole I found TEXAS GOTHIC had a brilliant mix of magic, ghosts, legends and romance, and with a well-detailed historical aspect placed into the middle of the story, readers will be delivered with a solid part thriller, part horror, part contemporary novel that will please all fans of the paranormal genre. So be sure to check it out if you like smart-mouthed heroines with enough fiery spirit to get you coming back for more! The only real shame is that it's a standalone novel. Sighs. I want more Ben!