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review 2017-01-15 05:26
The Guests on South Battery
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White
Tradd Street #5
ISBN: 0451475232
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Publication Date: 1/10/2017
Format: Other
My Rating: 4 Stars 
 
The queen of the South, Karen White returns following Flight Patterns (2016) landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 list and (2014) Return to Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #4) with the continuation THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY (#5) with more mystery, history, spirits, a twist of paranormal and dark family secrets.
 
"There is always a way to look past the bad to see the good."

Set in the Holy City - historic Charleston, SC, we pick up from the last book with Melanie (Middleton) and Jack Trenholm, settling into marriage with a busy lifestyle and twins, Sarah and JJ (Jack, Jr), and Jack’s daughter, Nola, a sophomore at Ashley Hall. Nola is also interested in a boy named Cooper which Jack must warm up to.

They are the owners of a historic home on Tradd Street (an interesting story from previous books), with its quirks and their dogs. The restless dead had left her along for almost a year as Melanie settled into her new life as wife and mother without the distraction of spirits needing her for something.

Jack is a bestselling author (charming, funny, and irresistible) and Melanie, a successful Realtor, is returning to work after her maternity leave. They are coming up on their first year as parents. Melanie is having a hard time finding and keeping a nanny since she likes things a certain way with her routines. This has been the reason she has been delayed getting back to work, much later than she planned.

Melanie’s first day back, feeling a bit insecure, not having lost all the baby weight, she lands a new client, Jayne Smith from Alabama, who has recently inherited a prominent historic home, the Pinckney mansion. Being an orphan, she is not related to the owner and hates old homes and has never been to Charleston.

She wants Melanie to sell it and find her a new one. Something fresh and new with lots of metal, glass, and stone. Ironically, she is a qualified nanny and does not mind Melanie’s attention to order and details. A match made in heaven.

However, Jayne is not so sure she wants to move into Melanie and Jack’s house since it is also old and historic until she decides about her own living arrangements. However, she soon learns it feels like a home and feels comfortable there.

Melanie and her mom (both with psychic gifts) decide they want to try and discover the past of the house, to warn off the spirits for Jayne to possibly decide to hold on to the home since there was a lot of history. After all, it was on South Battery near the corner of Legare, a huge white house with the portico and columns.

Button Pinckney was an acquaintance of Melanie’s and a good friend of both her mother and mother-in-law. They all went to school at Ashley Hall years ago, and her mom had attended the funeral.

Why would Jayne inherit a home from a stranger? Jayne was raised in the foster care system and was never adopted. Melanie liked her and wants to help. If they can warn off and rid the house of spirits, evil, and ghosts- maybe Jayne will decide to keep the house.

Melanie had a flash of déjà vu, since a man Vanderhorst had left her his crumbling old home that she did not want or need either, not so long ago. She knows all too well about an albatross of a house left to an unsuspecting stranger.

We meet up with Dr. Sophie Wallen-Arasi, professor of historic preservation at the College of Charleston, and Melanie’s mom, Ginette, as well as Melanie’s annoying cousin and Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Rebecca—plus her husband, Marc Longo who stole Jack’s book idea, the story of a disappearance and a murder that occurred in the twenties in her house and made it into a runaway bestseller (with Jack being dropped by his publisher as a result).

An ongoing mystery of the Pickney house. Button never married. She had an older brother-Sumter. He married Anna, another classmate and they had a daughter. She died when she was a child. Anna and Sumter divorced shortly afterward and Anna remained in the house with Button. She died about ten years later. Sumter never remarried and moved to New York after his divorce.

Melanie’s parents have recently remarried and have a good relationship. In the meantime, Melanie lets her old insecurities get in the way making her jump to the wrong conclusions. We also meet up with Detective Thomas Riley and he helps Melanie run a background check on Jayne for the nanny job and he seems to like Jayne. Melanie and Ginette are curious why a generous philanthropist decided to give her entire estate to a deserving orphan.

However, Melanie and Ginette get more than they bargained for with ghosts of the past at the old Pickney mansion. From chilling spirits, haunting ghosts, a cat, a disturbing antique doll, a hanging, a past mental illness, warnings to go away, and desperate cries of help— Jayne, Melanie, and Jayne may have more in common than they may know.
 
Under the mold, falling plaster, spirits of the past, and its sadness, they soon realize there must have been happiness before the tragedy within the walls. It may be worth the chance of a new beginning. Houses are like people. They all deserve a second chance at happiness.

Old secrets which have been buried, all come to the surface. A decades-old mystery to be solved with a shocking conclusion.

As always, Karen White is multi-talented, writing southern women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, paranormal, romance, literary, and historical, crossing many genres. Always love her tales of Charleston and the dark family secrets of the South. I especially loved the reference to Wendy Wax (very cool) —another favorite.

Charleston is such a beautiful city with its historic architecture, and always love catching up with familiar landmarks. Well-crafted and engaging. An intriguing twisty mystery with paranormal elements, enjoy catching up with familiar characters. I enjoy Jack and Melanie’s relationship and the dramas of their lives. If you love history, southern fiction, and ghost stories you will enjoy the series.

Having read and enjoyed all the books in the series, highly recommend them all! In addition to the reading copy, also listened to the audio version (nicely done as always), narrated by Aimée Bruneau, with a charming southern accent.

Looking forward to the next- hoping we hear more about Jayne's mysterious past. 
 
Cannot wait for The Night the Lights Went Out (cover love), Coming April 11, 2017.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/04/The-Guests-on-South-Battery
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review 2017-01-03 00:20
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street #5) by Karen White
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White

With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more.
 
But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission.
 
Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street.
 
Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried..

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed this book enough that I'm interested in picking up the previous installments to the Tradd Street series but I was quite a bit lost in where the story seems to pick up where it left off from the previous book which I haven't read. That aside, it was fairly easy to keep up.

Despite missing out on the previous books in the series I loved the cast, I loved the journey, and the plot.

Although Melanie is hard to like because her exactness is a tad extreme at some points I did like the course of the mystery and how determined she was.

I felt that Karen White's writing is similar to that of Belva Plain's which I enjoy so if you are a fan of Plain's you may like White's books as well if you haven't read her before.

 

Karen White

 

 

 

This title will be available January 10th 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

 

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via Netgalley.

 

 

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from followers!

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text 2016-11-19 21:03
DNF: The Guests on South Battery
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White

I found this title on offer on Penguin's First To Read site. Since in the current batch of titles there were no YA books on offer and I do like haunted house mysteries this title caught my attention. However, I didn't relive this was book five in an on going series. Sometimes that doesn't bother me (I came in on book seven of a long series once and just about picked up on the gist of the plot).

The idea is certainly an interesting one, the heroine has the ability to see ghosts and spirits and (I assume) helps them find rest or whatever they need. It's just that my problem with this book is I cannot stand the heroine. Even in the few pages I read I find her annoying, snobby, bossy and controlling. She's leaving her new husband detailed lists and schedules of how to feed dress and care for their baby twins. You married the man, had twin babies with him and can't trust his judgement to look after them? This is where I don't know the background relationship of how the couple got together or the history so I'm not sure on their trust and responsibilities issues. But it seems a bit over the top scheduling every last minute of the day. The woman has fired a number of nannies already for refusing to stick to her OTT schedules. Seems a bit too much, at least for me anyway. There are other things that bug me about woman as wel and its a lot in such a small amount of pages to dislike the main character to the point of where thinking I need to read more makes my eyes roll.

I just don't see myself really paying much more attention to this one, it's a DNF from me.

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review 2016-11-05 12:29
Audiobook Review: Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti
Deadly Silence: Blood Brothers, Book 1 - Rebecca Zanetti,Hachette Audio,Karen White

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I started listening to both Rebecca Zanetti and Karen White with the Sin Brothers series. I quickly fell in love with the Dean brothers, also known as the Grey Brothers because they all have grey eyes. It was a series about four brothers who were raised in a military style school. They had enhanced abilities and were taught to kill at a young age. The four books follow these boys as grown adults as they continue to fight the group that raised them and find the women of their dreams along the way. It was a great story. Imagine my excitement when I learn that there is going to be a spinoff series.

 

While the Sin Brothers followed the boys raised in a military school, Blood Brothers follows three boys who were raised in a foster home. They are not related and each came to the boys home in a different way. They quickly form a bond. They decide to become blood brothers, as their love is just as much as those brothers who are biologically related. They are now adults and running an investigation agency. They mostly find lost people. Since they are on the search for the sheriff that treated them so poorly as children, they thought it sounds like a business that will allow them to search without raising red flags.

 

Zara Remington is a paralegal for a legal firm in Cisco, Wyoming. She’s on a tough case. A good friend of hers is getting a divorce and it is an ugly one. Add to the fact that the man she is divorcing is the mayor of the town and things get tricky. Zara breaks her legal ethics to help her friend and things go from bad to worse.

 

Ryker Jones has been seeing Zara for a while at the start of this book. It isn’t really dating, more like just the occasional sex thing, when he is in town. They both like it that way. But as things around Zara get more dicey, Ryker and The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency step into help her out and to keep her safe. Ryker, along with his blood brothers Heath and Denver, have great abilities to help keep Zara safe.

 

There is also Greg, another kid that was raised at the compound. He’s looking for his brothers and wants The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency to help him find them. He wants them to find the good doctor from the Sin Brother books. Oh, and the Dean brothers make an appearance. It was great to see them again.

 

This story takes place chronologically after the Sin Brothers books. You could start here if you want. This is a new story, so everything is explained to you. Here’s the thing though, there are some spoilers if you start here, so you have to know that if you go back to read the Sin Brothers, you will have extra information. Also, you will figure things out quicker if you have the information from the original series. I don’t think that would lower the enjoyment of this series at all.

 

If you like romantic suspense, this is a very fun series, along with Sin Brothers. There are some paranormal aspects in that the men in this book are genetically enhanced and have abilities that are not available to the rest of us. Enhanced hearing, increased intelligence and other extra senses. I can’t wait for the next book. I just love the world that Zanetti has built here.

 

Narration

I’m so glad that they got Karen White to do this series. After listening to her narrate the Sin Brothers, it was great to have her back to take us on this journey with Blood Brothers. I like her ability to voice alpha male characters and women characters. The real unique voice in this series is the voice of the “good doctor”. She sounds exactly how I would expect a person like this woman would sound. If you haven’t tried Karen White, I highly recommend her.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/deadly-silence-audiobook-by-rebecca-zanetti-review
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review 2016-10-14 00:03
#Audiobook Review: All I Want by Jill Shalvis
All I Want (Animal Magnetism) - Jill Shalvis,Karen White

After a delay (library hold list), I was finally able to listen to All I Want, the final title in Jill Shalvis's wonderful Animal Magnetism series. This time around, we get the romantic story for Zoe Stone, the eldest Stone sibling. Now that her younger brother (Wyatt) and sister (Darcy) have found love and moved out of the ancestral home they shared, Zoe is feeling a bit lonely, although she would NEVER admit that to anyone. Determined to make her own way, she’s decided to try a few blind dates to find some one-night companionship.

 

When one of Wyatt’s best friends needed an off-the-grid place to relax and recover from a work injury, Wyatt suggested he rent a room from Zoe. And now that he’s staying with her, he can’t stop thinking about how much he wants to get her into his bed. But Parker is hiding a number of secrets, like the fact that he’s not really a park ranger on vacation. The truth is far more dangerous, and Parker knows his stay is only temporary, so he can’t give into his feelings for Zoe.

 

Even though this is the seventh title in the series, Ms. Shalvis has done a good job of keeping each story fresh and unique, while sticking with the small town romance formula that works. All I Want had a bit more edge and suspense to it that previous titles due to the nature of Parker’s undercover work. I enjoyed the added action and mystery solving along side the romance.

 

As for the romance, I really liked Parker and Zoe. They shared an honesty that was touching and much appreciated. In a couple scenes, the raw dialogue was utterly heartbreaking. The author could have easily used Parker’s job and Zoe’s past to keep the pair apart, but the couple works through each bump in the road as friends fighting a strong attraction. In fact, the couple didn’t really hook up until about two-thirds through the book. It created strong sexual tension and gave me a emotional connection to the pair. I liked that the couple got to know one another and build the much needed trust before that acted fully on their lust. It works well for the pair and the story. However, I did have to cringe a little at the volume of sex they did have, once they decided to jump into bed. The sex scenes went on and on, back-to-back for a while there. 

 

I have come to really enjoy Ms. White’s performance in this series. After seven titles, her voices have come to capture all that I know about and enjoy from the folks of Sunshine, Idaho. She adds emotion and uniqueness into each of her characters. Her performance is consistent, solid and entertaining. She has a good range of different female and male voices, only once and a while hearing similarities, but even then, she suits the dialogue to the situation and character.

 

All I Want is another delightful tale in a series about small town romances and a lot of silly/cute animal stories. Zoe and Parker's romance had more of the same great chemistry and formula for success as its predecessors, with just enough differences to not be repetitive. This series has become enjoyable and a comfort - goto type series, especially as read by Karen White. 

 

I can’t help but wonder if the series is truly over since poor Kell still needs to find love. But for now, it’s been a great run.

 

My Rating: B+

Narration: A-

Series: B+

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