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review 2017-09-21 09:23
I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book
The Shadows - Megan Chance

I went into this book with a little trepidation. Despite normally not doing so, I had managed to stumble across a few of the other Goodreads reviews before I started, and they weren't all glowing. Pacing seemed to be a major concern from a number of reviewers and lack of plot driven excitement. 

Well, I'm happy to say that while the story as a whole was slow, I didn't find it dull. When working with trilogies or series it can be difficult to get the world building and plot driver levels correct to keep your readers engaged and provide the information they need. 

Megan managed to introduce a large cast of characters, each with complex backgrounds in a way that didn't overwhelm the reader, provided teaser information and whetted the appetite for books 2 and 3. 

Complexity of characters was lacking in some of the later introduced characters, but I'm sure they'll be explored in more detail in the next book/s. The main cast had quite a lot of time to unfold their natures to the reader and do so in a manner that I don't really trust yet, but I feel that was the intention. 

It feels to me that Megan will portray a character in a certain way to start, only to have that original idea smashed by some later revelation. This is quite ingenious as it allows for character growth that the reader experiences too.

I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book and long to delve further into the Sidhe and Fianna. 

The biggest blow to this book was the love triangle. I am hoping it is redeemed later in the trilogy, but I'm not holding my breath.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-03-27 00:00
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story - Megan Chance This reminded me of the Victoria Holt novels I devoured when I was 12 or so. But with a dose of smut. Although it was predictable, and the heroine's behavior seemed unlikely, the book was like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with Campbell's tomato soup - not gormet, but comforting.
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review 2015-10-12 10:30
The Visitant blog tour + giveaway
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story - Megan Chance

About The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 22, 2015)

The shadows of Venice have long inspired writers—from Henry James and Thomas Mann to Daphne DuMaurier and Ian McEwan. Now, its Megan Chance’s turn, as the acclaimed novelist takes readers through the alleys and canals of this ageless and mysterious city in her compelling new book, The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story (Lake Union Publishing; September 22, 2015). Part haunted tale, part love story, part mystery, this riveting historical novel explores the truth behind a terrifying reality, as a young American woman, immersed in a strange foreign culture, encounters a world beyond her wildest imaginings. Buried secrets of a tragic past converge, threatening to destroy not just her hopes of redemption, but her very life.


Set in 1884, The Visitant paints an unforgettable portrait of a decaying city and the secrets that lurk in its dark, crumbling corners. Elena Spira has arrived there to take up the duties of nurse to a young epileptic man who has descended to the depths both physically and psychologically. Samuel Farber wants none of Elena’s help as he wallows in a laudanum-triggered haze of hallucinations. Samuel speaks of visits from a spirit, seemingly wild claims that Elena first rejects as drug-fueled. But, the truth is far more sinister. When Samuel’s best friend and host, Nero Basilio, arrives, Elena finds herself drawn to this charming man as he shows her the hidden delights of Venice. But there are dark forces at play—forces that Elena cannot begin to comprehend. Casa Basilio possesses a tragic history, and a ghost whose presence may be driving Samuel to madness.


The Visitant finds Megan Chance working at the peak of her storytelling powers.

“Chance’s Venice is glittering, mysterious, sophisticated…” –The Seattle Times on Inamorata


“…provocative and haunting. Chance’s quietly powerful tale will appeal to fans of well-detailed, mysterious, and romantic historical fiction.” BookList on Bone River




Elina Spira is sent to Venice to take care of Samuel Farber at his friend Nero Basilios palazzo. She has almost ruined her family's reputation and this is a way for her to make amends by nursing Samuel back to health after he was rubbed when he had an epileptic seizure. They start off on the wrong foot immediately, but they soon realize they both have things in common. They are both controlled by their family's and both set to marry someone against their will. Then, Nero arrives and suddenly she who has been sheltered all here life is seeing another side to life. And, she starts to find herself more and more intrigued by Nero. But there seem to be something dark in the palazzo, is the place haunted and is it really seizures that Samuel has, or is there a malicious spirit in the house that is taking over him?

I love the setting of the story. Venice is just such a fantastic city to read about and Megan Chance has really painted a wonderful picture of the city. I found the story interesting to read and I especially loved the paranormal part of it. It just made the story a bit more interesting to read. I usually don't like love triangles, but it worked in this book mostly because it never really felt like a love triangle because Elina never agonized over whom she loved. The story never dwells on that. Instead, both men are part of the process of setting her free from her old life and that is something that the end clearly showed. She has all her life lived a perfect life, until the scandal and by coming to Venice is she trying to set everlasting right again. But she isn't doing that for herself, but for her family. Now she is starting to find herself and perhaps even a different future than her family want.


The one thing with the story that, unfortunately, is my main problem is that the story is too predictable, there is just no twist to the story, there are no real moments of surprise and that is unfortunate since I quite enjoyed the book. I think one main problem for me was that I was never really taken in by Nero. I always liked Samuel more, he was just a much more interesting character with his epilepsy and his family's need for him to marry someone with the right name. So, I was never truly moved with the ending. But still I liked the very last chapter, and I would like a sequel to this book. I would love to see what's next for Elina.


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About Megan Chance

Megan Chance is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of historical fiction, including Inamorata, Bone River, and City of Ash. Her novels have been chosen for the Borders Original Voices and Book Sense programs. A former television news photographer and graduate of Western Washington University, Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.







Connect with Megan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Megan Chance’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, September 21st: Bookish Whimsy

Tuesday, September 22nd: FictionZeal

Tuesday, September 22nd: Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, September 23rd: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Thursday, September 24th: Kissin’ Blue Karen

Friday, September 25th: Walking with Nora

Monday, September 28th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Tuesday, September 29th: Savvy Verse and Wit

Wednesday, September 30th: Vox Libris

Monday, October 5th: Kahakai Kitchen

Tuesday, October 6th: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, October 7th: Mom in Love with Fiction

Thursday, October 8th: Bibliotica

Friday, October 9th: Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, October 12th: It’s a Mad Mad World

Tuesday, October 13th: From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, October 14th: Books a la Mode – author guest post

Thursday, October 15th: Mom’s Small Victories

Date TBD: Romantic Historical Reviews



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review 2015-09-24 23:05
The Visitant
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story - Megan Chance

Elena Spira is sent to a decaying palazzo in Venice to take care of an ailing but rich epilepsy patient, Samuel Faber.  This banishment is Elena’s punishment and possible redemption after Elena makes a mistake with a patient at her father’s asylum.  If she is able to rehabilitate Samuel in time for his wedding, Elena’s favor will be restored and her father will receive his own asylum from Samuel’s father.  When Elena arrives, she is not exactly welcomed by the staff, Madame Basilio or her patient.  Elena tries her best with Samuel, but it seems as if another force has a hold on him besides epilepsy.  As Elena learns more about the fate of the house from Nero Basilio, she begins to believe that a ghost might be responsible for Samuel’s torment.

I absolutely love Megan Chance’s blend of historical fiction, the supernatural and mystery.  From the very beginning when Elena sets foot into the gloomy Ca’ Basilio the scene is set to be ominous and treacherous, but in the otherwise beautiful city of Venice.  The multiple mysteries layered together dragged me in farther, what is Elena running from?  Is there really a spirit in Ca’Basilio? What are Samuel and Nero and Madame Basilio hiding from?  Each of the characters are masterfully drawn, each with their own tragedy that just made me like them even more.  The supernatural aspect was artfully woven in, with hints here and there and a huge surprise as to what the spirit wanted out of all of the madness that it had created.  When it was all over with, I felt that it was too soon to leave these characters and I really wanted to know more of their journey, but that is truly my only complaint.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2015-09-22 16:49
from FictionZeal.com re: The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story - Megan Chance

Have you ever had an idea of what something might be like but then it’s totally different?  It was November 1884, and Elena Spires had been traveling for two weeks.  When the reader first meets her, she’s in Venice on a gondola.  When the gondolier stops before the Ca’ Basillo, she observes, “the three-story palazzo was white stone, and so ruined I thought perhaps the gondolier had got it wrong.  No one could possibly live here.”  She finds the housekeeper, Giulia, most unwelcoming.

Elena had been sent by her father from New York to nurse Samuel Farber back to health after he’d been badly beaten – then to return him to New York where he is betrothed to be married in January.  His friend, Nero Basillo, allowed him to stay at the palazzo as long as he needed to recuperate.  It doesn’t take Elena long to feel that things are amiss, like she is being watched.  She observes the strange waking dreams Samuel has of an angel.  Elena believes he is hallucinating until she also begins to see something … but what?

It’s a wonderful story but I felt it was just a bit drawn out.  Elena is a very appealing character with a bit of naivety and I could feel her frustration as she was trying to tend to Samuel Farber’s needs without an ounce of help from anyone.  Even the ‘not so nice’ characters were believable and well-defined.  The author uses wonderful imagery of the scenes so that the reader can practically imagine him or herself there.  Rating: 4 out of  5.

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