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review 2017-06-10 18:45
The Guests on South Battery by Karen White
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White

New York Times bestselling author Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away...

 

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....

 
**********

The Guests on South Battery is the first book I have read by Karen White. Since I love paranormal stories and the American South did this book seem very promising. I also was curious to read something by Karen White, to see if her books were my cup of tea. And, I can say after this book that it worked on some levels, but it also had for me some flaws that I had problems with.

Let's start with the good things about the book. I loved the setting and the idea of the story. Old houses, ghosts, a mystery ready to be solved and family rivalry. That was great. Many of the supporting characters were quite nice, I especially liked Sophie. I think that's because we share a love for old houses. And, Melanie's mother Ginny is pretty cool. And, at first, Melanie was not so bad herself. However, and here come some things that bothered me, and it all started with Melanie. I love quirky characters, but Melanie's OCD was more annoying than quirky. I have battled my own OCD (Still do in some way) and I feel that I perhaps should have some sympathies. But, it was, to be honest mostly annoying to read about her control issues. I think she has a lot of issues she should deal with to let go of her anxiety. As my fellow buddy reader wrote about her when she discussed the boo: "she's a bit uptight". Spot on that was my thought as well while reading the book.

However, I did in some way enjoy the book, but the plot was extremely predictable. Not surprised me since I had already predicted what would happen. Or perhaps I'm just psychic? I did like the cliffhanger ending, and I have the first book in the series so I will definitely read more by the author, despite my problems with the book. However, I do hope the next book I will read will be more to my liking.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! 
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review 2017-04-08 01:21
Slightly South of Simple: A Novel (The Peachtree Bluff Series) - Kristy Woodson Harvey

I absolutely loved this book. I was so wrapped up in the lives of Ansley and her three daughters. All of them coming back home to live with her. Caroline, pregnant, with a nine year old daughter and a husband who is dating a supermodel on a reality TV show, no less. Sloane who has 2 young boys and whose husband is deployed overseas. And, last is Emerson who is the actress and the youngest who is filming a movie in Georgia near her mother's house. Emerson is also unmarried. So all the girls are back home again.

I read this book over a week ago and am still finding myself smiling and remembering these women and this book. I was not ready to let these characters go when I was finished with the story. The author did such a great job creating them. They truly felt like real people.

This was my first book by this author and it will not be my last.

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold Books for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-09 18:47
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street #5) by Karen White
The Guests on South Battery (Tradd Street) - Karen White

Karen White did not let me down with this the 5th book in the Tradd Street Series. I love how well this series is written. How as she adds new characters she keeps the old ones the same. I love love love the ghosts. Ghosts are my favorite form of the paranormal genre. I also love the mystery she adds to each of the Tradd Street books.

In this book Melanie is going back to work after her marriage to Jack and the birth of their twins. Her first client on her first day has inherited and old house from someone she has never met.

Jayne Smith has no desire to own much less live in the old house so she sees Melanie to help her sell the house and to find her a new modern house. She is also looking for a job as a Nanny and Melanie just happens to be looking for one for the twins.

Melanie, Jayne and others go to the old hour to decide what to do with it. What needs to be fixed, what needs to be tossed, and what needs to be kept. The Cat is the first thing that needs to go. Melanie and Jayne see the cat but no one else does. The cat is just the first ghost that appears. Melanie during her pregnancy lost her ability to see ghosts but now that sh is no longer pregnant the sight is slowly coming back, but she still feels at times a curtain has been pulled down. So she also asks her mother for help.

I did have some idea as to how the story was going to end early int he book was was still surprised about a few things they uncovered later in the story. I really like Karen Whites writing style and as long as she writes the Tradd Street Series I will greedily grabbing up her books.

I did listen to this books audio version. I was driving home from my Daughter's by myself. It is an 8 hour trip and Melanie and the gang kept me company and entertained the whole way. Definitely made the trip go a lot faster.

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review 2017-02-11 21:58
Pippi in the South Seas - Astrid Lindgren

I prefer the second book to this one, but it was alright. It didn't seem at all familiar to me, so I don't think I ever got around to reading this one even though I own it. It's slightly uncomfortable at times with the way they refer to the natives of the island... And Tommy can be quite the bully to his sister sometimes! Also, there's a girl called Moana. :)

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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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