The Forgotten Cottage by Helen Phifer

Poor Annie Graham! As if she hasn’t been through enough, dealing with a serial killer and a shadow man, she’s really put through the mill this time. It seems that she’s under attack from just about every angle. I felt exhausted just reading it!
Annie and her fiance, Will, are finally going to get married. Annie has a man who adores her, prospective in-laws who think the world of her, the wedding dress of her dreams, and to top it all off, Will has found them the most perfect little cottage in the country. Okay, it’s a renovation project, as it hasn’t been lived in for twenty years, but Annie’s always up for a challenge, and she can’t wait to get started, turning the cottage into the dream home that will be just right for the family she so desperately hopes she and Will will have one day.
Except…The cottage, it seems, already has an occupant. And she’s not happy that Annie is moving in. As Annie’s nightmares become increasingly vivid, she begins to realise that she’s in danger. And this time, she’s not the only one under threat.
Will’s father has a secret, and it’s about to be brought out into the open in a truly explosive fashion. Will – already reeling from recent events – isn’t prepared, and before long, he’s in deep trouble.
And somewhere, in what should be a place of safety, an old adversary is making plans. He has a new friend, and between them, they have some dangerous ideas. There is some unfinished business, and Annie’s enemy is determined to put an end to it.
Will and Annie are facing so many threats. Can they possibly come through and make it to the altar? Or, this time, is the danger they are in too strong, even for them?
Wow, this book was non-stop action! Annie and Will had the lot hurled at them, and the sense of menace grew as the book progressed. I really enjoyed reading about the normal, everyday stuff in their lives. Preparing for the wedding, finding a home that they wanted to live in, hanging out with family and friends. Of course, you know when you read about Annie Graham, that the normal stuff isn’t going to last very long, and sure enough, you quickly realise that all is not as it seems. Actually, with this book, the action starts on the first page, when Annie’s dreams foreshadow the danger ahead.
I love the way the book cuts to the eighteenth century, so we see the story of Betsy Baker unfolding. She is one scary spook! Also, the present-day threats are interspersed throughout the story, so the pace of the book never flags. On the contrary, it is fast paced and leaves you quite breathless. While two of the storylines are tied up at the end of the book, one remains open, heralding the fact that, in book four, Annie and Will may find themselves in even greater peril. I can’t wait to read The Lake House and find out what happens next!
Helen Phifer is a great storyteller, and the Annie Graham series is totally gripping. Although this is the third in the series, it can be read as a standalone, though why miss out? The Ghost House and The Secrets of the Shadows are just as good! 5/5

You can buy The Forgotten Cottage here.forgotten cottage

Something Wicked by Louise Marley

I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic novella by Louise Marley. Having previously read Breathless by the same author, I was looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. It was a really gripping read, and, although fairly short, it really drew me in and kept me guessing right till the end.

Kat has been through a terrible ordeal, having nearly drowned, washed up on a beach and almost given up for dead by the people who found her. Eight years on, she has no memory of what happened that night, or how she ended up on the sands, barely alive.

She is married to Jake Davenport, a writer who barely seems to notice her. When her aunt dies she inherits Raven’s Cottage in the village of Buckley, although Kat can’t imagine why it was left to her. There’s something special about Raven’s Cottage. Not only is it also a bookshop and cafe, but it was once the home of the legendary Magik Meg, a witch who apparently drowned, and whose ghost is reportedly haunting the area.

Taking the opportunity that has now presented itself, Kat takes her husband’s beloved cat, Mister Snuffles, and leaves Jake, heading to Buckley in the hope of starting a new life…or at least, hoping Jake will notice she’s gone and maybe do something about it. Upon her arrival at the cottage, she meets Chris Buckley, a police officer, whose family once owned the local manor house. He tells her there have been reports of lights in the cottage, and tells her to be careful. Kat, already feeling vulnerable and unwanted by Jake, is flattered by his attentions and not a little drawn to him.

Before long, she is running the cafe and bookshop and settling into the village, determined to put her marriage behind her, and it seems Chris is all too willing to help her do that. But strange things start to happen, and Kat begins to wonder if the legends about Magik Meg could possibly be true. Is the cottage haunted by her spirit? And what is it that Kat needs to remember?

When Jake turns up to sort out their marriage, Kat’s confusion grows. And when she makes a discovery about her husband, her bewilderment turns to fear. Who can she trust? As her memories start to flood back, she realises her life is in real danger, all over again…

This book is so easy to read, and really gripped me from the start. I couldn’t possibly give it anything less than five stars. I look forward to my next Louise Marley story.

5/5

Buy Something Wicked here

51xeKAPhSyL._AA160_