Review: Grave Refrain by Sarah M. Glover

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Grave Refrain: A Love/Ghost Story by Sarah M. Glover
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Omnific Publishing Dallas
Pages:  484 pages
Source: ARC from publisher

Andrew Hayes, a brilliant but troubled musician, has been haunted since childhood by memories of his muse. One night from a San Francisco stage, he spots her, but before he can reach her, she vanishes from sight. Desperate to find the woman, he accepts a curious offer to stay in the city, moving into a dilapidated Victorian under going renovations that stir up far more than dust. Andrew’s life soon becomes even more chaotic with the arrival of martini-swilling ghosts and a troupe of flesh-and-blood stoner spiritualists bringing bad tidings from the Great Beyond. The dark side of his obsession creates visions both thrilling and menacing, and as he struggles to solve the mysteries threatening him, Andrew discovers his life is repeating a refrain more deadly than he’d ever imagined. Inspired by the sexy noirs and comedies of the past, Grave Refrain transports the reader to a place where the things that go bump in the night not only thrill you, but might just take your breath away for good.

Review: Ms. Glover’s debut novel is simply riveting. I had my heartstrings pulled and I tended to not want to let go as it spun its magical web around me. I have always wanted an old run down Victorian house, complete with its resident ghosts to renovate. I found the perfect house in this story if only I could find it in real life. Nick and Nora the resident ghosts are just as compelling as the rest of the cast. I wanted to reach out and help them become reunited.

As you get caught up in the renovations, the ghost sightings, the rooftop windows to the stars, dinner, and jazz music, I found myself simply enchanted.

Every good love story is also equipped with great romance. This story has more than its fair share of great romance. Andrew Hayes sexy, brooding tortured soul…guitarist/lead vocals for the band, The Lost Boys, a little like classic group the ‘Doors’. Then there is Andrews’s best friend, bassist, Christian Wood sexy in his own way with his, John Lennon glasses and Irish accent. If there wasn’t enough testosterone as it were you add bohemian drummer Simon Godden imagine if you will, dreadlocks/French accent/from New Orleans, do I need go on. With this explosive combination you have a band that rules the universe, with songs rich in meaning that draw you in and touch your soul.

Okay so I guess every romance has to have another half. Fate has stepped in choosing someone for each of those sexy guys. Heat starts to rise. Andrew has had a muse all his life for his music. Only problem is he has never met her and she has driven him crazy (literally) at times. Into the Skellar walks Emily Thomas, lover of vintage things. Unable to believe he has finally found his muse Andrew rushes off of the stage as Emily exits. We also find that not only has fate brought these two souls together but they are somehow connected to the past.

Emily’s roommate Zoey, artist with funky hair, overalls and well-endowed bosom, knows Simon; they used to go to camp together. They wrote to each other for years, both are only too happy to renew their….ummm…friendship with benefits.

Emily’s other roommate, prim and proper, Dr. Margot…the most level headed of three. Margot tries to keep things in perspective but as we soon find out, things will spiral out of control complicating everything in its path. Margot soon finds herself just as caught up in the romance of things as everyone else.

As ‘The Lost Boys’ strive to make a name for themselves, romance wanting to take its toll and ghosts wanting to be together, along with mystery…surrounded with suspense…this little story has something for everyone.

At every twist and turn in this story I couldn’t help but fall hopelessly in love with the characters. Whether they are forefront in the story or in the background, they are very real bunch that just tug at your heartstrings.

I found myself laughing and crying and wanting very much to go on their adventure to reunite the resident ghosts ‘Nick and Nora”, despite the evil ghosts that want to hinder them from ever finding true love.

I laughed at the fortune teller guys with their van from the sixties, bar, shag rug and plenty of pot. You can imagine this in the Haight Asbury/San Francisco area. At one point, these hilarious pot smoking guys hold a séance, drawing out one mean ghost that jumps first into Simon and then Zoey’s body. How fun, I remembered holding séance’s while in junior high and high school. I think we even had one in college. We used to laugh our…you know what off.

Emily ends up stealing Nora from a moratorium and puts her ashes into a hookah pipe, where at one point they have to keep her safe so she doesn’t get smoked. As things heat up between Andrew and Emily you don’t know if what they feel for each other is real or if they are processed by the romantic spirits of the ghosts that want to be together.

Not wanting to spoil too much of the storyline you will just have to read this incredibly well written story. It is probably the most captivating list of characters and storyline that I have had the chance to read in a very long time. It is fresh and full of warmth and romance that draws you in with each word, each description and each feeling that tumbles from the pages. As you keep turning the pages you find yourself laughing and crying. You begin to believe once again in the magic of romance with the fumbling ways of beginning love and you begin to remember the way it was when you first fell in love. I cherish this book and look forward to much more to come from Ms. Glover along with the next ghost adventure.

You will be spellbound…I am sure of it. I was, finding disappointment as it came to an end or did it?

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