Based in her fictional town, Peacock, Mississippi, author Ashley Hastings brings you a little suspense along with a little history in her new romance, THE ART OF GHOSTING. Alice won’t be tied down and James lives for no-strings hookups but when they find a 100-year olf journal they both to fall in love alongside the journal’s writer. Fans of strong heroines, historical elements will adore this small town, suspenseful yet humorous hot and sexy romance.
Welcome to my stop on the release tour for the latest by Ashley Hastings, The Art of Ghosting! This is my second time reading a novel from this author, although I must admit, I didn’t make the connection until I had finished reading. This novel is about two commitment-phobes, James and Alice. James is a real-estate developer in the small town of Peacock and Alice is a traveling nurse that comes to town for her aunt’s funeral and to deal with the house that was left to her. Originally planning to fix up and sell the house so that she can move on to her next job, Alice finds herself captivated by James, the charming and mysterious old house, and the diary she finds hidden in the wall, belonging to a girl named Willow. As James and Alice work on the house and read Willow’s diary, they struggle to fight the connection between them and become completely captivated by Willow’s story and the home’s history.
James and Alice start the story as two people only interested in sex with no strings attached and I loved watching the draw between them and how their outlooks towards love and relationship changed as the story progressed. But the best part of this novel was Willow’s diary and watching her grow from a teenage girl into a young woman intellectually, sexually, and emotionally. Her and Kirby’s story was addicting and I found myself anticipating reading more from the diary right along with Alice and James. The author’s characterization was incredible and her writing made it seem as if I could hear Willow’s voice and feel her emotions on more than one occasion.
The house that Alice’s aunt Rose left for her was almost a character itself. Hastings’ descriptions of the home were so vivid and intricate that it seemed as if it were a living, breathing entity all on its own. It took me back to my grandmother’s house when I was growing up, with all of its secret nooks and crannies that gave it so much charm! While reading this story and rooting for the couples to find their happily-ever-afters, I also found myself rooting for this old, beautiful house and hoping that a family would make it their home.
The Art of Ghosting has some mystery, humor, romance, and sadness all intertwined within one book. I loved the blend of genres and themes and found this to be a complete page-turner. If you love romance with a dash of historical coming-of-age and suspense, then this should definitely be your next read.
*Thanks to the author and ForeverWrite PR for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
No harm in making it an actual date, right?
I would take her out for dinner, and we could share a good bottle of wine and even better conversation. I
So what that I was deviating from my usual routine. Yes, I trolled bars and looked for the easy hookup, no
But that was okay. Was there really a problem with becoming friends before we had sex? I would be clear
I took about two minutes to unpack, which consisted of throwing my folded clothes into the dresser and
Right now, I had a woman to woo.
After stopping at my truck to grab my toolbox, I walked back to the main house and let myself in, making a
I was surprised to see Alice on all fours at the entrance to the closet underneath the stairs. I took a
“Oh!” Alice got to her feet in a hurry. “You snuck up on me. I’m trying to get Sharpie to come out of hiding.”
“I forgot he was in here.” I crossed over to where she stood and peered into the closet. “I don’t see him.”
“He ran in here a minute ago, and I think he might actually be in the wall. See that little panel?” Alice
She leaned into me, trying to get a better look in the gloomy basement. My brain promptly short-circuited
Shaking it off, I reached in the toolbox for my flashlight and switched it on. I illuminated the dark corner of
Alice held out her hand, and Sharpie slowly advanced, finally giving in to head butt her outstretched hand. His purr filled the closet.
Alice rubbed his head. “Does that feel good, Little Sir?”
I bet it did.
“This is an odd place for an access panel. I mean, it’s so low to the ground.” I was mostly talking to myself, but Alice nodded.
“Yeah. And it’s kind of hidden. If it were closed, I don’t think I would even realize it was here.” She pulled
I leaned in further and shone the flashlight deeper into the panel opening. Still seeing nothing of interest, I
Alice stopped me with one dainty hand on my arm. “Wait! What was that?”
Alice fished her hand around, out of my view, and pulled out a small cloth bundle with a triumphant flourish.
We stepped out of the cramped closet, and Alice unwrapped her find. We stared at a small, leather book
Alice opened the old book with care. Scrawled on the first page with a feminine hand were the words,
“Holy shit.” I scratched the stubble on my chin with one hand, still looking at the diary.
Alice did a little happy dance. “Willow must have lived in the house and hid her diary here. This is so
Fuck, she was adorable.
We sat down on the stairs together, and Sharpie sat a few steps above us, spread his legs, and started
Alice turned the page with extreme care, and her eagerness to read the secret thoughts of a teenager
“So, let me guess. She’s going to ramble on and on about petticoats and ribbons or some shit.” I rolled
Alice punched me in the arm. “Hush! Let me read.”
I was ready for any excuse to spend time with Alice, so I shut my mouth and listened.