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Saturday, February 21, 2009


I read this book and another book by Toni LoTempio and loved both of them. The other one I read was a romance called "Nom de Plume". I think that she does a consistently wonderful job and is a very talented woman.

Charity Jordan is a woman with quite the past. She is the head writer for a soap opera and going about her life in a normal fashion. When her soap opera takes a gothic twist, she finds herself back in her home town of Bender’s Crook to film. Trying hard to forget her past, Charity is forced to remember the day that her sister died, falling off of a cliff, while Charity lay unconscious.
Using the old Manor House as the place to film their soap opera, Charity and her cast explore the house only to find a big portrait of a woman named Estelle dela Bordeaux, a witch who was burned at the stake 300 years ago. Freaked out that she looks exactly like her, Charity starts to have odd flash backs and to hear voices. She starts to have visions of the night that Estelle was burned alive and the promise for vengeance on all who helped kill her.
As the days wear on, strange things start to happen to Charity and her cast. She feels as though Estelle is trying to take over her soul to complete her vengeance on the descendants of those involved in her death 300 years ago. Slowly but steadily cast members start to disappear and some even show up dead. Who is it that is killing them? Has Estelle really come back after all this time to seek her revenge?
I found this story to be both wonderful and frustrating. I really liked the plot line. I enjoyed the depth of the story and the twists and turns that were involved. I think that Toni LoTempio did a marvelous job at using her creativity to create a wonderful story unlike no other.
What I found a bit frustrating was the fact that I felt unable to get close to any of the characters. At first I would get close to one, thinking they were intended to be one of the main characters, and then they would die. So I would then proceed to get close to another character, thinking maybe they were the underdog and would last throughout the story; then they would die. I kept doing this until I realized there was almost no one left. I think that the story would have had greater impact on its readers if one of the characters could have stuck around so that we could really get to know them; instead new characters kept being introduced. The only character I can think of that stayed the same throughout was the police chief, but he was not a likable character because he doubted everything going on the entire time, so I felt he was not very important.
Other than that one small glitch I got caught up on, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the story and really liking the ending. I think that Toni LoTempio has set it up so that she can continue with this plot line and create at least one other book with it. I would recommend this to any reader who enjoys a good super natural thriller. I would not recommend this to horror story lovers who like the blood and gore because although characters died in very creepy, creative ways, the details of the blood and gore were amiss.

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