Hey there, slipping this review in before I post more on SUCCUBUS BLUES and Richelle Mead, my FAB pick for this month. I just finished this book, so I thought I'd get this done right away, kind of a nice change ;). Before I start to dish though, I just want to remind everyone to take a minute and enter this months contest, you can view the details here. And then, for my secondary contest, the "guess my two favorite Cusak movies", I'll tell you that one of the guesses made is correct. And that in the other movie, he is looking for one very specific used book. And this is a quote (though not exact) "Quit saying that or I will cut you!" There, it's all so much clearer now, isn't it? And now, without further ado...
A Babe In Ghostland by Lisa Cach
Megan Barrows has retired from a brief career as a ghost-busting psychic and now uses her sixth sense to fill her Seattle antiques store with objects with happy pasts. after once nearly having the soul sucked out of her by a malevolent spirit, she prefers a quiet life.
Case Lambert is a real estate prospector who restores old houses, then sells them for profit. He has just bought a dilapidated mansion so amazing that he wants to keep it for himself, but the house appears to be haunted. Seriously haunted. A few inquiries lead him to Megan Barrows.
Megan at first refuses to help, but Case is a master of persuasion. Moving into the mansion, they discover that one of the ghosts has a thing for Case - and there may be even more amorous spirits inside this veritable paranormal vortex. But it soon becomes clear that no one - dead or alive - can stop Megan and Case from ending up in each other's arms...
Let me just start by telling you that I have never read Cach before. I bought the book for two reason, the cover (I like cutesty covers) and the BCC. Believe it or not, I have become a victim of my own BCC obsession. It's just sick. According to the front cover, Cach is one of those "National Bestselling author(that I've never hear of before)of..." I was talking about yesterday. And A Babe is exactly the kind of book I was talking about. The book that draws you in with it's cute cover, intriguing BCC, and written by a bestselling author. The book that, once you've read it, makes you realize you just made a bad bet and lost the gamble. The book that deceives the reader with pretty covers and snappy cover copy.
Usually at this point, I'm dishing about the contents of the book, but the BCC does a far better job than I could, because frankly, I had to refer to it to figure out what the heck was going on. The entire first half of the book, from Chapter 1, I was lost. I kept thinking that I must be reading book 2 in a series, but alas, I wasn't. Cach keeps referring to some BIG BAD that had happened to Megan previously, and the way in which she does it, feels much like a reference to another book. It isn't until about half-way through the book that I found out what the heck had happened the last time Megan went head to head against an evil spirit, heck, just finding out exactly what Megan did took a while to figure out. I love a mystery as much as the next girl, but not when it is about something as essential to the story as Megan's "gift" is.
Megan Barrows and Case Lambert have got to be two of the most unlikable characters to ever grace the pages of a book I've read. And unfortunately, I find myself actually needing to, oh, I don't know, like the people the story is about. "Sarcasm was the defense of the weak..." Hello! I use sarcasm, and I don't appreciate being referred to as weak, nor do I think many of the people I know, who also use sarcasm, would like being referred to as such. That one statement alone made me dislike Megan, add to that her constant personality changes throughout the book, and she was pretty much nonredeemable.
Case was the same way, he kept saying he didn't believe in psychics or ghosts, yet many of his actions and words contradicted that. Add to that the fact that he was nothing more than a horny butt hole, and I wanted him to end up in lonely hearts ville. On page 27, he is picking Megan up to take her to the house so she could give her impression, and keep in mind here they had only met that morning, and Case thinks this - "If he were honest with himself, the question he truly wanted answered was whether or not the two of them would end up in bed tonight. He didn't think she'd be in the car with him now...if that thought wasn't also on her mind." I stopped immediately at that point, the man's house is being haunted, enough to scare even this so-called-hard-core disbeliever into getting a psychics help, and he's thinking about banging her within 12 hours of meeting her? Slimeball.
The book could have been saved, if Cach would have cut out all Romance plot points and stuck with the haunting business. There are actually a few parts, where they are dealing with the hauntings, that the book is really good. Very dark and intense. But Cach insisted on trying to make this a Romance, and it clearly wasn't a good match. The POV's were choppy and the characters unlikable, I say, if you must read it, (and sex scenes and the few haunting scenes I mentioned make for some good reading), see if you can get it at the library, or a UBS. I won't be looking for anymore of Cach's work, although reading through some of the excerpts and blurbs on her site, a couple of them sound promising, I was too disappointed with her loose grasp of craft and plotting.