The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton
Get the book: Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness.
When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse–that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian.
Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that would mean letting him go forever and she’s not sure she is strong enough to do that. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, the malevolent spirit of the woman who killed Ian returns and she’ll stop at nothing to keep Riley from helping Ian find eternal peace.
Design – Kimberly Killion Photo – Caroline Zenker Rating – 2/5
The cover doesn’t make me think this is paranormal at all. It looks like a moody contemporary novel. The photo is nothing special, but it isn’t bad either. I do really like the title font and overall color scheme though. This cover is miles ahead of most other self-published covers.
So this is a free ebook at Amazon. I was pretty interested based on the summary, so of course I downloaded it. I thought it was decent and the twist at the end has me curious about the 2nd book, although I’m not sure I’ll read it because there are sooo many books on my TBR list. Honestly, I wavered between rating this one 2 or 3 Robots, so I would pick it up if you’re in the mood for a paranormal romance with some light action.
- Miss Akin – The family’s caretaker is caring and perceptive. Of course, her character wouldn’t be necessary if Riley’s dad was around more, but he was conveniently absent – like most parents in paranormal YA. She serves as a confidant and mentor for Riley. It’s a little convenient that Miss Akin happens to fully believe in ghosts and that people can see them, but overall she was a mother figure for Riley.
- Scotland – The setting was great, and it was nice to read about the main character being somewhere new.
- action – My favorite parts were when Laria threw her powers around. The action was more entertaining and exciting than the romance. The most interesting scenes were those in which Riley took action – like when she snuck into the old castle, or when a dare resulted in her being locked in a mausoleum at night.
- quick romance – The romance developed too quickly for my taste. Why does Ian like Riley? Because she’s the first person he’s talked to in centuries? There wasn’t really any evidence that he like her for any other reasons. Does Riley only like Ian because he’s hot? I know they connected over deeper things like Riley’s guilt over her mom’s accident, and that he protected her and she trusted him, but it all happened pretty fast.
- confusion – I struggled to understand why and how Riley could both walk through and hug / make out with ghosts. There was something about ghosts appearing solid, then fading slowly after a while, but it was a bit confusing. I was also a little confused by the flashbacks involving weird black magic rituals.
- Laria’s motive – So, if there’s no actual romantic history between Laria and Ian, then why did she kill him in the first place? It is what the entire plot is based on, so it has to be solid, but it’s a big question mark.
- Riley – Ok, so Riley was relatable because of her survivor’s guilt and her self-harm. But I didn’t like how she wavered between “I need to help Ian break the curse and free him” and “I love Ian so if I help him I’m going to be soooo upset and miss him so much.” Plus, she really had no special traits other than seeing ghosts.
- plot – I wish this was less of a love story and more of an action-y kick some evil ghost butt story. The parts when Riley and Laria faced off were probably the best.
- “You dreamt about me?” His voice held an arrogant edge that had me rolling my eyes. “Yes, and you jumped off a cliff.” He placed a long-fingered hand flat against his chest. “Ouch, lass.” – Riley + Ian pg. 112
- I began to move again, and this time I was thrust hard against the far wall, and then I began sliding downward, face first. My hair touched the floor, and I put my hands out in case she dropped me on my head, but a second later I was sliding back up the wall, toward the ceiling again. I felt the cool draft from the window and wondered for a horrifying moment if she’d thrust me out the window and hurdling to my death. – Riley + Laria pg. 202
Acquired: Free ebook