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Nine Steps to Sara
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Nine Steps to Sara

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  460 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
When single mom Sara Darling inherits an estate in the remote English countryside, she jumps at the chance to become Lady of the Manor. With 8 year old son Jack and best friend Joanie in tow, they explore the nearly deserted mansion, isolated from the rest of the world except for the nearby village where everybody seems to know her business. Distracted by the charming chau ...more
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published June 27th 2012 by Lisa Olsen
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This book is the one secret dream where the American girl finds out she's really an English noble and goes back to claim her inheritance, which includes a haunted mansion and a hot dude who's scheming. She displays the typical ignorant characteristics where she listens to a bunch of strangers over her friend, cannot see the obvious truth in front of her face and falls for the aforementioned hot dude way too fast with very little reason to. Well, I guess that is understandable; she comes off as r ...more
Oct 10, 2012 Christina rated it did not like it
Alright. I just finished the book and the only real comment I have is...what is the whole ending, or lack thereof, about? I don't understand the purpose of the Nine, nor do I understand what exactly was going on. No history was offered with respect to the twist.

This book was honestly really about the protagonist and her love interest. Seriously. It was a lot of narrative about the two flirting back and forth and not much else. By the time the story starts unraveling, one starts to feel as if th
Gwen Haaland
Oct 07, 2012 Gwen Haaland rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Holds the dubious distinction of being one of the worst books I have ever read! I would have abandoned early on if it had not been "assigned" by one of my book clubs. What a joke that it had sounded somewhat interesting in the review.
This novel was so poorly written and conceived that I was actually laughing while reading the very silly dialogue, filled with cliches. The premise was totally not credible! Cartoon-like story with cardboard characters. Earned one star in my book, then just before t
Feb 08, 2017 Mazmum rated it liked it
If you are reading this expecting a super creepy ghost story, then back away because that isn't what you get.

Yes it does feature an old estate, with it's very own ghost but the main part of the story is about Sara who inherits the estate, the alleged curse and everyone around her who comes to help her and protect Jack.

I did find some of the language used strange and a bit off for something written in modern times, almost like the entire estate was stuck in a different era, but I would have expec
Oct 23, 2012 Michelle rated it it was ok
This book had the potential to be really special. There were some plot points and some characters that I found delightful and charming, but in the end it had some major flaws that I just could not get past.

Sara Darling is living the dream when she discovers that she is now heir to the Darling family estate in England. While the estate is in a bit of disrepair, she is excited to fix things up and make a life in the English countryside with her son. Of course, it doesn't hurt when the handsome an
Oct 31, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok
I loved the premise of this book but was immediately put off by the lack of character development and choppy/campy/silly dialogue between them (at times it was hard to get past it was so ridiculous!). I was frustrated with Sara's constant acceptance of everything, including Will, whom she just falls for in a matter of days/weeks with no idea who he is...and she never gave it another thought why someone who has suddenly been given the title as Lady of a manor would be "allowed" happily to "date" ...more
Dierdra Byrd
Jul 14, 2013 Dierdra Byrd rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This was so frustrating to read! This should be labeled more as a romance, not a ghost story. I did not know it was possible to make a ghost boring, but Olsen managed quite well.
The unintresting and undevloped charcters left me bored and rolling my eyes. Speaking of rolling my eyes, "an eye roll was given" just does not flow well. Have you ever heard of show, not tell. This book never brings you into the story at all.
The dialog was just stupid most of the time, I kept wondering who would ever ta
Doug Cornelius
Oct 08, 2012 Doug Cornelius rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2012
I should have lowered my expectations. The description sounded interesting, an eerie ghost tale with a plucky heroine and her precocious son. There is a good book idea in there but it fails to come to fruition. There is a reason it is free on the kindle.

The characters are flat and poorly written. The story is not eerie and only mildly interesting. Most of the book is just the characters talking at each other.
Jun 29, 2012 Greenemage rated it it was amazing
I've been eagerly anticipating this book since the author first announced it and it definitely didn't disappoint... First off, who wouldn't want to be in Sara's shoes and and inherit a freaking mansion! The characters were great, the ghosts creepy, and the setting was perfect. Just when I thought I knew how it was going to end it completely caught me by surprise! Another great story by Lisa Olsen.
Oct 11, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok
I don't know how this book got so many 5 star ratings on Amazon. Maybe I am not the target audience for this book...even though mystery and romance are some of my favorite books to read. Oh well. It was just ok for me.
Suleika Santana -All About Books
I enjoyed the story although it was a bit slow for me. Good characters and good story line. I was glad the author didn't make Will a villain because I would have been mad for sure. The ghost aspect was interesting and I liked how the conflict was resolved.
Mar 02, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It was an easy read, it is not a spectacular classic novel but it was good. I needed an easy romance and this book delivered!
Jun 30, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it
This was a great book. Lisa Olsen is on my my must read list.
Oct 04, 2012 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I was a little disappointed with the ending of this novel. I felt like I never really understood who or what was trying to hurt Jack and why.
Matt Schiariti
Nov 27, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it liked it
Sara Darling, divorced, single mother to 8 year old Jack, is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. She's just inherited a grand mansion in the English countryside, and she's to become the Lady of the Manor. Along with her son and her irreverent best friend, Joanie, they uproot their lives in L.A. and fly straight to England to see just what being royalty is all about. They'll encounter the local village folk who are ecstatic to finally have a proper Darling in the halls of Darling park. ...more
S. Wideman
Jul 18, 2013 S. Wideman rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It had some problems, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. Our story is about American Sara Darling, who finds out she's the heiress of a fantastic British fortune. Needing to make a new life for herself and her son, she flies out to see the ancestral home. Along the way, she meets Will (who is handsome and seems to like her), the formidible Mrs Poole (the housekeeper), and the shy maid Katie. Oh, and the ghost of Gemma Darling, her ancestress.

At first, things seem okay t
Sep 05, 2015 Tracy rated it liked it
***I own a copy of this book. All thoughts are 100% my own.***
When we meet Sara, she, her best friend, and her son are headed to their new home in a remote English village Apparently, Sara’s son is the only remaining male heir to an English Baronet. Everything seems quaint and picturesque until some strange goings on happen. In all the craziness, Sara finds herself relying on Will, the local jack-of-all-trades. Will makes himself indispensable to her.
I’m going to stop there with the description.
Vicki Scullion
Jun 16, 2013 Vicki Scullion rated it it was ok
The premise of this book was interesting, but unfortunately, the setting, plot, and character development didn't deliver. Right from the beginning, I found myself unsure of what time period the story was taking place. As an American, I guess I have the preconceived notion that the only English estates that still have a proper housekeeper, gardener, et al, belong to the Queen. Are there still Brits who live like this, insisting on keeping the class distinctions as they are in the Downton Abbey te ...more
A.B. Shepherd
Sep 04, 2013 A.B. Shepherd rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars (rounded up to 4)

This is pretty much a modern take on the classic gothic novel. So the premise of the story is that Sara and her eight year old son Jack inherit a huge estate and Royal title from some long lost relative in England. She ups stakes and moves there to collect dragging her BFF Joanie along for the ride.

She arrives to find that the estate is quite delapidated, but there is plenty of dough to fix it up and to live high on the hog while doing it. Only proviso is that she h
This was a really fun read. Was it great work of literature? No, but sometimes you just want a fun little romp and this certainly delivered. With an air of the slightly gothic (i.e lots of atmosphere, little actual horror), this story centers around a newly divorced American whose son has inherited a vast and somewhat creepy estate in England. As he is still a minor, she is now the regent of the estate. Sara can be a bit of a twit (giggling madly about her new gentleman friend), but overall she’ ...more
Candy Tyrell
Aug 31, 2016 Candy Tyrell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense
I think I liked this book because I had absolutely no expectations going into it. I got it as a free book off of Amazon and liked the cover. I have never read anything by Lisa Olsen before. I liked Sara and I liked her relationship with the chauffeur Will. The son was a little weird but he was not in much of the book so it was ok. Her supposed best friend is a horrible person and annoyed me. I liked the creepy housekeeper and was ok with the other characters in general. I agree with other review ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
American, Sara Darling has just inherited an estate in England and is now a millionaire. To recieve Darling Park she must sign a contract to make it her permanent home with her 8 year old son Jack. Upon arriving, she is ecstatic over the size of the estate, but something this steeped in history is surely haunted right? Correct, Jack is talking to an old lady only he can see, and Sara keeps hearing strange noises in the night. But it seems there is something more sinister at work here than just a ...more
Jan Lewis
Jan 21, 2016 Jan Lewis rated it liked it
This was an ok read. Sara, newly divorced, and her son inherit a large estate and move to England. Within days of her arrival, she begins to receive mysterious messages about the safety of her son, learns the house is haunted, and her friend, who has traveled to England with her, is injured in several strange accidents. In all of this, Sara doesn't seem to mind, just accepts it with a "Que Sera" attitude. She falls in love with a man hired to be her chauffeur, but never seems to question much of ...more
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it really liked it

Prepare to be whisked away to an England that isn't quite so jolly as Sara's been lead to believe. Newly minted Lady Sara Darling has just gotten the news of a lifetime; she's inherited a lavish country estate in the south of England. It's no surprise when things aren't all as they seem, and soon they've got all the earmarks of a genuine haunted mansion. Instead of heading for the hills, plucky Sara decides to find out more about the ghostly relative who haunts the halls of Darling Park, invisi

Jun 18, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing

I haven't read a ghost story in years and thought I would take a chance with this. So glad I did, I loved it.

Beautifully written, relatable characters, wonderfully atmospheric and I was instantly transported in to the heart of the story as if I was actually there.

The story itself unfolds with a mix of romance and the spectre of the unexplained. Sara and Jacks good fortune sets in place a chain reaction of events changing their life as they knew it in more ways than one.

Lisa builds layer
Oct 22, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
This was, overall, a very good book. While some of the supporting characters were a bit annoying, there was a great storyline and just the right amount of creepiness. Although, I'm confused as to how some readers still don't understand what the "Nine" refers to. I thought the writer did a great job of letting you know what they were without having to completely spell it out. And really, it doesn't matter if the Nine aren't all listed by name, the main character didn't actually know everyone in t ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Yuli rated it it was amazing
Wow! Now I can take a breath of relief. But I am a little sad that the story's over... I loved the ending. And the excitement. The characters too... I just wish I knew how old Will and Sara were. Hmm.
Anyways, this is my first ghost-related book I've read and I've made a good choice with this being my first one. And Lisa Olsen just has a nice writing style you can easily slip into. At first I thought this story would be your typical mansion-haunting-ghost right after Sara inherited it, but there'
Aug 11, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I normally am not a fan of ghost stories, however this one held my interest from beginning to end without scaring me so I couldn't finish. Lisa Olsen did a great job of character development with this story. Sara started out as a young, scared,single, American, mother, who just inherited a lot of money and a huge home in England and ended her as being a strong woman who fought with everything she had to save her child, and to keep what was rightfully theirs. She no longer allowed everyone to wal ...more
Aug 03, 2015 Veronica rated it liked it
I actually enjoyed this easy and fast read. It is like one of the gothic mystery novels I used to read except with a stronger and more modern protagonist. Sara (her son actually but he is too young) inherits a huge estate in England and while there she discovers there is more to the estate than meets the eye. The only downside for me was the ending. It seemed a bit too abrupt but didn't take away from my enjoyment at all.
Jan 13, 2013 Apzmarshl rated it liked it
The title was off putting. It nearly had nothing to do with the book.
While it was pegged as a ghost story, it never got too creepy.
The American girl inheriting a massive British fortune didn't go nuts with the money. But it was still fun to consider.
The romance part was clean and sweet.
The best friend was obnoxious.
I'm sounding negative, but I have to say over all it was a fun read that I really enjoyed. No masterful work, but it did the job of entertaining.
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Lisa Olsen is a writer, wife and mother of two, currently living in the Pacific Northwest. A complete TV addict, she also enjoys online RPG's, singing, reading, and cooking.
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