Nominated for Colorado Romance Writers’ 2015 Award of Excellence
Marilee Harper is desperate to find another job after she accidentally set fire to the home of the richest woman in town. Converting an old hospital into a bed and breakfast seems like a golden opportunity. But faucets and lights turn themselves off and on, and old baseballs fly without help. Stressed and aggravated, Marilee wants nothing more than to redeem herself, even if it means hands off her sympathetic boss!
John Smith has every confidence in the bossy, strong woman he hired to launch his bed & breakfast. She handled difficult customers at the bank and now she’s handling electricity and plumbing and whatever unseen force keeps throwing baseballs. Who can blame him if he starts to admire the woman in more than strictly professional terms? But when the angry, treacherous King of the Fairies shows up, can Marilee become his champion?
Kathy Bryson is the award-winning author of tongue-in-cheek fantasy that ranges from leprechauns who play the stock market to zombies who hang out with and harangue med students. She’d like to say she’s climbed tall mountains, rappelled off cliffs, and saved small children, but actually she tends to curl up and read, is a life-long advocate of Ben & Jerry’s, and caters to 2 spoiled cats. She works regularly with student writing, so she can claim to have saved a few term papers.
Blog - kathybrysonbooks.com Twitter - @kathybryson2 Facebook - @kathy.bryson.77
Marilee just made a mistake that is likely to have her losing her job. With this looming over her head and chauffeuring her mother around she doesn’t realize she is going to a possible job interview until she is there and makes a horrible impression. Lucky for her both her prospective and good-looking employer makes an equally bad impression which ends with one of them running the other over with a car. In spite of this hiccup Marilee comes to run a Bed and Breakfast for John Smith. As she helps to renovate and start-up this Bed and Breakfast strange things begin to happen. Rumors of the place being haunted are starting to look like they are true but when Marilee finds out what is really going on she has to use all her inner strength and gumption to make sure every she cares about and those she now loves are safe.
This was a very good and fun read. I got sucked into the story along with Marilee and John’s love story. Every aspect and layer of this story flowed together in an easy page turner. The characters were some of the best parts of this story. From Marilee to John, to Thumbs to Elvis, they all contributed beautifully and really helped to make the reader a part of the story. This is one book that will suck you in and give you some curve balls that you don’t see coming. Overall, this is a great novel that has me excited for Kathy Bryson’s next book.
I really enjoyed this book! Not only because it moved right along, but the writing was exceptional. The characters came to life more than most books that I've read and the twists kept me entranced. The best part was that it was a stand alone book!
This book took much longer than it should have for me to read. I kept dozing off, or I would hear social media or my email calling me and felt compelled to answer. In other words, this book didn’t grab me. I did find the characters to be interesting which is what kept me plodding along.
Marilee first appeared to be a scatter brained bitch that couldn’t seem to do anything right, well, according to her mother. Actually sounded a lot like my mother and me. That was kind of scary. But, with some positive re-enforcement form our hero, John Smith, Marilee learns some self-control and a less volatile way to deal with her mother. I came to like Marilee. Even though she first appeared inept and fumbling, she was actually a loving, caring, and intelligent individual with a lot of baggage. Again, I identified with her.
John Smith – poor guy getting stuck with such a generic name. Since he teaches at the local college, you can even add professor to the name. He is presented as your typical absent minded professor – accident waiting to happen type of guy. But he is so much more. For one thing, he immediately sees that there was more to Marilee than was what a first impression would lead you to believe. Their first meeting was enough to scare anyone off, but just smiled and came back for more. I liked that.
He had a curious mind, and was open to the new, different and unexplained. It was quite impressive the way he could roll with whatever was going on, whether it was Marilee yelling at her mother, or playing catch with a ghost.
The secondary characters were also interesting and diverse. There was Trog – short for troglodyte, Thumbs – because he sucked his thumbs, Elvis – the silent cook who arrived with the local motor cycle club, and there was Jinx, just to name a few. Their personalities were just as interesting as their names.
The story - there was great potential here, but the pacing as slow and plodding and not always cohesive. There were jumps in plot from one paragraph to the next with no bridge. For example we went from cleaning chimneys and gathering wood from the forest in one paragraph to a Farmer’s market/craft show all set up in the front yard in the next paragraph with no explanation of how we got from one to other. No chapter break or fancy scroll work between. Whether poor formatting or poor editing I don’t know, but it was disorientating.
Once we finally got to explanations of why all the weird stuff was going on, it did get a bit exciting, but I wasn’t exactly gasping or catching my breath. It was more like, “Ah ha. I see. This is a real paranormal, not just a bit of a ghost story” as I scratched my head. I am not sure I liked that twist. It kind of confused me and felt a bit over the top for me. All that build up about ghosts and learning who they were and how to get along with them, only to find something else was going on too. It didn’t really work for me.
Then I get to the end of the book and read a blurb for another book written by this author to find out, this is a book two. The first book was about one of Marilee’s best friends and how she met her boyfriend. This first book may or may not have helped in my reading of this one, but I suspect I would have had a better understanding, or at least not been as surprised or as confused at the twist in this book, if I had read the other book first. Just reading the blurb for the other book had me nodding my head and thinking, “okay, that makes a bit more sense.”
Will I read the other book? Maybe. I am curious about Megan and Fergus, but it isn’t on my “must read now” list.
I was provided a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
*I’d like to thank the author for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
When the author approached me with a request to review this book, I thought it sounded fun. Having read the previous book in the series about a year ago, I was glad to hear that this tale could stand on it’s own. The synopsis promised ghosts, fairies, and an interesting romance. I’m happy to say that I got most of this, along with some pretty funny parts.
The main character of this book was Marilee, who was the best friend of the girl book one was about. I didn’t like Marilee when I read book one, but I do think that this story helped change all that. This is because we got to see that she was really dealing with some issues, like her mom trying to recover from breast cancer. This all made her a sympathetic character, so I wasn’t as annoyed as I should have been when she decided to be ridiculously mean to people who didn’t deserve it. In the end, I found Marilee smart, compassionate, and loyal to her friends and family, despite her flaws.
The side characters were interesting. Marilee’s mother was quite interfering and never listened to reason when her daughter offered it, but i still liked her. Even though they constantly fought, I could still tell there was a bond between the two of them. Then, there were all the various quirky people who worked with Marilee. They made the book a lot more livelier and fun, even if none of them were really developed. Finally, there was John. As Marilee’s boss, their relationship was pretty interesting to watch. They were always attracted to each other, but had to maintain a professional relationship. I found it a bit fast when things switched from professional to romantic, but i did like the two of them together. They made each other into better people, and did whatever they had to in order to help one another out.
The plot of this novel was all about Marilee taking a new job working for John, trying to run a bed-and-breakfast. As they were renovating it at first and odd things kept happening, it made the story unique. There was romance, the mystery about what was going on, and all the paranormal elements that were introduced. There was even a funny first kiss scene. My interest was held all the way through, and I liked how all the different plotlines came together.
Overall, I liked this book. The ending was a bit too abrupt and anticlimactic for my liking, and the romantic relationship developed a bit too fast. However, I never got bored while reading, and i always wanted to know what was haunting the building. Therefore, I recommend this book if you’re looking for a light, funny, and slightly romantic ghost story.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an impartial review. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.
Marilee Harper, jobless and locked in a complex relationship with her mother, is introduced to the somewhat mysterious and disconcertingly attractive John Smith, who is renovating an old hospital into a new bed and breakfast. Their unease around each other seems to infuse the atmosphere, which is increasingly unsettled by strange goings on, but Marilee and her mother move in and set about helping John with his project. But nothing is straightforward, for amid the romance is a sprinkling of mystery and the sparkling presence of Fair Folk, and what starts out as a journey of self-discovery becomes much more than that for Marilee.
I had the good fortune some years ago to spend a few months living in a small New England town, and anyone who has lived in a small town anywhere will instantly recognise the strong sense of community that pervades this book. Ms Bryson has peopled her novel with a large cast of well-defined characters whose interdependence and individuality form the nucleus of both a successful community and a fictional world. What sets this novel apart from other small-town romances is the paranormal twist, and with due reverence to Shakespeare, Ms Bryson has embraced the possibilities of fairies and the Otherworld. Indeed, it is just as well that Marilee has 'a high threshold for the bizarre' - although she revises that statement immediately to a low threshold, she has a curiosity for what motivates, ensnares and defines those around her, which I'm sure reflects the author's own interests as a writer. This is a study of people, and there are many to keep us intrigued.
Marilee's growth as a character is certainly key to our desire to keep reading. With my editorial hat on, I felt it could have done with a ruthless edit in the first half of the book: the pace is slowed by Marilee's detailed self-reflection and self-analysis, and the sort of small town minutiae that are essential to local narratives don't always translate as effectively to the fictional narrative where we need merely enough to delineate the boundaries of the story. In her gloom, Marilee also has a tendency to go round in circles at times, and though this is a good reflection of how her circumstances have trapped her, and how depressed I think she genuinely feels, it can at times have the effect of alienating the reader who relies on Marilee to drive the first person story-telling.
Nonetheless, this is a vividly drawn novel which will immediately enchant anyone who recognises themselves, their community or the twinkle in the eye of someone who is not quite what they seem!
I admit I am not the biggest fan of ghost stories, but every once in a while one comes my way that catches my attention, and this book did. While I did enjoy the ghost aspects of this book, I have to say the thing that stuck with me most after reading the book was the relationships between people.
So the book opens with Marilee having burnt down the house of a client and in need of a new job. Especially since she needs the money in order to take care of her mom. This is how she ends up with her new gig of converting an old hospital into a bed and breakfast, only the old hospital has a bit of interesting issue, it’s got some ghosts within its walls.
Marilee and her mom move into the new bed and breakfast while the work gets done. I have to say one of my favorite parts of this book was the relationship dynamic between Marilee and her mother, it was just so easily relatable. Plus on top of that there are some really funny moments between the two of them. I really liked watching/reading them along the way.
After about halfway through the book, things kind of change a bit. And suddenly there is a whole new world and things in it for the characters and for you as the reader to explore. There are Fey (fairies) in this book, which is totally not something I was expected. I mean I was sold on this book because of the ghostly element to it, so I was surprised to find Fey within, but I have to say I have always been a fan of books with Fey, so this was an interesting twist I enjoyed.
There were a lot of charming elements to this book. I liked the small town, quirky feel it had. I also really liked the secondary characters within the book. They really livened up the book. The reason why I went with a 3.5 star rating is because the beginning of the book was a bit too slow for me. I wish the first half of the book had the same pacing that it did in the last half, but other than that it was an enjoyable read. If you like quirky fantasy stories with ghosts, then I think you might want to consider this book.
After having a small role in Feeling Lucky, Marilee is now the main character of another sweet romance that involves a magical kingdom. This time the fantasy is less present and the romance is better.
Marilee is still ashamed for setting on fire Megan's house. Afraid of losing her job she accepts her mother invitation for a job interview. Move forward a little and she ends up helping John Smith to open a bed and breakfast. The old house used to be a hospital and people believe is haunted.
The dynamic between Marilee and John is really sweet. They try to keep the relationship in a professional level but their attraction is undeniable. It's not a suffocating tension like in some romance books. Here is cute to see them avoid much time alone or hot topics. Of course once they decide to give it a go, we witness a mature, cute and lovely romance. I liked both of their personalities but as before I wanted a bit more about him. I was expecting for him to have a super-secret or a hidden identity. But no, he is just simple.
As I said at first, the fantasy element appears way too late for me. We have funny moments with the "ghosts" and how things take life of their own and move around the house. But the fairies take longer than last time and when they doo the chapters go too fast. The action takes full speed and you need to read carefully so you don't miss anything.
I have to mention that there are recurrent topics in Kathy's books that caught my attention. One for example is the mother-daughter relationship. The women always have a relationship with their mothers that is not difficult but it has its roughness. The mothers treat their daughters like teenager even when they are adults. I'm not saying is a bad thing is just funny, and I imagine every mother treats their kids the same way no matter the age they are.
Overall, this is another good book written by Kathy. It's a sweet, light, funny and enjoyable romance.
*** I received a complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review. ***
Restless Spirits is a mix of contemporary family drama and fantasy. The book opens with Marliee Harper just about to lose her job after she burnt down her client's house, a powerful opening scenario. We learn that Marliee is feisty and caring, she's putting all her money into paying medical bills for her Mum.
Her relationship with her Mother is fun and the constant bickering between them works well. Mary Harper is one step ahead of Marliee and organises a job interview for her. John Smith is setting up a B&B at the old Jennings Place, a house once used as a hospital and rumoured to be haunted. He needs someone to oversee the renovations and to then run it as a manager. Mary and Marliee move in and I enjoyed all ghostly happenings especially with the box of balls. I looked forward to finding answers behind the lights and baseball throws.
The storyline went off in a different twist than the one I was expecting, stepping boldly over into the fantasy side of the tale with a mix of Shakespeare. Marliee once a strict non-believer in ghosts was plunged into a world of fairies, a Leprechaun and other-worldly beings.
There was a large cast of characters in the tale with some unusual and strong names, I remembered them because of their names rather than the mental images I had for them. A bit more reference to characteristics connected to their names may have helped, perhaps Elvis could have hummed songs from his namesake, and Thumbs regularly got his thumbs stuck.
Marliee's character kept the fun in the tale. This is a stand alone book, there is a previous book where many of the characters and the fantasy world began which I have not read, possibly reading this would have helped me understand the way the storyline twisted from my own interpretation of contemporary to fantasy.
Even though it was a little slow to start this turned into a fun story about the main character Marilee overcoming the troubles in her life that are bringing her down. She is definitely a flawed character with a snippy attitude and I found myself more than once wanting to give her a good smack upside the back of her head. But with a very pushy meddling mother that was extremely sick, mounting bills, possibly losing her job, no love life in sight, oh and accidently burning down her best friends house it becomes easy to understand why Marilee is in such a bad mood. So it's also easy to understand why when that same meddling mother sets her up with a new work situation helping to remodel an old house without telling her; Marilee is a little irritated about it. Though after she literally runs into John her possible new boss she can't say no to the job. Little do John and Marilee know that turning that old house into a bed and breakfast will be way more difficult than they thought when the spirits come out to play and it was nice watching Marilee grow into a stronger more pulled together woman. The author has created an awesome little town with some very interesting characters and I love how she weaves the magical and paranormal into their everyday lives. This can be read as a stand alone but the characters and storyline from her first book do make appearances in this story and I really enjoyed how it all tied together. Overall this was a great lighthearted story and I look forward to seeing what other kinds of magical craziness are in store for this quiet little town. In my opinion Restless Spirits is recommended.
What does a girl that is desperate for a new job and to get out of her ghetto style apartment do? Commit to moving into a sprawling turn of the century home that is in the midst of renovation, take her mother with and agree to help turn it into a thriving bed and breakfast. Of course the dreaming professor as a boss certainly motivated her.
Marilee is a girl with too much weight on her shoulders, and the move to the woods and her new life seemed just the remedy for it. Of course running over her boss and his bike with her car before she even took the job probably didn’t help matters. John Smith seems to take it all in stride and encourages Marilee to be the best she can, with the job and with her mom.
For most of the story Marilee seems intent on keeping her relationship with John Smith strictly professional, but fate has a way of intervening with these things. The story really gets good and mysterious when things around the Bed and Breakfast start happening, strange sightings, sports equipment showing up where it doesn’t belong, balls rolling through the halls. Instead of being frightened of this, Marilee delves into the history of the home and everything starts to make sense. Quickly she finds why the home and land is filled with restless spirits.
This was a fun read, you really do get to see the characters grow and change throughout the story. Restless Spirits is an extension from Kathy Bryson’s first book Feeling Lucky, which allows you to get more of the characters from her first book here. However the book does very well as a stand-alone story.
Restless Spirits had me cracking up at the start. Marilee is in the car with her mom and their conversation is SOO my mom and I. Mom doing what mom’s do and saying that you have “that tone” when there isn’t one. The rest of the book follows along with this mother and daughter relationship.
Marilee gets a new job managing a bed and breakfast that has yet to open while it is being converted from an old hospital. Marilee’s mom comes along for the ride and continues to help out with the inn and the redecorating. Marilee must keep everyone and expenses under control while everyone is just doing their own thing. Marilee and her boss John start a relationship, but they don’t define it as a relationship until towards the end. They are trying to fool themselves, but everyone else knows better. The menagerie of characters that come to work and live at the inn are great! There is even Elvis the cook.
There is a big play on the Shakespeare works of the Tempest with everyone quoting it and insisting that Marilee read it as well. Marilee is surprised to find the support of the town when things start to get weird. That’s when we learn that Shakespeare knew and wrote about the Fey and that they really do exist. And that’s just one more thing that Marilee has to deal with. This was a light hearted read and one that I can’t wait for the next one to see more of the characters and Fey. I really enjoyed the flower scene at the end.
4.5 stars Marilee is on a job hunt since she accidentally set her best friends house on fire. Marilee left work early because she thought that her mother had a doctors appointment, when she finds out that it's because of an interview that her mother set up for her. She wasn't very happy about it. John owns the house that he is going to turn into a Bed and Breakfast, he wants Marilee to run it. Marilee is a smoker, she used to work at the bank. She is very stressed out about learning a new job. Her mother drives her crazy. Marilee's mother is very oppionated,she quit her job at the restaurant. She is very prim and proper. John is working on the renovations for the B and B, he bikes everywhere. Gets into a lot of accidents.He is a math teacher, so he isn't able to help as much as he wants to with the B&B. Megan is Marilee's friend. Carla works at the bank has two teenage daughters. Marilee's friend. Robert works at the B&B, Trog's friend. Trog used to go to school with Marilee, he is married. Mr. Smith is John's father, he is very helpful with things at the B&B. Thumbs starts to work at the B&B. Elvis is Thumb's uncle. Works at the B&B, cooks. Jinx is Carla's guru, he is a hairstylist. This is my first book by Kathy Bryson and is wont be my last. This book is very well written and the characters were very well developed. I felt very connected to the characters. I can't wait to read more books Kathy
Marilee Harper is having a tough time. She accidentally set fire to her friend Megan's home, her mother had been ill, and she is fairly certain she is getting canned from her banking job. Things look up when she is offered a job managing a new bed and breakfast. John Smith, the bed and breakfast's owner isn't too hard on the eyes either. Things aren't what they seem at her new place of employment, it seems to be filled with several uninvited guest.
Marilee is a strong woman with a strong temper. Since her mother's illness she has been in a rut, and feeling more than a little out of control. John is attracted to Marilee from the beginning, and is happy to have her near him. I liked the dynamic between Marilee and John, because he seems to even her out. These two are just the icing on the cake when it comes to a cast of very colorful characters.
Bryson caught my attention with her book Feeling Lucky, and I was happy to see some of those characters return in Restless Spirits. This novel can stand alone, but you won't want to miss out on Feeling Lucky! Bryson's stories are just fun and enjoyable, the perfect remedy after a hard day. If you are looking for a paranormal read that is on the lighter side you should check out Bryson's work!
**Reviewed by Teresa D. for VampireRomanceBooks.com**
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Okay, so I did understand Restless Spirits just a tiny bit better after reading Feeling Lucky. That being said you can read them out of order and have things make sense, it just makes better sense when you read it in order.
I definitely could find more of myself in the two main characters of Marilee and John. Mostly because they're both clumsy or accident prone which can lead to some funny incidents-incidents that if you're like me could actually happen. Which made it that much funnier. It was an enjoyable book if only for the character relationships. The only thing I didn't like was that Marilee seemed to be a bit of a witch and her attitude sometimes threw me off of her as a character.
That being said, there is some new enemies from the previous book and it was interesting how something that I viewed as a flaw in Marilee actually served her as a strength in the end.
It was good to see characters go through certain difficulties and work their way through them, growing as they went. It's always interesting to see character growth and well it wasn't overly noticable, it did happen.
If you enjoyed Feeling Lucky than you will certainly enjoy Restless Spirits.
Marilee Harper has lead an interesting life. After setting fire to her best friend's house, Marilee keeps waiting to be fired from her bank job. One evening, Marilee finds herself at a job interview set up by her mother... An interview she was neither expecting nor prepared for, and she ends up hitting her prospective boss with her car after arguing with her mother. Marilee ends up getting the job, which puts her in charge of overseeing the rennovations of an old santiarium into a bed and breakfast... A building that appears to be haunted. Marilee quickly discovers that a haunted B&B is the least of her worries.
I enjoyed this book, once I was able to fully get into it. The arguements between Marilee and her mother, while very authentic, made me a bit uncomfortable at the beginning. When they finally startedd getting along better, my enjoyment of the book dramatically improved. I felt that the climax of the book seemed rushed and I may need to re-read the novel to get a better feel for what actually happened, and the writing is good enough that I'm willing to do that. I really enjoyed the characters and dialogue in the book and look forward to reading other books by this author.
Free book for honest review. juliesbookreview.blogspot.com
Marilee really needs to find a job after she accidentally sets a friends house on fire. She knows that because of her friends status in the community she is going to be fired from the Bank she works at. She gets a job running a Bed & Breakfast, the place is in disrepair she will also be getting it ready. The house is a turn of the century and has ghost/spirits. Marilee & mother move into the house as they work on getting it turned into a Bed & Breakfast. John Smith has bought this house to turn into a Bed & Breakfast. He feels good that Marilee can handle anything that is thrown at her! Paranormal things begin to happen and it is open season on anyone in the home. With attraction blooming between Marilee & John can they handle what is thrown at them or will they run as fast as they can?
I really liked this book. With all the different characters in this story it is laugh out loud fun. This is a reread book, it was so much fun! I really look forward to reading more from this Author!
Restless Spirits by Kathy Bryson is the story of Marilee Harper, a strong, independent, verbal woman who handles difficult people and situations on an everyday basis easily, if not graciously. But, seriously, how much can one woman take? Job problems, arson charges looming, sick mom, overbearing mom (same mom), overdue bills, etc., I would be a little short-tempered, too. The solution? Run a haunted bed and breakfast! Loved this mother-daughter relationship. Throw some Shakespeare and leprechauns into the mix and you get this smart funny paranormal romantic fantasy with loads of surprises. Ms. Bryson has an easy, entertaining style of writing. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes romance, paranormal, fantasy, or has a mother.
Yes, I am a friend of the author... There are lots of friend-reviews these days, but that doesn't mean a book isn't a fun, original read. Kathy's book is just that: fun, original, romantic, funny, fantasy-filled, and all set in a small town. There are one or two racy scenes but nothing pornographic. This is a relax and laugh book to read, about an awkward woman finding her place in the world, with a little help from the otherworld.
Well...I didn't really like the book I'm sorry. It's just that all the paranormal drama was bunched up at the end and it felt really rushed and unrealistic. The first 3/4 of the story is basically Marilee and her story blah blah blah. Just at the last few chapters did the actual fairy/ghost/whatever drama begin and it's just eh. Her mom seemed way too chill and insignificant towards the end when I expected her to be really worried and dramatic.
Merilee Harper has a new job that her mom arranged for, she is going to be running a bed and breakfast. Merrilee is also surprised mom is coming along. Glad for the job, Merillee meets John Smith, the owner and also finds some mysterious things going on. Does the new job and the bed and breakfast come with ghosts? Grab this suspense filled read and find out.
This story wasn't exactly what I expected, but it's not necessarily a bad story either. I thought I'd be reading about a haunted house mystery, but got a fairytale extravaganza! It seems the spirits were secondary characters to the otherworldly characters of the story. Then I got to be a lil excited about Marilee's and John's budding and strange relationship.