Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake by Laurie Brown is the first paranormal romance I’ve read in a long time. Josie Drummond is a paranormal researcher for Paranormal Certification. She has come to Amelia Thornton’s home to certify that her castle is haunted by a descendant of the family. There’s been reports that the late Deverall Waite’s ghost has been seen in Castle Waite but there’s no evidence to support such a claim. Amelia’s looking for the certification in order to compete in the tourist market. It’s the only way to give her the much needed funds to restore the castle that’s in disrepair. However, after twenty days into the investigation, Josie comes up empty handed and ends her research two weeks early. Just as she is about to leave, however, the ghost of the ninth Earl of Waite, suddenly makes an appearance.
Josie seems baffled by Deverall’s sudden appearance and find it interesting that he is able to hide his presence in the house despite all of her monitors and sensors. Deverall never had plans for Josie to certify his presence in the house. Deverall advised Amelia to hire her for another reason. Deverall goes on to explain that the family’s finances declined after his mother paid a fortune to a gypsy seer to help her recover a family treasure. So, Deverall wants Josie to accompany him back to 1815 to help him restore the family fiances by thwarting the charlatan who stole from is gullible mother. In order for Josie to blend into the Regency period, she gets a crash course in Regency setting and etiquette. Josie does go back in time and has to manuever her way through the Regency period. She meets the real Deverall and has to choose between the real Dev and the ghost Dev. The resolution to that was quite interesting and a bit unexpected for me.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel with it’s very nice cover. I thought the most interesting part of the novel was the periodic facts on the Regency period. The author seems to know that period very well, too. I also enjoyed Josie and Deverall’s witty conversations.
“Fox hunting is more than a sport,” Deverall argued. “It is indicative of a lifestyle. A reminder of accepted behavior patterns this century would do well to readopt as standards.”
“Such as viewing women as chattel? Such as the old double standard?” Josie cautioned herself to remain calm. She would lose this argument by default if she let her temper fly out of control.
“Morals were upheld.”
“Ah, yes. How could I have miscontrued rampant syphillis, the white slavery trade and open opium addiction to be immoral behavior?”
I liked both characters especially Deverall. This was also the type of paranormal read that didn’t bother me because there wasn’t much paranormal activity in the book. Despite the good points of the novel, I did have some problems as well. First, the story’s pacing was uneven for me. There were parts of the novel where the pages flew by and then other parts that slowed to a crawl. Second, the plot was pretty thin and third, I wanted more chemistry between the two characters. All in all, a decent read if you enjoy time travel and ghost stories. I really liked the time traveling aspect of the novel more myself. I also liked the author’s voice/style of writing and would read more of her work. My grade, B.
[tags]Laurie Brown, Historical Romance[/tags]