**3.5-stars rounded up**
Zoe Adams needs to get away. Recently separated from her husband, she rents a newly renovated home on a remote Scottish island. It doesn’t take long after arriving at McBride house for her to discover that some places hold long memories.
Soon Zoe begins researching the history of the house and what she uncovers is far from comforting. Ailsa McBride, the original owner, was reportedly a witch who murdered her own child. In fact, just the previous year, another boy had disappeared from the grounds.
Constantly on edge, Zoe sleeps fitfully and begins having visions and visitations from the past. She can scarcely make it through a few hours at the property without something going awry.
Befriending a few men in the village, she begins to discover long-held island secrets and in turn, finds herself the hot topic for the island rumor mill.
The number of different leads and exposed secrets in this left me spinning. The lore of the island and overall atmosphere was excellently portrayed. I enjoyed the melding of past and present and the characters were well fleshed out.
At times, bordering on erotic, this was an unexpected twist of a classic ghost story with the incorporation of an incubus; something I had never read about previously and certainly was not expecting.
Although this was a slow burn, there was definitely enough intrigue to keep me turning the pages. The last 10% dropped my rating down a half star. I wasn’t sold on the way the story ended. It seemed to wrap-up a little too neatly after the strong build-up.
Overall, I was impressed by Merritt’s writing. If you are a reader that enjoys a bit of sexy times with your horror or mystery stories, you will definitely want to check this one out. Also, haunted house fans, this is worth a read. There were moments that I was absolutely freaked out while reading this.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Pegasus Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity!