Cybil Austin, on a mission to escape her Mother, alias Martha Stewart, alias Betty Davis, purchases a dilapidated southern mansion called Shady Oaks, an hour south of Memphis, Tennessee. She’s a mechanically challenged, historical romance writer in need of a place to make her own and be able to write without her dysfunctional family constantly interrupting her. When she first sees Shady Oaks, she falls in love with it and envisions bringing it back to its historical glory. But what she doesn’t realize is that the mansion is occupied, occupied by ghosts.
Max is the local contractor hired by Cybil. He’s worked on the mansion before and knows its structure. But what he doesn’t know is that it’s occupied, occupied by ghosts. And he didn’t realize that he would be as captivated by Cybil and her quirky personality as he is. He’s a confirmed bachelor, or is he?
Ruth, the Colonel, Hester, Zoe and Antoine are just a few of the ghosts inhabiting Shady Oaks and they have a game plan. They don’t like the refurbishing of Shady Oaks and intend to scare everyone away. Tricks are played, things are moved, and they manifest themselves and scare away workers and cooks. But not Cybil.
With ghosts and hormones running amuck someone’s going to fall and I bet it’s not going to be the mansion.
I can see why this story won so many awards prior to its being published. It is the BEST ghost story I have read in a long time. The wacky cast of characters is so colorful and fun that they bring the story to life. There are laugh out loud moments and moments when you say awww. Ms. Rossi has written a story that won’t soon be forgotten. I sincerely hope that she has more planned for us, perhaps Julie’s story?
Nearly Departed is a five star book! You won’t want to miss it.
Cybil Austin loves Shady Oaks, and hopes to write her Regency romances undisturbed by a dysfunctional family. She doesn’t count on renovation chaos or the presence of ghosts who fear the changes will wreak havoc with their non-lives. She also doesn’t count on falling for her contractor, C. Maxwell Maitland.
Handsome and charismatic, Max isn’t seeking a relationship, but Cybil gets to him on more than a professional level. He is drawn to her eccentric personality, but a bad marriage has him gun-shy of anything suggesting permanence.
And then, there are those pesky ghosts. They want Cybil gone and the renovations stopped. But not even a haunted house deters Cybil from pursuing Max. During the process, she learns about herself, life, and death.
Will Cybil and Max enjoy a future at Shady Oaks? Can they and the ghosts co-exist in the same house?