Phantom Traces

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Phantom Traces

All sorts of ghosts grace the pages of Phantom Traces. Not only do we have the ghost haunting the local library, we have the ghosts of relationships past haunting our lead characters. This book started out really strong. The lead character, Abigail Stryker, is unique with an interesting backstory and transformation. Hiding behind her image, she shuts herself off trying to grow into a more self-sufficient woman. A true bibliophile, her love of books and the library made her extremely likable. Especially for an avid reader and fellow book lover! Gem has some wonderfully detailed descriptions, especially of the library and the surrounding local nature spots. It is easy to picture the scenes in your mind. She also created a nice selection of eccentric characters, who added a nice level of animation to the story. I was particularly drawn to the historical mystery. For me, that was the page-turner for this story. I was eager to find out the truth behind the ghost.

Unfortunately, I found that this part of the story seemed rushed as we neared the end of the book. As I got to the final third, I felt that the main plot and the subplots were wrapped up a bit too quickly and a bit too conveniently. I wish that some aspects had been given more attention and detail. Particularly since Gem gave us the perspectives of other characters in various chapters. Gem changed perspective/voices to the sub-characters, which I liked in the earlier parts of the book. But near the end, this became less consistent and certain storylines were wrapped up without really going back to these characters. While I found the end of the story a tad disappointing, the earlier parts of the book were interesting, the characters were unique, and the historical mystery was fun.

Abigail Stryker is looking to make a fresh start. As the new librarian at the local library, she is determined to make a success of her life. And she certainly is not going to be scared off by the ghost that has supposedly scared off her predecessors. She has bigger things to worry about. One being the threat from the woman determined to eliminate the library. And the other being her growing attraction to charming Professor Jack Wood. But Abigail is not keen on striking up a relationship with an older man. She’s been down that path and refuses to go back. And speaking of “older men”, the ghost seems to be more on her side than against her. Perhaps there is hope for the library after all.

Jack Wood is captivated by the new librarian. Though she is not his usual type, Jack can’t deny that he is charmed by her and admires her persistence in reviving the library. A frequent patron, Jack is often crossing paths with Abigail, and soon they are working together to solve the mystery of ghost. The more time they spend together, the more they bond, and soon Jack wants to look toward the future instead of the past. The question is, is Abigail ready to let go of the ghosts which haunt her?

Book Blurb for Phantom Traces

A history professor in a tweed jacket, a cheeky Goth chick, and a pipe-smoking, book-hurling ghost. Put them all together in an antiquated library and, well…

Professor Jack Wood’s silver-streaked hair definitely ages him, and he can thank Killer Dawn for that. He won’t be falling into the love trap again anytime real soon. But this new librarian has him curious, with her head-to-toe black Goth garb, piercings, and a defiant attitude to match. Definitely not his type of girl, but still…

Abigail Stryker’s got her work cut out for her. The last two librarians didn’t last a month before airborne books chased them off. But Abby’s determined to make her new life a go–and to stay as far away from older men as possible. Once was enough. Might be tough to do when the library’s best patron is none other than dreamy-eyed Jack Wood. And it seems the eccentric ghost may have taken a shine to her as well.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2015 3.50