*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Alice May Parker moves with her family to the sleepy town of Pacific Grove after her Mom dies, but little does she know the strange and terrifying events to come. When she falls into the bay during a kayaking trip, she is rescued from drowning by the mysterious Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he is unlike any other boy she has known before. Intelligent and romantic, he sees straight into her soul. Soon Alice and Henry are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance until she finds out that Henry is not all what he seems. . .
The Haunting of Alice May is a ghostly romance for teens and young adult readers. I was reminded very much of the Point Horror books of my own youth, but updated with a Twilight-style romance element – forbidden love between the living and undead.
Here we follow Alice, who has moved with her father and sister to a new town after the death of her mother, as she struggles with her aquaphobia, making new friends, and the strange-but-attractive boy who keeps turning up around the water.
For someone with such a crippling fear of drowning, a lot of Alice’s voluntary leisure activities seem to involve taking to the water. This is perhaps explained by the mysterious pull that the cursed bay seems to have on her: she is repeatedly warned to stay away from the water, but cannot manage it, despite her own fears.
The plot is mainly focused around Alice’s investigations of the curse, Henry and the fate of missing teenagers in the town; with the action and adventure slowly building to a fiery, stormy confrontation with some paranormal forces. There is also plenty of romance, as Alice and Henry try to manage a relationship hampered by age, secrets, and an ancient curse.
This story does stand alone, but there are hints in Alice’s eventual role, and the remaining mysteries around the island and the curse, which point to possible future sequels.
The Haunting of Alice May is a sweet ghostly romance for teen and young adult readers, with potential to expand into a ghostly series. I would love to see Alice try to resolve the curse by helping its victims to meet the terms of it, instead of being at odds with them as she was here!
Then I could see a shape swimming toward me and trying to focus, I watched the figure swim with strong, steady strokes. Dark clothes floated in the current with hair that resembled golden seaweed suspended in the water. As the swimmer got closer I could see it was a boy. He had a pale face, like a luminous vision in the murky blue, and seemed at ease underwater. As he swam closer, I saw him looking at me with the lightest blue eyes I’d ever seen.
The sight of him strangely calmed me, like the quell of acceptance before death. An inner peace descended upon me as I lost control. I could no longer hold my breath and was sure I would drown as I lost consciousness. I told myself, before you know it, the water will fill your lungs entirely, and it will all be over.
– Tony Lee Moral, The Haunting of Alice May
The Haunting of Alice May is available on Amazon right now and is FREE for this weekend only!