Title: Matchmaking Beyond the Veil
Series: Telltale Ghosts: Book One
Author: Mara Townsend
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 360 Pages
Category: Paranormal/Fantasy, Mystery
At a Glance: The book was a roller-coaster of a reading experience, but I’m planning to read the next one based solely on the last quarter of Matchmaking Beyond the Veil, and am really hoping it holds up. If Townsend delivers on the intrigue, sexiness, humor, and warmth the end of this book held, I will be such a happy girl!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Endure the company of his rival…or suffer ghostly retaliation.
Emery Belmont is a snarky, uptight realist who likes his life ordinary. Like any skeptic, he’s content using mundane explanations to write off signs of paranormal activity. That’s no longer an option when the spirit haunting his house wrecks his new kitchen, forcing Emery closer to facing the supernatural truth. Desperate for a new handyman, he unknowingly hires his hot ex-rival from high school to fix it. Paxton Santos, Emery’s former lacrosse team captain, followed in his father’s footsteps to take over the family business. Annoyingly, Emery requires his talented hands more than he needs to keep Paxton out of his life. However, getting Paxton to leave after the repairs may prove difficult with the meddlesome ghost taking a shine to him, which Paxton seems to take in his grating, good-natured stride, remaining irritatingly unruffled by numerous weird occurrences.
Emery is bombarded by mysterious paranormal hijinks, keeping Paxton at arm’s length, and deciphering things that aren’t quiet what they seem. There’s nothing Emery hates more than an unfinished puzzle. In his determination to solve this one, Emery reluctantly opens himself up to new possibilities all while trying to remain firmly rooted in life the way he prefers it—orderly, logically explainable, and, above all else, ghost-free.
Join Emery and Paxton as they face off with a spirit that has no limits to how far it will go to push them together, enduring locked doors, faulty plumbing, and sharing a bed. Together they are determined to navigate their way out of this mess using any means necessary to send the ghost packing. Will they make it out of the traps awaiting them before their pesky tormenter gets any other ideas to make things worse and further blur the line between them?
Review: Reading Mara Townsend’s new book, Matchmaking Beyond the Veil, was a roller-coaster of a reading experience. I’ll try not to make my review as bipolar as this book seemed—but, I make no promises! It honestly felt like two separate books. If I was rating the first half on its own, it would garner 2 stars, possibly even 1.5… But, the second half rated a solid 3.5 for me, maybe even a 4. The second half (actually, the last forty percent) was the book I wanted to read, the book I expected when I requested it for review. The FIRST half was a mess. There’s just no way to sugarcoat it. When I got to the good stuff, it truly seemed like it couldn’t even be the same person writing it. The writing was improved, the editing was markedly better, the flow was good, it was finally the story the blurb had promised. The beginning lacked direction, had massive editing issues, and I barely cared enough about it to continue. But, continue I did. And thankfully, it paid off.
Emery was a difficult character to like—though I did like him by the end—but I think that was by design. He’s prickly and guarded and comes off most of the time as extremely stuck up and arrogant. He has a pretty big chip on his shoulder, and a definite hatred for Paxton Santos. Though, besides being told Paxton was a jerk when they were in school, it’s never reeeeaaally clear why Emery had such a huge issue with him. Emery has also closed himself off to relationships; though, again, we’re never really shown why. We’re told he had a bad breakup with his ex, Sebastian, but what happened to hurt Emery so much was never revealed. For me, some fleshing out of backstories could have gone a long way toward making me invested in the story earlier. Also, I would have loved to have Paxton’s POV some of the time.
What made the second half of the book work so much better was partly due to Emery beginning to soften a bit and pull his head out of his ass, but was mostly down to FINALLY getting some ghost action. We were almost to sixty percent in the story before the paranormal elements were solidly introduced. Sixty percent! Earlier in the story there were implied instances of paranormal activity that Emery brushed off, and some quick references to weird dreams, and stories Emery’s grandfather told him; but it was just left too vague for too long. Brought to the forefront sooner, rather than the huge amount of filler that took up so much of the first half of the book, the ghost stuff would have gone a long way toward meeting the expectations the blurb laid out.
I’m planning to read the next book based solely on the last quarter of this one, and am really hoping it holds up. If Townsend delivers on the intrigue, sexiness, humor, and warmth the end of this book held, I will be such a happy girl! I ended up adoring Emery and Paxton together, and am happy to continue rooting for them by giving the next book a shot.
You can buy Matchmaking Beyond the Veil here:
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