Title: Smoke and Mirrors
Author: Elise Nelson
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Mystery, Gothic Romance
Caroline Blake is a young reporter with a past almost as cryptic as her future. She never put much stock into her late aunt’s eerie tales of monsters and demons until she takes an assignment to cover the elusive Ashdown family’s Harvest Festival. As part of her assignment, she must live at the family’s mansion for six weeks and help prepare for the event. No one has seen the family since the tragedy that occurred at the last festival almost thirty years prior. As the only female reporter on-site, Caroline must hold her own while uncovering why the family closed their doors all those years ago. Perhaps the most challenging part of her assignment is dealing with her working partner, William Ashdown. The handsome lord of the house seems bent on testing her patience every time they meet. Still, there is something intriguing about him that she can’t ignore. Caroline is soon swept into a world of generational secrets, unsettling mysteries, and unexpected romance. Amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is sure: in the shadows, nothing is ever what it seems.
A young reporter must uncover the mystery surrounding the Ashdown family but something eerie lurks in the shadows. Caroline is a young reporter trying to make a name for herself. When she gets the opportunity to do a story on the reclusive Ashdown family and the upcoming Harvest Festival, she jumps at the chance. It’s been thirty years since the last one and there are rumors abound on what happened. Part of her assignment is that she must live at the Ashdown mansion for weeks and help prepare for the festival. As she investigates the mystery, she continues to butt heads with William Ashdown. While he is lord of the manor and very handsome in a gothic sort of way, there’s a darkness that follows him. She can’t deny her feelings for William but there’s a foreboding presence stalking victims in the shadows. What’s going on? Caroline is committed to unearthing the truth. Is it smoke and mirrors or is Caroline in real danger?
Smoke and Mirrors is a modern-day gothic paranormal mystery I couldn’t put down. I was drawn into the story by the swirling mists of the mystery partnered with descriptive narration. The plot was so well-written, I was under its spell. I contemplated the characters and story when I wasn’t reading. I wondered what was going to happen next and I even dreamed about it. Elise Nelson is a gifted writer who plunged the reader into the world she created. The world-building is impressive and has a few twists. The gothic and paranormal themes are classic tropes, but the author adds her own spin on it. The plot moves at a nice easy pace with plenty of suspense and a bit of romance. Fans of the paranormal will love Smoke and Mirrors. Fans of gothic romance, pick up Smoke and Mirrors. I couldn’t get enough of Smoke and Mirrors and look forward to more from this author. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Elise Nelson is an award-winning writer, professional editor, journalist, and published author. She wrote her first novel at the age of eleven and published her first novel at the age of nineteen. Her novel The Angelnots made it onto one of Amazon's Top 100 Bestseller Lists upon publication and received raving reviews.
Elise has been published in various literary periodicals, including The Nassau Review and Essig Magazine, and has worked as an editorial intern for Christopher Matthews Publishing as well as a writer and editor for many other companies, magazines, and websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boise State University, where she studied English literature, creative writing, and multimedia storytelling.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N