I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
When medium Arabella Pierce learns that a skeptical reporter is going to be following her and her colleagues on their latest investigation, she's less than pleased - especially considering her most recent encounters with such non-believers. But when she meets Lucas Brown, he seems different from the others. For starters, unlike the other reporters, he's not out to crucify Arabella and her team: he just wants evidence. Or so he claims. He also happens to make Arabella's heart skip a beat. Will this be enough to convince Arabella to give him a shot?
I actually really enjoyed this book. I especially like Bishop's writing style. Her opening is perfect for the novella style: it gives all the plot information you need in a concise manner that does not feel rushed. The rest of the book follows this pattern. Bishop's writing is straight-forward and to the point, with few embellishments. She sticks to her plot and doesn't complicate it with superfluous details. The book also comes across as well-researched. I am definitely NOT an expert on ghost investigations - while I have participated in one, I make no claims to truly understand how they work or the roles of the different people involved. But from what I understand of things, Bishop seems to accurately portray what an optimal investigation might include. Again, I don't know for a fact that it's accurate, but to an amateur, it comes across as well-researched and knowledgeable, and I admire that.
I loved the back story on Arabella's love life/lack of trust. I thought it was very wise of Bishop to include this and it came as an interesting twist early on in the story. I loved the parallel of Lucas' skepticism towards ghosts with Arabella's skepticism towards love. It was carried out very well, and as the novel progressed it was interesting to see how each character slowly opened their eyes to other possibilities. The characters were all pretty likeable, but I do have to admit, they were a bit one-dimensional. I totally understand that it's difficult to truly develop characterization in a novella, but that's my personal favorite part of a story so I do wish that more had been done with that. I felt like Nick was essentially just another body - he didn't really seem to serve any purpose to the story, except to be another member of Arabella and Lena's investigative team, and one that didn't really do much.
This story did have a couple minor details that annoyed me... really just little expressions that the characters used. For starters, Lena, Arabella's best friend, ends practically every sentence with "hon," especially in the beginning. That got old real fast. I also get very annoyed by fantasy/supernatural books in which the characters use expressions like "hells," "gods," etc. I understand that authors are trying to account for non-Christian beliefs, but it just comes across as trite. I actually know a couple of people who identify their beliefs as pagan and I have never once heard them pluralize the word "god" when they're using it as an expression. So yeah, no big deal, but it is one of my pet peeves. Also, insta-love -(show spoiler)
The last thing that I want to comment on is the fact that the last chapter felt out of place. Believe me, I was waiting for that part for the whole book and I am so glad that it happened, but it just didn't feel right. It came across as something that the author really wanted to include but didn't know where she could put it, so she stuck it at the end and called it a day.
Reading through what I've written, I'm realizing that it's probably coming across as a book that I didn't really like. This is so not the case. This was a sweet story. It was a quick read with good romance and it was a really nice distraction from homework, I'm not gonna lie, haha. I will probably be re-reading it and I am definitely going to be keeping an eye out for more work by Libby Bishop. I especially hope that she'll come out with a full-length novel, because, in my opinion, novellas are over way too quickly - I want more! And that right there should tell you that this book is worth reading: 81 pages just was not enough, because I genuinely enjoyed the story and I genuinely like this author. If you need a quick read, this is worth looking into.
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Entangled Publishing, but in no way did this influence my review.