Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

July 16th, 2014 Kimberly Review 93 Comments

16th Jul
Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Better Homes and Hauntings
by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal Romance
Source: Audible
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4 cups

When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he's hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate - he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say "Boo". But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion's faded glory, Deacon realizes that he's found someone who doesn't seem to like his fortune more than himself - while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart. But something on the island doesn't believe in true love...and if Nina and Deacon can't figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn't stand a ghost of a chance

I have always wanted to try one of Molly Harper’s books and when the chance to review Better Homes and Hauntings audio arose, I jumped. I love paranormal woo-woo with haunted houses, family lore and island settings. Harper offered up a simple, entertaining tale that will have you rooting for the characters and wanting to defuse a ghost.

Caffeinated Aspects:

• Better Homes and Hauntings is a standalone paranormal romance filled with humor, a benevolent spirit and diverse group of people working to restore an old family mansion.

• The setting is fantastic. The home is on an island surrounded by water and reached by boat. The house built in the early 1900’s has secret nooks, a ballroom and tons of atmosphere perfect for spirits.

• The cast is very diverse from the tech geek to the gardener creating for entertaining meals, feuds and friendships. We get multiple Pov’s, and the narrator did an excellent job of bringing forth their personalities which added to the listener’s enjoyment. I loved the banter, late night girls’ talk, the bickering and of course, the romances that developed.

• Ghosts, old family legends, murder and more made Better Homes and Hauntings interesting. I loved the old family tragedy, the hauntings and the slow build as the entities’ anger escalated. Back-stories and threats from Nina’s past had me fully engaged.

• The romances were very different. Nina and Deacon’s romance so cute, sweet, awkward and funny. Cindy and Jack had history and theirs was a haters to lovers’ romance that made for a hilarious listen.

• Amanda Ronconi did an excellent job narrating and quickly gave a unique voice to each character making the transition from each character seamless. The humor and hauntings were enhanced by her skill set.

Decaffeinated Aspects:

• While we get a few creep-tastic moments, for the most part this is a G haunting, and I would have loved darker tones.

• The tale is predictable, and moments lagged a little, but overall this was entertaining.

• A little something was missing, and I cannot quite figure out exactly what I needed. Perhaps because no aspect of the tale was the main focus, and multiple POVs left me wanting more depth.

If you are looking for a fun, sexy tale with ghosts and fun characters then Better Homes and Hauntings should be your next listen. I will be reading/listening to Harper again.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

93 Responses to “Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper”

  1. anna

    Glad this one worked better for you Kimberly. I usually LOVE her books but just could not do this one and ended up DNFing it which I rarely do. From what I’ve seen the audio seemed to work better for people than the print (which is what I had).

  2. Vilia

    Definitely give Harper’s Naked Werewolf series and her Half Moon Hollow series a shot if you can as the humour in those is effortless and the relationship really sweet.

  3. Diana Leigh

    I don’t know about this one. It’s got the elements I like, but I’d rather it be darker. It’s a firm maybe!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love the dark too. I love how Jones mixes dark and humor and was hoping for something like that..but honestly this was a fun listen.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, I think now that I know her books are more light and humorous I will read them when that mood strikes..i would have preferred dark too

  4. Jennifer

    I LOVE Molly Harper. I’ve read/listen to all her books but I just could not hang with this one. I got 100 pages into the audio and gave up. I LOVE Amanda Ronconi and Molly Harper together but this one just didn’t grab me for some reason. Makes me sad to say that.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It happens. Recently I stopped reading a book that everyone ended up giving 4 and 5 stars on..It is hard when it is an author you like too 🙂

  5. Stephanie

    I haven’t read anything by Harper- but I have heard great things about her books. I have heard mixed things about this one (today- oddly enough). So- it was great to read your review and find out what you liked and didn’t like as much. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Glad I could share my breakdown Stephanie 🙂

  6. Lark

    Great review, Kimba! I’m fine with it being light rather than dark, so I think this will stay on my TBR list. I wish my library had the audio, but I’ll have to settle for the paperback. (I’ve put it on hold, but suspended the hold until fall, since I’m overstocked with books right now.)

  7. Cyn

    Hmm sounds like a cute listen for a slow day! I did enjoy Molly Harper’s naked werewolves series, so if it has that cute humour than it sounds good to be! Too bad about it not being a bit darker! Thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It does have the humor, I am going to try the Naked Werewolves series Cyn.

  8. Paij Slater

    I would probably like darker tones as well for a haunting….BUT the name of this book is so fantastic. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love the name too, and this is perfect if you are in the mood for light

  9. Lori

    I love reading Molly Harper books when I’m in the mood for light and fun PNR. I recently bought this on audio and hope I like it, I’ve heard mixed reviews but I’m glad you liked it. I already know what I’m getting with this author so I think it’ll be a fun read, I really like that it’s a stand alone so there’s no commitment to a series. Great review Kimberly!

  10. Henrietta

    It’s great to see that this one is G Haunting – I’m not into stories that are too dark and I think it’s a plus that there is humor… and a benevolent spirit. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If you are looking for a light paranormal with humor this is a wonderful read Henrietta, enjoy 🙂

  11. Braine Talk Supe

    I love her! Even if some of the jokes are corny or the setting a little exaggerated, I still find her stories hilarious and beyond entertaining!

  12. Stephanie Faris

    The title cracked me up> Better Homes and Hauntings. LOL. Yeah, multiple POVs have been annoying me lately, as well, especially when there’s head-hopping.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It wasn’t bad Stephanie, it just could have been better.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I did too, I have way to many series and trilogies going on 🙂

  13. Mckenzie

    Hi, Ms. Kimba! I’m glad you enjoyed this one, although I hate it lagged in some parts. It sounds like a great read! Awesome review! Thanks so much for stopping by! *hugs*

    ~Mckenzie x

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Mckenzie 🙂 Hope your summer is going well 🙂

  14. Franny

    Oh, that sounds like a lovely read, I’m glad you enjoyed it despite the few “bumps”! 🙂

  15. Livia

    I really like the standalone aspect 😀 I dread cliffies, lol.
    The multiple POVs can get distracting, and blur the focus on one story. I tend to like one story, as opposed to more tangents which might come with multiple POVs.
    But it sounds like an interesting read, I’d give it a try when in my ghost-craving moods, hehe.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well now I know Harper equals, light and funny 🙂

  16. Jessica

    Oh nice review! I looove a good paranormal mystery! Victoria Laurie and Juliet Blackwell are among my faves! When I heard about this one it sounded like it would be right up my alley! Still sounds like it too! Great review! Glad to hear it was good, if not super scary, but oh well!

  17. Kim { Book Swoon }

    This was my first Molly Harper read, and I had fun with the romance and humor in it. It was more of a G rate as far as the paranormal scare aspect though. And, I do know what you mean about it lagged a bit as well. I think one thing I had wanted more of was sexual tension between the characters-they were totally cute and adorable though. I’m glad you found it entertaining though, Kimba 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah it was cute and light, and I agree with your assessment Kim.

  18. Quinn

    I posted my review of this today, too. I really liked the audiobook, but I agree, that something was missing. I think, for me, with so many characters, and not really a strong focus on one or two characters. Also, this was definitely a G-rated scarry story. I wish there was more ghost action.

    But I did really enjoy this and finished it really quickly. I want to read more Molly Harper books. They are perfect palate cleansers in my opinion.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That is exactly how I felt, I enjoyed just didn’t give me the depth I wanted to make it a wow read. Thanks Quinn

  19. Siiri

    Haha! This cover looks super cute. The setting does sound awesome! I need to see this ballroom. I have a weird obsession with those 😀 Yay for both of my favorite romances being portrayed here 🙂 I’m sorry it was a tad predictable, but you know.. those can work too sometimes, depending on which mood you’re in 😉 And I know about multiple POVs. I can handle two, but more? Eh. Gets a little tricky. Glad you enjoyed this as a whole, Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Siiri this was fun, and perfect for when you are in the mood for a light paranormal.

  20. Carolyn (Book Chick City)

    I’ve been looking at this for a while and wondering what it was like. It’s a shame it’s not a bit more gritty, but sometimes it’s nice to read something a little lighter. Will definitely give it a try.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is the perfect book for in-between heavier novels, or a great road trip listen.

  21. Berls

    Looks like my average rating for Molly Harper – I really enjoy her books, but they never fully blow me away. I’m not surprised it was a G haunting – I can’t see Molly Harper writing something truly scary. I usually get a good laugh and enjoy her characters though, so I know I’ll be checking this one out eventually. Amanda Ronconi is one of my favorite narrators, so I’m confident I’ll be reading this as an audiobook. Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That is exactly how I felt. I enjoyed it, but wasn’t blown away

  22. Kris

    I have yet to read a Molly Harper book. This sounds like a fun book for when I’m looking for a lighter paranormal read with great characters and character relationships 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Perfect for a light read with touch of humor, romance and woo-woo Kris 🙂

  23. Candace

    I remember Christy saying she was bored some of the time but I was hoping the audio was better. It’s too bad it was missing something though cause I thought this one sounded SO good. I think I’ll wait for awhile and not add this to my pile just yet.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think the audio made it a better read, I was never bored I just wanted more thrills.

  24. Rita

    Well, I had decided before your review that this couldn’t be too dark or intense a story based on that wildly happy woman on the cover 😉 I am guessing the author wanted to draw in folks who didn’t like heavy woo-woo but wanted some fun. Thanks.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That explanation works Rita. It had some really good spooky moments but I would have liked more. This was a fun read.

  25. Sam

    I love the sound of the romances here. And the setting sounds like my sort of thing! Different and atmospheric. This book is new to me, so thanks for drawing it to my attention. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was a fun read Sam, nothing too complex but perfect entertainment.

  26. Katherine

    Finally a review from you that doesn’t add to my TBR pile! Of course the only reason it doesn’t is because this book is already there! This sounds like the kind of book I’m in the mood for right now so it may jump up my list a bit.

    • kimbacaffeinate crack me up Katherine. This is a nice light, funny read..enjoy!

  27. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I am intrigued. While I don’t often go in for paranormal books, I love a story set in an old house that lends itself perfectly to this kind of story. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is one part romance, one part humor and one part mystery/ghost. So a nice balance Laurel.

  28. Jenea

    I like that there is humor and mixed in this, I will have to check and see if my library carries it. Great review.

  29. Stormi

    I love Molly Harper and knowing her, I would know not to expect darker tones (so that won’t bother me) for her haunting because she writes humorous books and I can’t wait to read this one. Amanda Ronconni narrates all of her books and she is fantastic. You should really try her Nice Girl series on audio..funtastic! 🙂 I received this one in book form but had to grab up the audio cause Molly Harper is just an audio read for 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this one!!!!!! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Stormi, agreed this is a light, fun I know what to expect.

  30. kindlemom1

    Even though almost all the reviews for this one I have seen seem to be the same thoughts, I still want to try this one. There is just something about it that appeals to me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was fun Ali, and I was never really bored. It is work a read for sure 😉

  31. Nick

    I know a lot of readers love Molly Harper’s books and they always sound very fun too, so I’m actually looking forward to reading this one. I like the sound of the diverse characters and the humor. It’s a shame the book is a bit predictable though and lacked a little spark.
    I’m glad you still enjoyed this, Kim! 🙂
    Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Just go into thinking light fun read with a little spook-factor and you will enjoy it

  32. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba Loved the review I am a huge fan of darkness in my fantasies but I also LOVE a good olde fashioned romantic haunting too so this is heading to the top of my pile. I interviewed Molly back in June here’s the link just in case your readers would like to know a bit about Molly-

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks for sharing the link Debbie, always nice to learn more about the author!

  33. Mary

    I do enjoy Molly Harper’s stories though I can see how she’s more G than R when it comes to scary — she’s much better with humor than horror!

  34. Jessica

    Molly Harper is another author at the top of my Need to Try SOON list, but I think I’ll wait until I’m a truly converted fan before picking this one up. This still looks like a good read, but her naked werewolf books might be a better place to start (for me, anyway 😉 ). Great review though!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, I would go with the Naked Werewolf Jessica 🙂

  35. Judy

    I recently won this but haven’t started it yet. I have seen some mixed reviews on it, so I am glad to see that you enjoyed it. This is going to be my dead tree work read. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Go in thinking light romance, light mystery, light spook and you will be fine:) I didn’t struggle to read it, it just didn’t blow my socks off

  36. Lily

    Oh i love Molly Harper’s books (yes it looks like i finally found an author we’ve both read!) LOL but this one wasn’t on my radar! I do love the fact that it’s a standalone though! Everything’s a series these days

  37. Melanie Simmons

    I love Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi, but they are not autobuy for me. I’ll probably wait to see if my library gets this one. Thanks for the great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I can see what that is Melanie, and yep this is a perfect library listen/read 🙂

  38. Melliane

    When I saw the book I was so sure it was part of a series and I’m sad to see it’s not the case. I really enjoyed the Molly Harper’s books I tried and I want to try this one as well now. Thanks for the review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, it didn’t blow me out of the water, but I had fun 🙂

  39. Silvia

    Even though I don’t like when a tale is predictable, this still sounds good. You know I’m not a fan of audiobooks, but I saw there’s a paperback version and that’s good! I’ll keep this one in mind, not the first time I read a review about it and I’m definitely curious 🙂

  40. Ginny

    This one has been on my TBR list and sounds like a good one to read/listen to for a lighter fix when you need a little break from the heavier stuff. I like that it’s a stand alone so that definitely makes it a win since you don’t have to commit to an ongoing series. I’m going to keep it on my list for a quick, no long term obligation, read. I just can’t resist a haunted house on an island.

  41. Lupdilup

    I wanted to read your review before I bought this one. I know almost everybody loves Molly Harper’s books, but they just don’t work for me 🙁 I tried her other 2 series and they were a no go for me, I feel all alone in this feeling..LOL I didn’t hate them, they just didn’t blow me away. So you can see why I was waiting for reviews before I made my decision.
    Good job! As always 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was my first go with her, and it’s a light fun read.