AUTHOR: Vincent Morrone
AGE CATEGORY: Adult
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
PUBLISHER: Amazon (Self-Published)
RELEASE DATE: September 28, 2016
SOURCE OF REVIEW: Author Requested
RATING: 3.5 stars
BLURB: Anna just inherited her aunt's psychic gift, and it's a gift she wishes she could return.
Anna is a college art student, a wallflower who prefers to hide behind her canvasses and paint the world she sees. When her aunt is brutally murdered by a faceless man, Anna inherits her psychic abilities. Now she’s got to deal with visions, ghosts, and her own destiny.
Ashton Cooke hadn’t seen Anna since they were ten years old, when he held her hand while she learned her mother had been killed in an accident, yet he could never stop thinking about her. They meet again when he poses nude for her art class, giving Anna a view of what she’s been missing.
Anna and Ashton are irresistibly drawn to each other. The slightest touch from Ashton causes Anna to see erotic visions of them together. When they arrive at the Hotel Paranormal, they discover that there’s more to their connection than just desire. Anna may be the key to the truth behind his parent’s death, and she’ll need to embrace her powers to save his remaining family from the man with no face.
A Hotel Paranormal story.
The Hotel Paranormal is THE place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure -- and sometimes for both.
ADD TO: Goodreads
BUY LINKS: Amazon
SERIES WEBSITE: The Hotel Paranormal
Mechanics / Grammar -- 0.5 pointsThere were quite a few grammatical errors in the version I'd read, but the author has since had the book re-edited. Thank you, Mr. Morrone, for caring enough to do so.
At first, I thought there was some serious head hopping going on, but then I realized it was actually written in omniscient POV, which is so weird, especially for a romance. It certainly takes some getting used to, but by the halfway mark, I didn't find it nearly as jarring as I had in the beginning.
What I did find troublesome, though, was the age category of this book. It's labeled as adult, but it takes awhile to get there. In chapter one, the characters are 10, which is more in the realm of MG (middle grade). In chapter two, the characters are 14/15, which would make it a younger YA (young adult). In chapter three, the characters are now college sophomores, which then makes it NA (new adult.) By chapter 9/10, we're told the characters are days away from being 25, which would ultimately make it adult. Spanning that much time in such a short book was a bit difficult to grasp.
Characterization -- 0.5 pointsFor being a novella, there was a very large cast of characters. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it can become difficult to keep them all straight. For example, in chapter two, we're introduced to at least 5 people who never make another appearance in the book--and I kept waiting for them to come up again. I was left wondering why we even needed to meet them in the first place.
Anna -- Shy, afraid of true intimacy, and struggling to understand her gifts, she is a likable character and consistent throughout the book. Her emotions were a bit dull, though, and I think she needs a bit more depth.
Ashton -- He's also a very likable character with a very sad past. I truly felt for him the most. Although, when the truth about him comes out, I was a bit shocked. He's very much a gentleman and a beta male, which is fine...except, knowing who he is, I would think he'd be more of an alpha. But maybe that's just me.
Aunt Ro -- She was by far my favorite character of them all! She was so vivid and really came to life. I wish there had been more of her. I understand why there couldn't be, but... :( She's so great!
All in all, the characters are varied and each bring something special to the story. Unfortunately, because of the omniscient POV, it was extremely hard to get fully invested in them. Without any real time to get inside their heads (for more than a few sentences at a time), it was difficult to get to know them on a deeper level. I was always an arm's length away from them, which is the biggest drawback to this type of POV.
Plot -- 1.0 pointsI loved the overall plot of this book. A psychic / seer and the guy she loves learning to navigate romantic feelings while also trying to avoid danger made for a compelling read. The addition of Anna's paintings were great, too. I enjoyed how that passion played directly into her gifts and the big climax at the end. I think my favorite part was the Hotel Paranormal aspect. That and the staff really jumped off the page. (And I really look forward to reading more books set within this world.)
I was pleasantly surprised by the twist surrounding Ashton and his past. I didn't see that coming, so it was nice to be shocked. Also, I was heartbroken by Sophie's story, and I'm thoroughly impressed with how Ashton handled the knowledge he'd gained from her.
For this book being a part of a bigger series, I expected to see more of the hotel. I was sad we didn't get to spend more time there.
There were some really small plot points and characters that weren't tied up, which is a personal pet peeve of mine, but it's nothing that detracts from the story.
Romance -- 0.5 pointsFor me, it was lukewarm at best. I didn't really feel the chemistry between Anna and Ashton, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this entire story is in omniscient POV. I know. I keep bringing that up, but it really did affect so much of the reading for me. Beyond that, the story focused more on Anna's gifts, her paintings, Ashton's past, and trying to figure everything out--at the expense of building the romance between them. Also, the author relied a bit too heavily on a tried and true paranormal romance trope to explain the romance. I don't want to say what because I don't want to give spoilers, but it didn't work for me. There was one sex scene that's on the sweeter side, and while it was good, it could've been better if there was more development of their romance up to that point.
Final Overall Impression -- 1.0 pointsIf you're a fan of paranormal romance, then this is certainly a book you want to add to your reading list. This is a short, easy read that will help you pass a couple of hours and leave you smiling.