Gather the Bones
popped up on my radar through a group challenge on Goodreads. I didn't know anything about it, but the synopsis enthralled me and I felt like a bit of a change of pace, having not read many historical fantasy/romance books. It also simultaneously surprised and delighted me to find out that Alison Stuart actually lives in Australia too?! Even better! Now I can read a promising sounding book and support a fellow Aussie writer.
The story... well that just blew me away.
The beginning chapters of the story was a little
flat, I think it could have been placed somewhere else in the story and worked better, but it quickly flowed past that and drew me in and I became completely engrossed in the story. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know Helen, the lead female and her sweet daughter (Alice) and I secretly (ok maybe not so secretly now) adored Paul Morrow, our dashing, yet reclusive male lead. Alison brought these characters to life and very eloquently weaved her tale around the reader in such a way that you felt included in it. You weren't just a fly on the wall, you got to see, hear, feel and experience the range of emotions, senses and experiences that each of the characters did.
Because of the historical romance genre, you do get your fair share of the bitchiness and gossiping that was rife in that time/genre. Alison did a fantastic job of bringing all that to the fore without going overboard and drowning out the storyline.
I especially enjoyed the paranormal element to this story. It added brilliantly to the already strong historical romance tale. It didn't overpower the rest of the story, this was a truly well balanced mix of genres which had a surprisingly wicked plot twist I didn't see coming.
So, why 4 stars and not the sought after 5 star review?
The simple answer is, this:
I wanted a little more. There are unanswered questions in my mind, which isn't to say that you have to end a story with a pretty pink bow of closure, but I felt a little let down when I didn't get those answers.
Still, Gather the Bones
is a thoroughly enjoyable read (that I was up till midnight reading last night!) that historical romance fans should enjoy, fans of paranormal books might enjoy the light theme too, mystery buffs may find the mystery a little too light, but might enjoy it. I think, your general all-rounder reader will probably enjoy this the most, because of its blend of genres. Ultimately, this is a well written and well executed story.
Thanks for the great trip back in time Alison!