Title: The Haunting of Timber Manor (Memoirs of the Human Wraiths #1)
Author: F.E. Feeley Jr.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 9th Jan, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance
Page Count : 230
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.
Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.
Sherriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.
“The Haunting of Timber Manor” is a very well-written paranormal/ghost story. The creep factor of the book was on point. Yes, there is a ghost and there is haunting but it’s not too dark or blood curdling. It won’t make you scared of the shadows but it will definitely peek your interest in knowing what will happen next.
Daniel Donnelly after recently losing his parents in a boating accident gets invited to stay with his estranged aunt in his father’s childhood home, the Timber Manor. Daniel’s aunt is suffering from cancer and she transfers all the family’s wealth to his name as he is the last Donnelly heir. Here he meets the sexy sheriff of Emerson, Hale Davis. There is an instant connection between the two. They forge their relationship gradually one day at a time. Along with love making a welcome appearance in Daniel’s life for the first time, he also experiences some weird/creepy happenings going on in the big house. With each day the threat to his life increases as he pieces together the history behind the house and how it has affected his entire family. Now it is upto him to help his family get rid of the malevolent ghost which is hell bent to take its revenge on the Donnellys.
Being a haunting story, a dark/sinister environment is a must and the setting of the Timber Manor was perfect for that. The ghostly activities in the book are not too outlandish. It was subtle and exactly what I wanted from a haunting story. Cold spots, shadows, flickering bulbs, footsteps in the hallway; all are present here and it lends the best kind of eerie vibe a haunted house should possess. Plus you cannot forget about the wolves. The howling in the middle of the night added to the entire spookiness of the story.
The writing style is very nice. The story flows nicely with the perfect mix of romance and horror. Daniel and Hale’s romance is mostly insta-love but they take their time in converting their friendship to love. The intimate scenes were not too steamy but it was sweet and passionate enough to match the tone of the romance. Amidst the horror and the steady escalation of evil, their romance was strong and solid. Daniel and Hale had each others back and I loved how they coped with a situation they had no clue how to get a handle on.
There are multiple POVs in this story. It helped in getting into the heads of the various characters and understanding them better but also felt unnecessary. The story arc is very predictive so there is no twist or turn per say but as a whole it worked very well. I liked the conclusion which reminded me of the Winchester brothers.
My one tiny problem with the plot: I did not understand why Carol would insist Daniel to stay in the house when she has known all along who the ghost is and what it wants. And also how could she have stayed in the house all alone for all these years after what happened to her fiancée. I would have definitely fled or try to get to rid of the ghost at least.
Overall, I would recommend this book to all paranormal fans. If you want a horror story with the added bonus of a sweet and promising romance in the heart of it, then this is the book for you. I would look forward to more from this author.