Review: Ghost of a Gamble by J.E. McDonald

Posted October 5, 2020 by Lola in Fantasy, Review, Romance / 0 Comments

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Ghost of a GambleGhost of a Gamble (Wickwood Chronicles #1)
by J. E. McDonald

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

There’s something extraordinary hidden beneath Wickwood’s picturesque façade.

Bree Tisdale is a jack-of-all trades blogger whose work history is nothing but tragic. When she lands a job with a supposed ghost hunter—the mysterious Zack Liller—he threatens to upend her world.

With an eviction notice in her back pocket, she doesn’t have much of a choice. Yet, as the mysteries pile up, the impossible suddenly starts to seem possible…

…Even trusting in Zack and the fire he lights inside her.

Zack Liller grew up with ghosts and has little time for fun and games. Reservations that Bree will be a good fit for his sister’s company plague him, but one day spent with the vivacious woman ends up convincing him Liller Investigations can’t do without her.

Or at least, that he can’t.

But, as things heat up between them, he is forced to wonder if he can trust Bree enough to be honest about his abilities.

When the house they’re investigating turns out to be one of the most active he has ever experienced—and the most dangerous—he realizes he may not have a choice.

My Review

Ghost of a Gamble was a great romantic read with a touch of the paranormal. My favorite part of this book was probably Bree, she was such a ray of sunshine with a vibrant personality and I loved her character. The author really can write some great dialogue that made the characters feel real. She captured their sweet and slightly awkward romance perfectly. And even when things heat up it still retains that touch of awkwardness and has their personalities shine through even in those scenes.

Ghost of a Gamble starts shortly before Bree gets fired at another job. Then she stumbles into Zack who is posting a job offer and before she knows it she has another job. This job is different though, Zack works for a paranormal investigation company and Bree is convinced they are frauds and wants to uncover them. The more she sees, the more she starts to wonder if her initial belief that they are frauds is true, but she is a skeptic and doesn’t believe in ghosts, right?

I liked both Bree and Zack, but especially Bree. I just love how the author wrote her, she has such a vibrant personality and I could totally see why Zack falls in love with her. Their romance is awesome too and I really could feel their connection. I thought Zakc was a great match for her, although he was a bit brooding at first. I enjoyed reading their conversations and the author really has a knack for writing some great dialogue. While this is a paranormal romance book the focus is definitely on the romance and that worked fine here. The slightly paranormal element was a fun side plot line and added a bit of a creepy vibe at times.

I didn’t really care for the romance conflict, it was clear from the start what the conflict would be and what would break them apart, but I didn’t really care for it or felt it really was such a big deal especially after what happened later in the book. Luckily it quite quickly gets resolved. I do like how the plot line of Zack not being sure whether to trust Bree with his secret is handled.

I liked that Bree was just a normal human being and even though Zack had a paranormal ability, that also wasn’t the focus. The whole paranormal part is more about the ghosts and they use quite mundane ways to locate them mostly. There are some side characters with cool powers and it was kinda fun to see the side characters being the ones who actually had more paranormal abilities than the main characters.

I only had a few minor niggles. While I was reading this book I had fun and wanted to read it, but as soon as I put it down I just didn’t really feel the pull to continue. Not sure why. I also felt like the plot line surrounding the haunted house could’ve been a bit more developed? It was quite slow to start and I would’ve liked a bit more of a hint or bigger reveals maybe about what actually happened there. Now it was a bit overshadowed due to what happened to Zack and then it all was fixed in the epilogue. I also thought the combination of creepy paranormal and the sweet adorable romance was a bit off at times, while it was a nice contrast at times it was also a bit jarring.

While I liked how the paranormal aspect was there, but a bit in the background, at times I wish it had been a bit more present. I still feel like I hardly have an idea of what is possible in this world or not and how things work. Even Zack’s ability stays a bit vague. He rarely talks or thinks about it when we are in his point of view. And the rest of the people with a paranormal power are side characters and we don’t really get to know how their powers work. It doesn’t really get expanded upon and I would’ve liked to learn a bit more about the paranormal aspect.

To summarize: I had fun reading Ghost of a Gamble. It’s a enjoyable paranormal romance book, heavy on the romance and low on the paranormal aspect. Bree and Zack’s romance is great to read about, it felt realistic and I liked how adorably sweet and awkward they could be. Bree has such a vibrant personality and Zack was a great match for her. I liked the romance and there was some great dialogue. The paranormal aspect with the ghosts was a bit of a creepy counterpart to the romance. I liked the paranormal part, but the build-up of the paranormal plot line was a bit slow and I would’ve liked the reveal at the end to feel bigger or have more impact, now it was quite easily solved. All in all this was a fun read and I look forward to more books in this series!

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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