Angie and the Ghostbuster, by Theresa Gladden

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I like ghost books, and the hero in Angie and the Ghostbuster, by Theresa Gladden sounded like a winner!

Drawn to the old house by an intriguing letter and a shockingly vivid dream, Dr. Gabriel Richards came in search of a tormetnted ghost -but instead found a sassy blonde with dreamer's eyes who awakened old pain of his own. Ange Parker was two parts angel to one part vixen, a sexy skeptical single mom who suspected a con -but couldn't deny the chemistry between them, or disguise her burning need.

Determined to court the irrepresible flirt who'd gotten under his skin, Gabriel pursued her with tender fierceness, wooing the sweet tigress who protected all those she loved, but who'd never known how it felt to be cherished. Together, they struggled to believe the impossible, to free the anguished spirit that shadowed their happiness. Could a century-old mystery reveal the powerful magic of love?
While the hero was lovely, Angie and the Ghostbuster simply didn't engage me. My grade would be a C.

I really liked Gabriel. I'm a sucker for nerdy, scientist, nice-guy heroes, and Gabriel was just adorable. Angie was an interesting character, too. Her backstory was original (her late husband was much, much older than her, and they had a wonderful marriage), and her having no ambitions outside the home was refreshing, even if it made Angie a character I understood intellectually, but couldn't really emotionally get a feel for.

However, for all that I liked both characters, I found Gladden's handling of their relationship wooden and chemistry-free. I couldn't manage to raise any interest in the romance... I just felt kind of distant, even bored with it all. What's strange about this is that the characteristics of Gabriel and Angie's relationship should have made it a hit for me. I liked the way they dealt with their past together, acknowledging it but accepting that they are now adults and completely over it. I liked how they got to know each other by talking (and listening) and how Gabriel immediately falls for Angie and basically courts her (and yes, he uses that word!). And yet... the way Gladden coloured in between these basic lines didn't work for me.

As for the ghost story, it could have been a really interesting plot, but Gladden managed to make it as boring as the love story. Plus, the resolution was much too rushed.

It's too bad, but the only strong feeling the book evoked was a kind of incredulous horror, when the author described some of Angie's outfits ::shudder::.


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