Book Review – Secret Reflection by Jennifer Brassel

Secret Reflection
Secret Reflection by Jennifer Brassel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fleeing a messy divorce in LA, Kelly Reid takes refuge with friends in the UK who’ve just leased an old mansion to turn into a bed and breakfast. Her friends have the perfect distraction for Kelly, to investigate the mysterious ghost who’s haunted the house for over 100 years.

When the ghost appears in Kelly’s mirror and introduces himself as John Tarrant, Kelly is certain it’s a hoax, and determined to prove how it’s done. But as expert after expert is unable to come up with an explanation, Kelly slowly comes to realise that John is real, and has been trapped in the mirrors since the 1860s, only able to communicate for 20 days every 20 years.

As she investigates how and why John ended up trapped in the mirrors, Kelly starts to fall in love with him. But she has only a few short weeks to work out how to release him from his torment, even if means never seeing or hearing from him again.

I really enjoyed this novel.

The characters were all well written most with believable motivations which governed their behaviours. A few fell back on some traditional stereotypes or tropes, but that was mostly the minor characters and wasn’t too obvious.

The plot was what I enjoyed most about this. I like detective type investigations, and this novel had two intertwined investigations going on at once – how to end John’s torment, and why John was ensorcelled, without resistance in the first place. Throw in the tension of the time limit for the investigation and the villain who has non complimentary plans for Kelly, and the book can be difficult to put down at times.

Both the romance and the sex scenes were well written, which was advantageous in the former, but not so in the latter. The sex scenes primarily involved the villain of the story, and were deliberately disturbing to reflect the villain’s nature. Luckily the plot had me hooked enough that I just skimmed past the sex scenes.

The ending was interesting. One one hand I found it worked well as an epilogue, wrapping up a few loose ends well after the main plot had been resolved. However it was presented as part of the actual story, rather than epilogue, resulting in it seeming a bit lacking in details and stretching my disbelief.

All up, if you enjoy stories of the paranormal with a bit of romance thrown in, then I’d definitely recommend giving this one a try.


Disclaimer: Whilst I read this as a judge for the 2013 Aurealis Awards, this review is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging co-ordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

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