Grave Refrain: A Love/Ghost Story

Posted February 8, 2012 by Vampbard in 4.5 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating A Tags: , ,

Grave Refrain:  A Love Ghost Story
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
ISBN: 978-1936305902
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (484 pgs)
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Andrew Hayes, a brilliant but troubled guitarist in an up-and-coming band, has been haunted since childhood by the presence of his muse. One night during a performance in San Francisco he spots her–but she vanishes before he can catch her. Desperate to find her, he accepts a curious offer to stay in the city, moving into a dilapidated Victorian undergoing renovations that stir up far more than dust. Andrew’s life soon becomes even more chaotic with the arrival of martini-swilling ghosts and a troupe of flesh-and-blood stoner spiritualists bringing bad tidings from the Great Beyond. The dark side of his obsession creates visions both thrilling and menacing. As he struggles to solve the mysteries threatening the woman he loves, Andrew discovers his life is repeating a refrain more deadly than he’d ever imagined. 
What VampBards talking about:
As I began reading Grave Refrain, the debut novel for author Sarah M. Glover, I was instantly drawn in to the real-world situations created.  Three women sharing an apartment.  Must find new digs.  Hot band at the bar – meaning, the guys were cute and the band played **actual** music (probably helped that they were foreign, and Ms. Glover was skilled in utilizing foreign vernacular!). I was also highly impressed with the way in which Ms. Glover presented soul mates.  C’mon.  It’s a romance read.  There’s a HEA.  You know it’s coming.  What wasn’t immediately apparent was the manner in which Ms. Glover would create interest, a flowing plot arc, and characters that feel like they’re my besties from college.  
The beginning of Grave Refrain was an exercise in excellent character development.  By around 100 pages in, I was spun into even more character  development as the paranormal entities were introduced much like slim metallic thread in a quality scarf; not too much in one area and evenly distributed.  We also were exposed to our FIRST villain and his wretched perversions.  The third person omniscient perspective was a FABULOUS choice by Ms. Glover.  I thoroughly enjoy watching Andrew and Emily squirm during passionate as well as uncomfortable situations.  
It’s a given that Andrew and Emily will end up together.  As the strings of fate appear to indiscriminately pluck discordant melodies within their lives and their relationship, more than a simple resolution becomes necessary in this well-crafted plot.  Lending itself quite nicely to the plot are several well-known authors, including poets Robert Frost and this snippet from Robert Browning:

“You were made perfectly to be loved – and surely I have loved you, in the idea of you, my whole life long.”  –Robert Browning (p.238)

Directly followed by this gem of writing, Ms. Glover gives us the gut-wrenching emotion that could only come from a hero like Andrew:

“How? How can I want you like this?  I was raised better than this, you must know.  With manners and etiquette.  So proper, so poised at all times.  If you cut me, I swear it’ll run blue.  My father’s people were all the epitome of English culture, Emily.  My mum, Christ, she’d die a thousand deaths if she knew what I’m thinking of doing to you right now.  There’s sanity in this head, I swear.” (p. 238)

I cannot fathom how Ms. Glover fashioned Andrew and Emily so shrewdly, creatively and passionately that I was completely and utterly floored when I read this passage, which isn’t any new information.  The way, however, it is said…the emotion present … **swoon**  
The paranormal bent in this novel is well-distributed, and there are friendly as well as malevolent ghosts involved throughout the story.  Some habitation of bodies ensues, and the action-packed resolution follows a creepy séance.  I burned through the last 150 pages of this book, to simply see how everything turned out.  Ms. Glover surely didn’t disappoint!  
There were a couple points within Grave Refrain that I felt the writing was a bit immature, but those were almost always followed by gems, as though I had to dig in a coal mine to salvage the diamond.  Additionally, these sporadic points where there was a lull allowed my brain to wrap around some of the intense emotions and situations present.  I look forward to reading future works by Ms. Glover and watching her writing further develop in this genre.  
VampBards Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)

Purchase Info:

One response to “Grave Refrain: A Love/Ghost Story

  1. WOW!! What a great review!!! I can’t wait to read this book!!! I enjoy ghost/love stories!!! Definitely gonna check it out!!! 🙂