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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Haunted Hearts: A Ghost Story by Kimberly Dean sees sparks flying between Callie Thompson and Chief Carter Landry even as he writes her a speeding ticket. When Callie reaches Shadow Valley, she is disappointed to see that the house Aunt Jeanne bequeathed her needs repair. She sets to work, hoping the creaks from the ceiling and thumps from the basement are noises created by an old building. When her bedroom door mysteriously locks her in, Callie calls for help, and Carter Landry has to stay the night to protect her. But Carter is also occupied with tracking down a dangerous fugitive. Whenever he leaves, the noises return and Callie glimpses the apparition of an old woman. Could Adelaide Calhoun be trying to warn her about something?
Haunted Hearts by Kimberly Dean combined small-town romance with a cleverly constructed supernatural thriller. I liked the way the storyline kept me looking in one direction, while the true threat involved an entirely different medium. I was amazed to see how all the checking, locks being changed, reattaching shutters, and cleansing activities somehow failed to expose the source of the menace. Along the way, I enjoyed the descriptions of the country town and the delightful local characters who were almost as quick to offer help as they were to gossip about a newcomer. The final dénouement delivered an effective shock that kept my imagination working and my skin crawling for hours after finishing the book. I can recommend this book to readers who enjoy exciting love stories mixed with a solid dose of chills.