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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
St. Matthew’s House: A Paranormal Romance Novella is written by C.P. Murphy. Young bride, TaShena, is shot dead on her wedding day by her abusive ex-boyfriend, Adam, before he turns the gun on himself immediately after seeing her lifeless body. After such a tragedy, the church is no longer used as a place of worship and is transformed into a residence.
When Sophia Demitri flees to Greenville to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend, Charlie, and start a new life, she feels blessed to find such a beautiful house, especially since she can easily afford the rent. Little does Sophia know that her every move is being watched by two ghosts – one of which is held against her will while the other rejoices in inflicting pain and torment on others. Sophia seems to feel their chilling presence and hear a woman’s voice whisper to her, which Sophia shrugs off as lingering dreams. When former groom-to-be, Frankie Everhart, notices that somebody has moved into the church where his beloved TaShena had been gunned down in front of him all those years ago, TaShena suddenly appears in his dreams, desperately trying to guide him towards the new girl in town. At first, it is to try to fill the void that TaShena’s death had created in Frankie’s heart, but it quickly escalates into something life-threatening with Sophia’s urgent need for protection from a man who only knows how to talk with his fists.
As a domestic violence survivor, I have to say that I got chills while reading C.P. Murphy’s paranormal tale of psychopathic abuse. Starting with the murder-suicide of a bride by her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day and moving on to a woman who, years later, unknowingly moves into the building where the murder-suicide had taken place whilst escaping her own nightmarish abusive past, St. Matthew’s House is a fast-paced thriller which keeps the adrenaline pumping from start to finish. Incorporating the afterlife into a maniacal obsession which had led to such a horrific crime creates a unique and incredible storyline, filled both with fear and unbridled passion. As difficult as it was for me to read, I enjoyed how the story played out so beautifully. I recommend this book to mature audiences who enjoy a lot of action and drama in their paranormal romance.