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Suspicion - Alexandra Monir

After reading the blurb, I expected this book to be a thrilling, strange retelling of Rebecca, with a strong focus on romance. This book did not live up to those expectations.

I had a really hard time connecting with the characters, and the chemistry between characters was horrible. There was no spark between Imogen and any of the male leads, just a weird forced-feeling obsession which felt more like a plot device than true attraction. The only characters I really enjoyed at all were Maisie and her mother. Monir did a great job making these characters multidimensional, so you can see the good and bad in both of them.

The plot itself was really pretty okay for the first half of the story. It had a nice mysterious, creepy feel to it as the blurb promised. Unfortunately, this feeling is completely lost in the second half of the story. The creepy mystery is replaced with a paranormal "Princess Diaries", except all the funny, cute anecdotes are missing. Events in this half of the novel feel very choppy and at times completely unrelated. The plot twists in the second half are really unexpected, which was nice, but the story surrounding the twists is so convoluted that it is difficult to appreciate and enjoy these hidden gems. The pace also slows significantly in the second half of the book, only to pick up slightly closer to the end of the story.

Overall, I think the expectations I set for this story were just too high. I went into this book hoping for a creepy thriller retelling of Rebecca, and what I got was a choppy paranormal novel with romance. I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal fiction involving elementals and witches, as well as fans of classic retellings.