ARC from Walker
Published June 21, 2011
Goodreads - Amazon
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?
I first came across Haunting Violet on goodreads and the beautiful cover immediately grabbed my attention. Since the cover is so breathtaking I immediately hoped that the writing would be too. Thankfully, Harvey's writing is just as stunning as the cover. Once I started this book I literally couldn't put it down until the very end.
The main character, Violet, is trying to blend into her sophisticated and rich surroundings to help her mother convince everyone that she is a wealthy medium. But in fact, Violet's mother can't see ghosts and they are close to getting kicked out of their home. When they are called to Lord Jasper's estate, her mother believes this will make or break their family name. Violet must be on her most ladylike behavior in order to impress Lord Jasper's guests, but that's awfully hard to do when a ghost is having you solve her murder.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was that it took place in the 1800's. Harvey's descriptions were so excellent that I felt like I was walking the halls and gardens at Rosefield with Violet, trying to help her solve Rowena's murder. I honestly can say I had no idea who the murderer was until the very end. I loved that my suspicions would jump from character to character as the story continued. It definitely kept me frantically turning pages until the mystery was unveiled.
Violet is a strong, stubborn and intellegent girl who I found very easy to like. I loved how she interacted with her friend, Elizabeth. Some of the comments they'd make would remind me of my friend and myself. I also really enjoyed that she wasn't the swooning type, even with two attractive guys vying for her affection. She still remained intelligent and heroic making her ignore the damsel in distress label, which I found great.
Colin is definitely one of my favorite male characters. He didn't treat Violet like she was incapable of taking care of herself and he always had a witty comeback when she was acting crazy. I loved that their childhood was full of pranks and that they literally grew to love each other. I really like how Harvey also made Xavier (the son of a rich tradesman) likable and a gentleman. Even though Xavier wasn't the guy I was rooting for, he wasn't a jerk which made me appreciate Violet's feelings for Colin even more.
The ending was incredible. The phrase "it had me on the edge of my seat", can be defined by the last couple chapters of Harvey's book. It was so intense, I didn't know who was going to make it out alive. I loved how involved Rowena got towards the end, it definitely made it the perfect ghost story.
"They would prefer we all dress and talk and think (or not think) alike, like paper dolls.
I do not wish to be a paper doll."
Haunting Violet was a suspenseful, heart-pounding read that had me frantically turning pages until the very end. The mystery, romance and action left me craving a sequel.