#BlogTour #Review – The Secret of Hillcrest House by Melanie Robertson-King

The Secret of Hillcrest House 4-4-2016 Front Cover-page-001

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Release Date: April 16, 2016

Publisher: King Park Press

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time.

EXCERPT

The wind picked up making it difficult for Jessica to return the contents to the pouch. As she turned to place them in her purse, a face and hands appeared in the window over the side porch. “There’s someone in there,” she gasped, pointing to the location.

“Keys. I’ll need them unless you want me to break in.”

Transfixed by the image, Jessica couldn’t look away. She extended her arm and dropped her ring holding her house and car keys into his hand.

“You stay here,” he ordered before sprinting to the front of the house.

The face appeared to be that of a young child. After a few minutes, the image faded. She blinked thinking it vanished because she’d stared at it for so long, but even that didn’t help.

Frightened by the disappearance, she dashed after the officer.

When she stepped through the door, the pungent smells of damp and stale assailed her nostrils. Out of habit, Jessica reached for the light switch. She discovered an old-fashioned push button one indicative of knob and tube wiring. That was another expense she wasn’t prepared for.

At one time, the dark wainscoting in the foyer shone. Now it was dull, dingy and covered with dust. The paint above it and on the ceiling had peeled and curled. Flakes littered the floor and stairs. She grabbed a loose piece of paint from the wall and gave it a tug. It pulled away with little resistance.

Two large rooms stood on either side of the main hall. Jessica entered the one to her left. Pocket doors, off their tracks, cut off part of the large doorway. Yellowed wall and ceiling paper hung from crazy angles. The plaster it once covered now exposed. Sheets covered the furniture. At one time, they had been white but now, layered with dust. Jessica thumped her hand down on the back of a sofa forcing a cloud of the grubby powder into the air. Choking, she scurried out and into the room across the corridor.

It, too, was in the same state but in here, boards didn’t cover the windows. Sun shone through grimy panes of glass, and dust particles floated in the air trapped by the beams of light.

The sound of footfalls on the stairs echoed through the house. Jessica turned. She gasped and clapped her hand over her mouth. On the back of a sheet-covered sofa, lay a pristine, long-stemmed red rose.

The officer stepped into the room, securing his truncheon to his belt. “I thought I told you to stay outside.”

She didn’t reply. Stood shaking and pointing at the flower. Tried to speak but no sound came out. The room started swimming in front of her eyes. Her mouth went dry. She felt cold and clammy.

Jessica came to outside on the verandah with no idea how she got there or what happened.

“You fainted,” the cop said. “I caught you before you fell and brought you out into the fresh air.”

She stared at him and nodded only half understanding what he told her.

“By the way, I’m Alain Fournier.” He flashed a smile revealing brilliant white, perfect teeth. “And you are?”

“J-Jessica Maitland.”

“There was no one anywhere in the house. I’ve checked it from top to bottom.”

“But …,” she sagged against his shoulder.

How could that be? She saw the face in the window and the hands pressed against the glass. If no one had been inside the house, how did that rose get there? It was fresh. Not wilted. It made no sense. Her mind had to be playing tricks on her. Tired from the long drive and concentrating on the GPS directions, all she wanted was sleep.

 

ABOUT MELANIE ROBERTSON-KING

Melanie author photo cropped

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.

 

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My Review

I was offered this book to review and I nearly passed on it because I have so many already on my TBR (to be read) pile but the picture on the cover crawled under my skin and I have to say from the first paragraph I was lured in and totally captivated.

Jessica spots an ancient Victorian mansion for sale online and buys it unseen, the house spoke to her and she was of the opinion that she could renovate the dilapidated building and return it to it’s former glory.

However once she begins it becomes apparent there is way more to do than she ever imagined, this house could descend into a money pit just to get it habitable. Unfortunately for Jessica that isn’t her only problem. Weird events begin to occur, she sees apparitions, the atmosphere chills, unexplainable odours stench the building out and the crows arrive. I have to say the crow was one of the eeriest parts of the story for me and so well orchestrated. 

Jessica is fortunate to discover the Bell’s, she stayed at their guest house until Hillcrest was in a suitable enough condition that she could move in. Eunice Bell was a motherly figure that gave a nice contrast to the spookier happenings.

Alain is a local law enforcer and he came to the rescue and stole Jessica’s heart in the process. I did think they became close incredibly quickly but the steamy/sexy scenes were welcome as a break from the all the other chilling moments.

Lesser people would have packed up and left, especially when the neighbours mention the property has a reputation for being haunted and folk don’t usually stay long. But Jessica is a fiery redhead and once she has uncovered a box of old newspaper cuttings and some love letters she is determined to investigate further. What can the pull be – why does she feel so strongly?

I really enjoyed this, something slightly different that kept me riveted throughout, with hindsight there were a couple of clues but the ending was superb and a perfect explanation.

Thanks so much to Melanie and Brook Cottage Books for the opportunity to read this cracking story. stars-5-0._V192197110_

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One thought on “#BlogTour #Review – The Secret of Hillcrest House by Melanie Robertson-King

  1. I love secrets and old houses, so this book is definitely on my TBR list. I’m trying to catch up to read this one. Congratulations, Melanie. Looking forward to learning the secrets.

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