by JM Darhower
This is a second chance romance standalone novel.
He's a troubled young actor, Hollywood's newest heartthrob, struggling with fame as the star of the latest superhero franchise. Through scandal after scandal, addiction on top of addiction, a flurry of paparazzi hunt him as he fights to conquer his demons.
She's a single mother, assistant manager at a grocery store, existing in monotony with her five-year-old daughter. Every day when she goes to work, lurid tabloids surround her, the face of a notorious bad boy haunting her from their covers.
A man and a woman, living vastly different lives, but that wasn't always the case. Once, they were just a boy and a girl who bonded over comic books and fell in love unexpectedly.
When Kennedy Garfield met Jonathan Cunningham back in high school, she knew he had all the makings of a tragic hero. With stars in his eyes, and her heart on her sleeve, the pair ran away together to follow their dreams.
But dreams, sometimes, turn into nightmares.
Now, years later, the only thing they share is a daughter—one who has no idea her father plays her favorite superhero. But Jonathan is desperate to make amends, and at the top of his list is the woman who gave up everything for him and the little girl he hasn't yet met.
Kennedy and Jonathan met in high school and shortly before their graduation they run away together...to Hollywood. The couple struggles to work and making a home in their small apartment. When Jonathan’s acting career starts to show promise Kennedy and Jonathan struggle with the actors lifestyle. The parties and drugs and women win.
Six years later, Kennedy is back in the sleepy town they grew up in, in upstate New York raising her daughter Madison. Jonathan is a famous action movie hero, who is just as infamous for his partying and paparazzi run ins. When Jonathan returns to Bennett Landing to recover from an accident he also hopes he can use the time for a second chance with his family.
My Book Review:
Ghosted is a wonderful story about young love, following your dreams, and the hope that everyone deserves a second chance. Darhower has given us a story about hard work, family, and she even threw in some pretty steamy sexiness. At the same time and more importantly, she has also given us a story with poignant and visceral commentary on important contemporary issues many families face. Darhower tackles some of the ugly situations of physical abuse, substance abuse, and being a single parent. She does it in a way that will make your heart bleed, but still have hope.
Some of that hope comes from the role model Kennedy benefits from. I’m a girl raised by a very strong woman. I think one of the most important things a mother can do is be an example for her daughter. They can be an example of how to love yourself, and not let anyone take advantage of you. From my perspective I think it was because Kennedy watched her mother be strong in the fight against addiction, that she was able to be strong for Madison. She was strong enough to demand Jonathan be the father she deserved, or have nothing it all. It would have been so much easier and a lot less lonely for Kennedy to let Jonathan bounce in and out of their lives.
The imperfect hero is one of my favorite tropes. Ani Keating shared with us the Top 10 Reasons Why We Love a Tortured Hero, the forbidden fruit, danger warnings, not to mention the sex on fire, Jonathan has all of that. We root for him and our heart breaks for him, so we fall in love with him.
One of my favorite things about romance novels are the secondary characters. A well-developed secondary character can bring comedic relief, and for me they can usually give added affinity to the story. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in Ghosted. I love Jack, Jonathan’s hold no punches sponsor. Meghan, Maddie’s ever supportive and doting aunt, with her desert inspired nicknames like, candy-doodle pumpkin-bread or cinnamon-sugar apple-fritter, and her wildly sexual and inappropriate comments, is just so much fun. I do wish we got to spend a little more time with them.
Darhower executes the challenging 2nd person part of speech beautifully. About a third of the book is a flashback, and this section is in the second person point of view. This is the first time I’ve encountered a second pov, and I have to say that I’m impressed. There is always chatter in the romance community about point of view. I always wondered if someone would write a book in the second person (Chris Genovese writes 2nd person romantic shorts, but those are very different. They are quite inspired though...).
April Wells from Read and Share Book Reviews
April and I connected on a Facebook comment because we have similar taste in books and awesome names. April and three other ladies, Jennifer, Dawn and Amanda publish the blog Read & Share Book Reviews. Ghosted is her latest five-star read, and after hearing her rave about it, I knew I had to read it.
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author of predominantly romantic suspense novels about the baddest bad boys and the ladies who love them. Fangirl at heart, J.M. is obsessed with books, music, Star Wars, and all things Marvel, especially the glorious Sebastian Stan. She spends her days in a tiny town in North Carolina, churning out words and chasing down Pokemon.