The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton
publisher: J. A. Templeton
release date: June 27th, 2011
paperback, 304 pages (reviewed ebook format)
intended audience: Young adult
series: MacKinnon Curse, book 1
source: from author for honest review
description: Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness.
When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse––that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian.
Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that would mean letting him go forever and she’s not sure she is strong enough to do that. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, the spirit of the woman who killed Ian returns and she’ll stop at nothing to keep Riley from helping Ian find eternal peace.
Review: The Deepest Cut was a compelling, haunting, romantic tale. The Scottish country setting gave it a beautiful atmosphere, with castles, creepy ancient cemeteries, and lovely accents to put to the voices of Riley's new friends! Riley is a good person, struggling with much more emotionally than the normal teen. She seems to have a pretty solid handle on her ability to see ghosts, but it's the secret guilt she feels about her mother's death that is eating her up inside. In some ways, I think she was okay with seeing ghosts because of her constant hope that she would someday be able to see her mother again and apologize. Until then, her pain is so immense, she has resorted to cutting as a release. I love the relationship between Riley and her brother, Shane. Despite being really close in the past, they had grown further and further apart while they both deal with their mother's death in different ways. It started out rocky and grew into something really great---I loved Shane's character and hope we get to know him more in the future!
There are some intensely spine-tingling moments throughout this story! The dark spirit, Laria, is as evil as they come. The extent of the sinister things she was involved with in life were only vaguely explained, so I hope to read more about that in the rest of the series. I'd also be interested to learn a little more about the MacKinnon family history, so I hope that is to come. Ian MacKinnon was a great love interest! A little mysterious, very gentle and compassionate, but masculine in all the right ways! The attraction was instant but the love was not, which I appreciated. Though sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my brain around a ghost being able to stand before you as real and corporeal as any living being, I was able to overcome that and just enjoy the sweet romance that developed between Riley and Ian. After all, what is a good love story without the gentle touches on the face, the coy hand-holding, the nuzzles into the neck. :) Plus the author did a good job of explaining the power of ghosts, so I was satisfied!
The plot was intriguing, and the things that I suspected would turn out predictable ended up taking me completely by surprise! Despite a few small editing and grammatical errors (which could very well have been fixed since the copy I received!), I definitely enjoyed and recommend The Deepest Cut. I am SO very thankful that the next installment in the story comes out in January 2012. The ending was such an abrupt cliffhanger! It would have been horrible to have to wait much longer than that to find out what is going on!
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