Jasmine Mistry is trying to keep it all together. She just got divorced from her lying, cheating ex but still has to see him (and his girlfriend) while they work out the details of who gets the house. She has a high powered but stressful job as a financial planner and she's in line for a promotion that she desperately needs to be able to restart her life. Then her beloved Aunt calls. Auntie needs to travel to India for a month and she wants Jasmine to run her bookstore while she's away. Against her judgement, but unable to say no to her Aunt, Jasmine heads home.
Upon returning to her hometown, a small, rainy island in the middle of Puget Sound, Jasmine realizes she may be in over her head. Not only is her Aunt way behind on her paperwork, but she tells Jasmine that the bookstore is haunted by the spirits of dead authors and that Jasmine must learn to get along with the ghosts in order for things to run smoothly. While dealing with the usual ghostly happenings (books dropping, items being moved/misplaced, doors and windows slamming, etc....) Jasmine meets the handsome and mysterious Connor Hunt who wants to teach Jasmine how to love again. (I know, gag.) But is Connor too good to be true?
As I mentioned last week, I won this book through a contest on Goodreads and this is definitely not a book I would have picked out on my own. (You probably can't tell from the picture, but the cover actually has glitter on it. I'm the anti-glitter.) But for what this book is (mindless chick lit) it really isn't that bad. Although the story itself is predictable, the writing isn't bad and the author does a decent job of describing places and setting the mood. In fact, there were times I was really impressed with the beauty of the writing. For instance, this passage, which takes place while Jasmine is on the ferry headed to the island:
As we approach the island, the eastern shoreline emerges from a wall of fog. Madrone and fir trees tumble down to wild rocky beaches; forested hillsides rise into pewter skies; and the town of Fairport hugs the harbor in a density of antique buildings and twinkling lights. My heartbeat thuds. What am I doing here? Soon the moss will grow between my fingers, in the creases of my nose, and in the pockets of my thin raincoat, where I keep Auntie's letter, her urgent request that summoned me home.
The author did a good job of never allowing the writing to get too flowery and over the top. It was definitely the quality of the writing, and the not the actual plot, that kept me reading. Another plus, was that even though this is technically a romance, there were no corny sex scenes. Thankfully, no heaving breasts or throbbing members.
I would describe Haunting Jasmine as vanilla ice cream. When I want ice cream, I usually crave something a bit more substantial. Something with large chunks of cookie dough or peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels. But, once in a while I'll eat a bowl of vanilla ice cream and realize that even though it isn't what I crave, it's easy to eat, goes down smooth and there are no surprises. I wouldn't trade my usual gunk filled ice cream for it, but occasionally it's a nice change.