Title: Somewhere the Bells Ring
Author: Beth Trissel
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Publication date: 08 November 2011
Source: ARC received for review
Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative's ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn't so bad.
To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope--until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.
As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe--in Bailey and the ghost--before the Christmas bells ring?
Somewhere the Bells Ring is set in 1968 and starts when an injured Eric returns home from Vietnam and finds the lovely and young Bailey in his home. The sixties were the time of free love and drugs and this is what has sent Bailey to the isolated estate in disgrace when pot is found in her dorm room.
I have been reading lots of glowing reviews of Somewhere the Bells Ring and as you can imagine, I really wanted to like it. When I read the blurb, I immediately liked Bailey and wanted to read more about the sweet love story that I was sure to follow. All started well and I was excited when the couple’s eyes met across the dining room. Unfortunately Eric showed his true colours when he accused Bailey of a drug hangover when she started seeing an old (deceased) resident of the estate. Well, maybe I would also be a bit sceptical . . .
Maybe I was just in the wrong mood but Eric really irritated me with his condescending treatment of Bailey. He seemed determined to put her down at every turn. Which made it worse for me, is that I starting resenting the fact that Bailey did not stand up for herself and still looked at him with doe eyes. It is always a bad day when you start disliking your heroine!
Saying that, the world that Beth Trissel created with all the wonderful supporting characters were a place and time I would have loved to visit. I can just image walking the snow covered gardens that she describes and maybe pause for a cup of steaming coffee in Emma, the housekeeper’s, kitchen.
So if you don’t mind a single minded hero of the sixties and a heroine that worships him, you will probably love this book. Join in the Christmas celebrations!