The Last of the Loudens by Robin Alexander

Robin Alexander’s books are a favorite of mine. I love her humor and style of writing, I love that there are always zany characters that a full of life and mischievousness. So when I see a new one of her books is out, I automatically snatch it up.

Taryn Louden doesn’t know what life has in store for her but she knows that she needs a change from how it was going. When her elderly aunt calls her up, shortly after being laid off, to take over as the project manager of her historical home’s massive remodel, she jumps at the chance. Anything is better than taking another job like her last one, sure it paid the bills but every day she died a bit more on the inside. Little did she know how badly the house had been rundown. We are talking seriously decrepit, think horror story style house! Plus, her aunt is acting weird and spends much of her time talking to ghosts from the past.

Vicky Andre is the head of the Louden construction project. She is hated by Taryn’s aunt and the feeling is pretty mutual. She takes the project because restoring old homes is her passion. Vicky used to run through women like water but has recently come to want more in life. Her sister is constantly trying to get her to settle down, she’s just looking for someone that can hold her attention.

This book is good but is not one of Alexander’s best. While chuckle-worthy in a few places it didn’t have the hilarity of some of her others. I don’t always need super funny, though. What I do need is for the two mains to give me the feels or capture my heart just a little. This is where I thought this book faltered, compared to let’s say Next Time or Pitifully Ugly. Those two of Alexander’s you feel the passion and the love coursing through the two protagonists. Vicky and Taryn’s love story just didn’t move me much. This book is good, its just when you compare it to the author’s past books it comes up a bit short.

3 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Intaglio Publications

The Last of the Loudens
by Robin Alexander


The House at the End of the Street by Stephanie E. Kusiak

Ghosts, I have never encountered one. I am not sure I really want to. I have quite the chicken heart and having a ghostly encounter, to be honest, gives me the heebie jeebies. With this being said I would usually pass on a ghost story, but the fact that it was written by Stephanie  Kusiak made me override this immediately.  Her book Loved and Lost is one of my all-time favorites, and therefore her books are on my automatic read list.

Caitlin Cassidy is a newly divorced author that has decided to lick her wounds the only way she knows how, she heads home. Packing up and leaving Los Angeles was harder than she ever imagined it would be. Her marriage is over. A life she was 100% committed t, but could not make work. In her devastation she decides to buy an old abandoned home and restore it to its former glory.  The thing about the home is there is a ghost that lives there. Caitlin knows this because the ghost saved her life when she was a little girl, and that moment has stayed with her forever.

Natalie Hargrove is the ghost that remains in Caitlin’s house. Once an accomplished painter, Natalie had it all. A great family, a beautiful lover, amazing friends, but she lived in a time where she couldn’t be open and honest about who she was and who she loved. Upon telling the truth to her loved ones it all came crashing down. Natalie turned to the bottle in her despair and she fell to her death falling down her grand staircase. Natalie should have never met Caitlyn but she did, and now they are roommates.

I will tell you this book made me cry. I am not really much of a crier, I try to repress those feelings most of the time, but this book brought out the waterworks. While this book is on the short side, it does not lack for emotion. There are times parts of the story are rushed or glossed over, but what you do have is simple and beautiful. The interactions between Natalie and Caitlin are power packed, and with heavy emotion. The two women and their journey was incredible, not like any other story I had read before. I was enthralled, completely captivated by Natalie and Caitlin. This is an amazing story of lost souls and love. Stephanie Kusiak does not disappoint with this one!

5 out of 5 stars