on June 10, 2014 :
Ridley House is a relaxed pace novel with a storyline centered on a young woman who is eternally cursed to search for her home, her family, and her lost love with nothing to go on but nightmares and two pieces of jewelry to remind her. For seventy-five years, the reader is told she wanders from place to place, job to job – never knowing what she is searching for until she takes a summer job at Ridley House and the mystery of her past unfolds. The book starts out eerily what with her sense of déjà vu staring at the wall of deceased family members, her encounter with the elderly caretaker who warns her to leave, and just the description of the old house itself. The character of Kay comes across as odd, what with her antiquated slang – swell, bread, shindig, etc- which gives the reader a sense that this young woman is a throwback to years gone by, which she is.
Except for a few instances of profanity, there isn’t any material a reader would find offensive. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on Feb. 24, 2014 :
I absolutely LOVED this story :) To see Kay's journey in finding who she is and from where she is, is amazing to see and experience with her. It definitely has a twist to it that makes me stuck to the book like glue to try to figure it out. It is a beautiful, sweet, love story between two people and, again, Kay's journey in finding what she has lost and is searching for her life. I truly do think this is an amazing book to read and would recommend this to anyone who loves love stories and stories about true love :)
(review of free book)
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
Danielle Tara Evans
on Feb. 23, 2014 :
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was smoothly written, well-edited, and the story was compelling with a fascinating main character. It only took me a few days to read it; I didn't want to put it down. Each scene seemed to unfold before me as if I were watching a movie.
Kay appears to be nineteen, but in reality, she hasn't aged or changed at all in seventy-five years. She also doesn't know why, and she has no memories of her childhood or who she was before she was unable to mature like a normal person. She has been changing locations and doing odd jobs for years, living a very lonely existence. She gets a summer job at the Ridley House Inn, and suddenly, she feels she may find the answers she's been seeking. Not only does the place feel familiar, but there is an old portrait of a woman on the wall who is identical to her.
While there, she meets a handsome, young man, and memories slowly begin to return. She is desperate to find out more about her past, especially anything regarding her lost love. She makes some friends, and she also makes some enemies while working there. The owner of the inn may be her relative, and she may also be able to give her information about her family.
This is an intriguing mystery and love story; books like this one are the reason why I love to read so much. I got completely lost in it, and I couldn't wait for the secrets in Kay's past to be revealed. I was also hopeful that Kay would get a much deserved happy ending. Highly recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Jan. 21, 2014 :
Let me start off by saying it is written in the first person, in the heroines point of view.
Kay is a woman lost inside herself. She has no memory of her past, where she came from, or how she got there. The only memory she has is waking up on a train knowing she was nineteen years old, that someone at sometime may have called her Kay, & she lost her true love. Now seventy-five years later, she still has no answers. The only things she does have a grip on, are, she's over ninety years old with the body she had when she got off the train at 19, she can't cry, & she yearns the loss of her true love. WHAT???? You say! Oh, yea, something is afoot with all of that! Now even weirder, the new job she has started is stirring up all kinds of memories, bad & good, but not everyone is happy she is working at her place of business! Is she to be a lost soul searching for answers forever? She thought so, until she sees a boy that feels so familiar to her that it stirs up feelings in her she thought were long died. She now realizes she can not leave. She must find the answers to her questions no matter what. Could he be her long lost true love? Could this be the place she lived? Or is it all in her head?
The story in short, was a good read, pretty predictable, but would recommend. With that being said, I only had two problems with it. The first was that sometimes I felt the author lost the characters age. She was to be over ninety years old. Yes, she may have had a younger body, but the fact remains her mind is 'old'. In that, some of her actions & thoughts were not that of the ninety year old but that of a much younger person. The second thing, I'm someone who likes to see the bad person get theirs. In this story, without giving anything away, the author was kinder to mr/mrs bad person. Left me with the thought, "Very odd!?" Other than those two little corks of mine, I enjoyed the book. I think it had a difference to it that was refreshing.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on Jan. 21, 2014 :
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**
Imagine waking up on a train not knowing your name, where you came from, and having no idea where you are going. That's exactly what happened to Kay and 75 years later she still has no answers to any of those questions. And for 75 years she has wandered around stuck in the body of a 19 year old girl!
Kay has made her way doing odd jobs here and there, with her trusty van to get her from place to place. When her current job is about to end she finds an ad for a summer job at Ridley House. She's excited when she hears that she's been hired. Arriving at Ridley house she is confronted by Edgar (who is over 90) and he does not seem happy to have her around. When it comes to standing up for others she has no problem, but can't seem to be able to stand up for herself.
She is drawn to Ridley House in a way she's never been drawn to a place before. Looking at the family photos that adorn this cozy Bed and Breakfast she seems to know them, by name! And she's drawn to a picture of a girl who looks exactly like her. She finds out this is Katherine, who mysteriously disappeared 75 years ago. Could she be Katherine? Could Ridley House hold the answers to the questions she's be unable to find all this time?
While there she also meets Josh and is drawn to him in a way she's never been drawn to any man before. She has memories of him... memories that lead her to believe he is her one true love. Could he be the key to breaking this curse that has plagued her all this time?
All in all this was a great book. While it's a plot line that may have been played out before, I felt Ms. Jemhart gave it her own unique twist and kept it interesting from start to finish. The characters are well developed and the story line plays out to completion; leaving nothing unanswered. It's a quick read and a great choice for anyone who likes paranormal, mystery, and romance. You won't be disappointed by this book.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on March 11, 2013 :
Snazzy! Ridley House is the Cat's Meow
A cold, dreary weekend always makes me want to curl up on the couch with a cup of Earl Grey and a good mystery. If there's a bit of history and humor thrown in, so much the better. Ridley House, the new book by Willa Jemhart, (author of the Garnet Trilogy), was just the ticket.
The characters were vividly portrayed, especially the protagonist, nineteen year old Kay, whose odd quirks and anachronistic phrases give the reader just enough hint that she's a fish out of water. Kay has no memory of the first nineteen years of her life, but she is irresistably drawn toward the country inn, Ridley House, at which she's taken a summer job. In short order, Kay learns that her past is intricately linked to the Ridleys and begins a journey of discovery that leads her to Josh--a guy who stirs up some passionate memories and makes her want a deeper relationship. That, however, is going to be tough to accomplish -- whenever Josh comes near, Kay inexplicably shies away from anything more intimate than holding hands. It's not that she doesn't want to kiss him--she just can't. As with most romances, I was pretty sure where the story was going to end up, but there are some unexpected twists and turns along the way that kept me entertained.
Although not specifically aimed at the young adult audience, this would be an excellent book for YA readers. There are splashes of information about the 1930s, but the history never overwhelms the mystery and Kay's romantic roadblocks keep the story PG.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)