Saturday, May 29, 2010

ARC Review: Deception by Lee Nichols

Title: Deception (Haunting Emma #1)
Author: Lee Nichols
Release date: 6/8/2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Number of pages: 304
Reading Level: Young Adult

4 out of 5 Stars

ARC provided by A Book-lovers’ Review ARC Tours

Description from Goodreads:

When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

A rich New England setting filled with mystery, tradition, and prep-school intrigue make Deception the perfect choice for fans of series like Kate Brian’s Private, as well as all those paranormal fans. The shocking ending will leave readers desperate for book two.

My thoughts:

Deception is a real page turner.  I managed to read it in just a few hours.  The characters were interesting and well developed.  I found protagonist Emma easy to connect with.  After spending most of her life feeling like second best she finds herself abandoned by everyone she thought cared.  I really felt for her, and could imagine the pain she was feeling.

Deception contained an interesting ghost story that kept me reading late into the night.  It also has a romance that promises to invoke warm fuzzies, as well as a little love triangle for those that dig that type of thing.  I’m a fan of warm fuzzies and love triangles so that was a definite win-win for me.  I didn’t find anything about this story predictable.  The conclusion was a real shocker, and left my heart feeling a wee bit bruised.  It all ended with what I’d consider a cliffhanger as well as several unanswered questions.  Frustrating for me yes, but also a guarantee I’ll read the next book.  Deception is a promising start to a new young adult trilogy.

If you like ghost stories and the paranormal check this one out.  Deception does contain some adult language, and sexual predicaments.  You may want to keep that in mind when recommending it to the younger teens and tweens.

Lee Nichols on the web:


  1. Oh I really want to read this! Sounds like my cup of tea!

  2. This sounds pretty good! :) I'll have to be on the look out for it. Thanks.


  3. Great Review!

    I haven't heard of this author before, but this book sounds great.


  4. Sounds very promising. I love a good ghost story! I'll be checking this one out!

  5. Sounds like a really good book. Great review!

  6. I like that the boy started out taking care of the girl but then he needs her to keep his safe later on. :-) I can live without love triangles right now bc I've read so many lately, but I still enjoy a well-written one. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the review!