Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Before I do the actual review I just want to state that anyone who loves ghost stories, the Civil War and a visit to Hell will absolutely love this book, since it is the trifecta.
Daniella Yankovich (Dani) has reached rock bottom. The man she lived with and loved for years robbed her of her money and her heart. Dani was a successful architect with no knowledge that the man she loved was a gambler and when he lost and found himself going to the Banker (loan shark) she was the one who paid his debt. She lost her home, money and her job and it was only by some divine intervention that she inherited the colonial home in Virginia that her late Uncle Benjamin owned.
Although jobless and with little money she at least now had a roof over her head while she planned on her future. What she never expected to find in the house was Elliott Stone, a ghost. Eli died on the property that the house was built on and he has been cursed to stay there ever since. Her Uncle Ben and her Aunt Myrtle knew all about Eli and had lived peacefully with him for years, unfortunately in the will it never mentioned a ghost.
Elliott was a Confederate soldier who was betrayed by all those he loved. His wife,and his best friend. All Eli ever wanted to do was be a fisherman like his father and marry the girl he loved Lottie. Eli ended up enlisted in the war and while he was fighting for his country and his wife his best friend was bedding her. After the war Eli joined up with Mosby’s Raiders who refused to surrender when Lee did. They began by stealing from the Carpetbaggers and giving to those who had suffered during the war, the poor and the crippled soldiers living in the streets. Before long as often happens the Raiders began to get greedy and ruthless stealing for themselves and raping when they wanted some fun.
Eli and his friend Jacob both decided to leave the Raiders and beat them to gold the French were sending over to aid in the rebuilding of the south. Jacob was killed almost immediately and after a while Eli buried the gold and found himself at the mercy of the Raiders who found him. He was tortured, his hand cut off and hung. Now it has been over a hundred years and the fourth of every month Eli relives that painful death. For twenty-four hours he suffers ever punch and stab wound and feels every one of them even though he is dead.
When he discovers that a Northerner is coming to live in the house he is not happy and after Dani’s initial sight of Eli and her crash to the floor she wakes up to face him and in no uncertain terms tells him she is not leaving. Rats running around the kitchen, spiders in the bathroom don’t sway her especially when she discovers that they are just an illusion. The maggots in the fridge was a whole other story since they turned out to be real. His final attempt to chase her away was when he dumped the bookcase near her pinning her foot under it. Eli would never have intentionally harmed Dani but he did, she suffered a fractured foot and had to wear a cast and use crutches. Even though he wants her out he is willing to do whatever he has to to make up for harming her.
It is during the time he spends helping her that feelings begin to grow between the two of them but of course there is no future for a living person and a dead one. When Eli goes through his torture on the fourth of the month for some reason Dani is witness to it and she is determined to free him. It is after a visit from Dani’s ex Michael that Eli decides he wants her to have the gold and be free, the gold will do him no good but he can help her pay her medical bills and the taxes on the house.
All I can say is that the way to free Eli is by going to Hell and retrieving his soul something Dani has absolutely no problem doing. The only plus side of entering Hell is that Eli becomes corporal. The author’s descriptions of both the Civil War and Hell gave me goosebumps I could almost believe she had somehow been to both at one time, that is how real it was. As I said before this is a ghost, Civil War and Hell book lovers dream come true.