The Architect of Song (Haunted Hearts Legacy Book 1) by A.G. Howard: A Book Review

The Architect of Song (Haunted Hearts Legacy Book 1)
Author: A. G. Howard
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Release Date: August 15, 2016
Pages: 318
Source: This book was given to me by Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death. 

     For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton. 

     To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

     International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book New Adult gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

     My Review: When Juliet arrives at the cemetery where her mother is buried, she sees Lord Thornton, a man who wants to buy her estate. She sees him angry at a tombstone written with the name of “Hawk”. At the bottom of the grave site, an unusual flower catches her attention. Enthralled the by flower’s beauty, she decides to take it home. As soon as she touches the flower petals, a ghost of a handsome man appears. The ghost has no memory of his identity or his past. As Juliet tries to recapture the ghost’s identity, she learns that he has a connection with Lord Thornton. Soon Juliet must uncover Lord Thornton’s secrets to help her ghost.

     Juliet is an emotionally-damaged character. Since the death of her mother, she leans towards thoughts of depression. She has become a recluse. She has shunned her uncle and her maid, who is also her best friend, just to be alone. She welcomes death and does not want to be with the living. Yet, when the ghost appears, she is drawn to him by the voice he sings. He comforts her, and slowly, he gives her a will to live. With the ghost as her guide, she slowly embarks on a quest to appreciate life. Thus, I really did like Juliet. She is very vulnerable. However, she becomes a strong protagonist because she finds her inner strength and confidence. She is also very smart and observant. Therefore, I believe that Juliet is a character readers can relate to when they are going through a difficult time in their life or mourning the loss of a loved one.

     Overall, this book is about family, friends, love, choices, acceptance, redemption, and second chances. The Architect of Song is about a woman’s quest to appreciate being alive. The message of this book is that there is always hope, and that while you are going through difficult times, there are still good things ahead. This novel is very well-written. It is haunting, lyrical and evocative. This story will linger with you even after you read the last page. While this book is very slow and the tone is dark, I thought that it was perfect for its atmospheric setting. The Architect of Song is filled with paranormal, suspense, and romance, and I look forward to reading more books in this series. I encourage you to read it, for you will not be disappointed. This book is perfect for fans of M.J. Rose’s The Secret Language of Stones, Anne Rice’s Violin, and Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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