5 ★ Review Alert ~ GHOSTED by J.M. Darhower

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Title: Ghosted

Author: J.M. Darhower

Genre: Contemporary New Adult

Release Date: 23rd August, 2017

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He’s a troubled young actor, Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, struggling with fame as the star of the latest superhero franchise. Through scandal after scandal, addiction on top of addiction, a flurry of paparazzi hunt him as he fights to conquer his demons.

She’s a single mother, assistant manager at a grocery store, existing in monotony with her five-year-old daughter. Every day when she goes to work, lurid tabloids surround her, the face of a notorious bad boy haunting her from their covers.

A man and a woman, living vastly different lives, but that wasn’t always the case. Once, they were just a boy and a girl who bonded over comic books and fell in love unexpectedly.

When Kennedy Garfield met Jonathan Cunningham back in high school, she knew he had all the makings of a tragic hero. With stars in his eyes, and her heart on her sleeve, the pair ran away together to follow their dreams.

But dreams, sometimes, turn into nightmares.

Now, years later, the only thing they share is a daughter—one who has no idea her father plays her favorite superhero. But Jonathan is desperate to make amends, and at the top of his list is the woman who gave up everything for him and the little girl he hasn’t yet met.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ +

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse 

I’m a diehard fan of Ms Darhower and once again, she has showed me her versatile writing in all its glory. In fact, to say how this second chance standalone novel affected me is quite honestly, difficult to put into words. Firstly, the cover and title couldn’t have been more apt as significant notes and stars stand out where you’d least expect them to. Secondly, and more important to my mind of thinking, is how the past flows alongside the present like no other novel I’ve ever read. The protagonists reveal their innermost thoughts in a silent stream of self-consciousness. More often than not, giving themselves pep-talks reflect on what could have been, what they’ve missed out on–why it all went wrong and a striving-force-forgiveness by one of them opens up sorrow and pain.

The author’s narrative technique allows the reader to become fully aware of Jonathan Elliott Cunningham and Kennedy Reagan Garfield’s trials and tribulations. Therefore, the special attention given to weaknesses and failures isn’t to be taken frivolously regardless of their circumstances or age. Absolutely nothing is skimmed over. Every detail however minute, has relevance in a love story that ticked every box that I look for in Darhower’s quintessential storytelling. At times, feelings are let loose in a barrage of emotions which had me in tears. Also, I have to mention the masterfully created slow-burning tension in the plot. It snapples and cracks in the most unlikely scenarios, making this book an unputdownable one.

I didn’t connect to Jonathan straightaway. I found his attitude a tad overwhelming, a know-it-all dismissing the rules and regulations to spite others. Herein lies the crux of the matter. When his background is divulged, I discovered that the high expectations someone has for him aren’t even close to his, that tolerance is zero and the treatment he receives is heartbreakingly harsh. Then, understandably, I couldn’t help but to sympathise with Jonathan because in my opinion, he had every reason for being as he is. Super intelligent, he puts little effort into his studies making things worse. His popularity with teachers and fellow students alike isn’t exactly brilliant; however, a light at the end of the tunnel comes from the most unexpected source.

Just thinking about Kennedy while writing this review brings a lump to my throat. I didn’t like Darhower’s personality development of her, I. Loved. It! The contrast she’s construed in terms of her upbringing, traits and surroundings with Jonathan’s is nothing less than perfectly imperfect. She’s everything he isn’t, but like him, she has her hopes and dreams for the future. Regardless of her being a bit out of her league in the elitist school she attends where it’s not what you know, but whom you rub shoulders with, is sublimely executed. Keeping herself to herself, struggling without going unnoticed, is an impossibility…

Observing Kennedy and Jonathan’s friendship flower into love was a joy in itself. Whether it’s unconditional remains to be seen; nonetheless, Kennedy believes in Jonathan’s dreams of stardom because, all said and done, this lad’s got the talent. Sacrifices are made, time goes by and promises are broken. Issues so damn complicated, are dealt with on all levels sensitively since what the heck….this is Darhower at her very best! She’s written a well-balanced story that flows without any let up literally taking my breath away. The exceptional banter in just the right places made me yearn for more, the secondary characters engaged me and appropriately shifted the story, distracting me from what was the main characters’ bearings; but at the same time, is intertwined.

Obviously, it’s clear to see how much I adored everything about this story which I would without a doubt, recommend one-clicking. Oh, how could I ever forget the very essence of this romance! A very special little person who calms troubled waters so unknowingly, whose innocence had me on my knees, who makes makes this couple’s journey possible, strung my emotions in a knot, put me back together and left a huge smile on my face! If I could say that it was love at first sight in a book, this would be her. And if I could, I would have given Ghosted six stars and love to see it have prime position on my bookshelf. Bravo!   

Psst… go in blind! I did! And please note that I haven’t added any quotes in this quotable story. I really didn’t want to spoil it for you regardless of however good they are!

About the Author

J.M. Darhower is the USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal/erotic/romantic suspense novels about the baddest bad boys and the ladies who love them. Fangirl at heart, J.M. is obsessed with books, music, and all things Marvel, especially the glorious Sebastian Stan. She spends her days in a tiny town in North Carolina, churning out words and chasing down Pokémon.

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