The House on Sunset Lake – Tasmina Perry
Publisher: Headline Review
Release Date: August 2016
Synopsis: Tasmina Perry is the bestselling author of The Last Kiss Goodbye and The Proposal. Her new novel is a heart-wrenching love story bejewelled with mysteries and dark secrets, set in the Deep South. If you love sailing away with Santa Montefiore’s novels or unwrapping the layers of the latest Rachel Hore, you will adore losing yourself in this book.
1995. Savannah, Georgia, where the sunsets are long and golden and the air is hot and heavy with promise. Student Jim Johnson isn’t happy when he has to abandon his plans of a carefree month of inter-railing to spend the summer in the Deep South with his mother and his father, a down-on-his luck author who has been sent to Savannah to rediscover his muse. But when Jim meets the beguiling Jennifer Wyatt, the daughter of the owners of Casa Seta, the mysterious plantation house on the shores of a lake, Jim knows he has made the right decision in coming along. Until an event happens that shatters Jim and Jennifer’s lives for ever and sets both their lives on a different course.
2015. Twenty Years later Casa Seta stands abandoned and neglected, a victim of tragic events that everyone wants to keep buried. But when Jim Johnson’s boss buys it as the latest acquisition to his hotel chain, Jim is forced to return to the house and restore it to its former glory. Fate throws him back into the orbit of Jennifer Wyatt, the woman his heart has never truly got over, but as he tries to put the ghosts of the past behind him, he unearths a chilling secret that makes him wonder what he has ever really known about the people he loves.
It’s not often I write a negative review but oh dear… I was not a fan of this book, despite it being the first I’ve read from Tasmina Perry.
I felt like the story started off really slow, almost to the point where I wanted to give up. As a matter of fact, I did a few times until I finally pushed through. That’s not something I’d normally do. My usual thought process is that if a book hasn’t drawn me in by page 50, I move on. Life is too short and my TBR list is way too long.
Apart from the slowness, I did not like any of the characters at all. Jim and Jennifer both struck me as shallow people and, needless to say, I hated Connor. I actually had more interest in both Jim and Jennifer’s parents as their characters seemed to have more depth and story to them. Alas, their histories (and how they’re entwined with that of their children) were only slightly touched on.
At some point I did become invested in Jim/Jennifer/Connor enough too keep reading to find out how that whole situation played out. I felt it was a bit too neatly wrapped with a bow for me, particularly the way Connor was gotten out of the picture.
The little side stories and twists were cringe-worthy… I mean, Jim facing off with some gangster type character in Baruda? What was that?
Ultimately, I was very disappointed in this book and likely won’t actively pursue any other books by Perry.
This book was provided for review by NetGalley.