The Haunting (Harlequin Blaze)

The Haunting (Extreme Blaze) (Harlequin Blaze, #317) - Hope Tarr I'll fully admit something hearing the audiobook version of this story - it's excellently read by the narrator (Gabra Zackman), and the premise of the story had potential between a 30 something history teacher and a Civil War ghost. The premise seems sweet, mysterious, atmospheric, and the hook that brought me to this story over the fact that it was a Harlequin work. If the sexual elements were toned down, and the dialogue not so cheesy/campy/downright eye-roll worthy, I probably would've liked this more. Plus, there were just parts of this that were uncomfortable to listen to and completely unrealistic - and not in the sense that it deals with a ghost story, but in the dynamic of events and character interaction.I'm starting to find my footing with better romance/erotica stories, and while this isn't close to what I would call one of the better ones I've read, it's not by any means the worst I've heard (I've heard much, much worse). The historical backstory and Maggie searching for clues as to the life of Isabel, Ethan's love from the past, was refreshing, much more in depth than typically noted for this genre of books. I don't mind Maggie's characterization either - at least the author isn't overbearing on either her flaws or her virtues.The main conflict is predictable as one follows the story, but I think those who aren't expecting too much will not mind the repetition. It bugged me that there were cases of repetitive diction and description, but I consider that a nitpick of mine more than anything else. :PI'm probably one of the few people who didn't mind the ending - I've heard similar stories end up in the way that it did, so while it didn't surprise me, it didn't upset me either. The epilogue left it on a note where I thought things were tied together well.Overall, I wouldn't hold much against this story - it had potential and there were parts of it that I liked, but there were just as many parts of it I didn't like and felt could have developed into a more fulfilling, compelling story if it wasn't hampered by the dialogue and the overfocused sexual situations.Overall: 2/5