Title: All Hallows’ Eve
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Category: Paranormal, Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: All Hallows’ Eve encompasses everything that makes me a fan of this genre and this author’s work
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Will a centuries-old broken heart ruin the promise of new love?
Dominic Ashworth is descended from a long line of witches, although the family practice of witchcraft died out generations ago. Forever connected to a dark history, the house he grew up in remained in the Ashworth family for generations until his estranged father sold it.
On a mission to check out the new owners, Dominic runs into Caleb Jones and gives the gorgeous man his phone number—but getting a date should be the last thing on Dominic’s agenda.
Caleb and his best friend, Zach Briceworth, are oblivious to the heartache and magic tied to the foundations of their new home. When strange things start to happen, the truth emerges and surprises them both, especially as everything revolves around Caleb’s new love interest.
After a shaky start, Caleb and Dominic settle into an easy relationship, falling faster than either of them expected. But with Halloween approaching, the possibility of danger increases. The past is not always as it seems, and the ripples of a tragic event threaten to put an end to everything between them.
Review: Genre-mixing in a novel, intertwining the plot, subplots, and characters so they strike a solid balance and draw the reader into the varying dynamics of the story, takes a deft touch. Annabelle Jacobs finds it in All Hallows’ Eve: a tale of murder, tragic romance, witchcraft, a centuries-old curse, and two men whose lives intersect—whether by chance or supernatural design—in the months leading up to the time of year when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. And the time of year when spirits of the Otherworld are at their most powerful.
There are requisite elements to an effective paranormal story, and Jacobs hits them well in this novel. Telling a story with its origins rooted in a dark magic that defies both time and reason—and the resulting danger that follows the Ashworth lineage across generations—drives up the emotional quotient of the romance in All Hallows’ Eve several notches. With the bonus of a house and land that’s been in the family for generations, a house that holds not only the Ashworth family’s tragic secrets but the telltale signs that an arcane presence looms as a credible threat, it adds to and complicates things when the house is sold to an unknown member of the familial bloodline.
All Hallows’ Eve brings the past and present together as Dominic Ashworth sets out to investigate the house’s new owner—for reasons other than mere curiosity. It could be a matter of life and death if his estranged father didn’t follow, to the letter, the stipulations of the sale. This was the perfect setup for the meeting between Dom and Caleb Jones, the man who’s sharing the house with Zach Briceworth, the distant branch on the Ashworth family tree. It’s also the scenario the author uses to complicate the spark of attraction between Dom and Caleb, an undeniable pull that will later prove integral to both the past and the present, and which provides for the conflict when a small matter of skirting the truth becomes the sticking point between that truth being stranger than fiction, and full disclosure at all costs.
Zach’s blood connection to Dom, his sister, Alice, and their Aunt Sarah is problematic on a variety of levels, the most obvious issue being that one doesn’t simply approach a stranger and tell him tales of witchcraft, and that he also might be living in a house that’s harboring the spirit of an ancestor who was damned for all eternity two centuries ago. An ancestor who tries to find a portal to our world every thirty-first of October. I love that the storyline draws a direct line between the origination of the curse and the modern day through diaries and writing that’s been passed down through the Ashworth family. It was a great way to piece together the history of their bloodline and the portable magic that transcends time through the written word. One diary in particular also provides for a few shivers and more than a little heartache along the way, as well as some answers that have full bearing on Caleb and Dom’s relationship.
I look forward to October and novels of the paranormal sort the way many readers look forward to December and holiday romances. All Hallows’ Eve is a novel that played directly into my love of all things metaphysical, the inexplicable, and the places I love to let my imagination go when it comes to the things that throw shadows of doubt and evil over the hypothetical safety of our reality. The Ashworth house is a character unto itself, one giant shiver of dread lurking in the dark. The way it all plays into the romantic elements of the story—in the past and the present—was nicely done. The ethereal threads linking Caleb to the dramatic highpoint of the story is well played, increasing the tension and giving readers the one thing that makes this genre of novel work: we know what the characters don’t…yet…and waiting for them to catch on is half the fun.
You can buy All Hallows’ Eve here:
About the Author
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
Follow the Tour
October 24 – Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
October 26 – Making It Happen, Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews, Kiki’s Kinky Pics, Bayou Book Junkie, Jim’s Blog, Thorns and Ink, G & T’s Indie Cafe, Book Lovers 4Ever, Bella’s Blog, Sassy Girl Books