By Cindy Miles
Available now from Point (Scholastic)
Honestly, it isn't that hard to get me to read a book. FOREVERMORE had me hooked from the back blurb and cover promising a Scottish castle and a ghost. Cindy Miles, an adult romance author making her YA debut, delivers everything one could hope from a Scottish castle-set ghost romance. It's good, cheesy fun.
Violin prodigy Ivy Calhoun moves with her mother to Glenmorrag, the home of her stepfather Niall. And Ivy isn't that opposed to Scotland (which, among other things, offers excellent music opportunities), but she doesn't really know Niall, his mother is a judgmental old lady, and a disembodied voice keeps telling her to leave. It's all a bit of a hostile home environment. As it turns out, the voice belongs to Logan Munro, who is just trying to save Ivy from a terrible fate.
One of the strengths of FOREVERMORE is Ivy and how she acts both sensibly and like a teenager trying to find her footing. She knows she can't just leave the castle given that she's sixteen and in a country she barely knows, so she sets out to solve the mystery of Logan's death. One of the main ways she does this is by talking to people. Classmates, servants, people who have been around and might know something. There's a real sense of Ivy becoming part of the community. At the same time, she doesn't talk to her mother and stepfather despite the fact they could be a real help - and possibly in danger themselves.
FOREVERMORE ties into one of Miles' adult novels, HIGHLAND KNIGHT, which is out of print but available as an ebook. I haven't read HIGHLAND KNIGHT, and it isn't necessary. I think it could've been integrated more smoothly, but I thought it was an interesting idea. I am down with a universe where time-traveling knights and cursed ghosts coexist. And it's fun to think that one day a crazy paranormal romance might apply to your life.
The biggest weakness of FOREVERMORE is the ending. Ivy gets one solution handed to her and stumbles across another and everything is solved with nary a trouble. In a more plot-driven paranormal I might not forgive it, but FOREVERMORE is first and foremost a romance. I enjoyed Ivy and Logan's relationship quite a bit. There is some development before they start liking each other. (Of course, Ivy instantly notices Logan is hot, but that's another animal.) But they trust each other and work together to fight the evil haunting Glenmorrag, which is important in a relationship.
I must admit that I'm also happy the cover models actually bear a resemblance to the characters. She has Ivy's blonde hair and pink streak! Overall, the cover is a great encapsulation of the contents. If you like romance, castles, ghosts, and music, I recommend picking up FOREVERMORE this summer. It's a quick, sweet read with good atmosphere and an engaging lead couple.