Thursday, February 04, 2010

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White

Title: The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
ISBN: 9780451225092, New American Library, 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: C+

First Line: Pewter reflections of scarlet hibiscus colored the dirt-smudged windows of the old house, like happy memories of youth trapped inside the shell of an old man.

Realtor Melanie Middleton hates old houses. She also specializes in them in her business, which may make you raise an eyebrow. In an ironic twist of fate, Melanie meets an old man who dies days later and leaves her his historic Tradd Street home in Charleston. Melanie does everything in her power to avoid accepting the house, but she fails. Now she faces renovating and living in a wreck for several months, so it's a good thing that two men named Jack and Marc enter her life to take her mind off sawdust and electricians.

I absolutely loved the Charleston, South Carolina, setting of this book as well as the description and renovation of the old house Melanie inherited. Where the book fell flat for me was in the romantic leading men, Jack and Marc. It was all too easy to spot which was the charming rogue Melanie should fall for and which was The Bad Guy. It pains me to say that Melanie reacted to both in very predictable ways as well.

In the sense of place, having a fascinating house with a few resident ghosts, and an interesting central character, The House on Tradd Street was a winner for me. When it came to matters of the heart, it just didn't cut the mustard. However, if romantic suspense is your genre, this may be your perfect cup of tea.

[Source: Book Depository.]


  1. I'm just finishing this one! I agree, it's a winner.

  2. A predictable plot line usually kills a book for me (unless the characters are compelling). Thanks for the honest review!

  3. Cathy - I like stories with a distinctive atmosphere and setting, and this one seems to have that. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of romance novels, but if well-written romance is part of an otherwise solid plot, I do like that. I agree with you, though, that romances can get too predictable.

  4. I finished reading this one a few weeks ago...getting ready to start the next one in the series. I really enjoyed the book.

  5. I didn't realize this was a romance. I'd still like to give it a try, though.

  6. I like books with a good sense of place. Charleston intrigues me; I'd like to go there sometime because the pictures I've seen look so inviting.

  7. What a pity that such a pretty book is so predictable. I would like to have it on my coffee table just to look at the cover, though :D

  8. I liked this one a little more than you did. I do think the second book is better.

  9. Beth-- I hope you enjoy the romance more than I did!

    DC-- You're welcome.

    Margot K-- Yes, they can, and this one certainly followed a formula.

    Kara-- I'm glad to hear it! :)

    Kathy-- At least for its South Carolina roots, eh?

    Barbara-- I've been to Charleston. It's a fabulous place to roam around in!

    Dorte-- It's even better to go to Charleston and take your own photos! Wish there were digital cameras back when I was there. :(

    Stacy-- I've been tempted by the second one, but after having been a bit "bitten" by this one, I'm very wary of the second now.

  10. I agree that the love triangle is predictable...but I still liked the banter between Jack and Melanie.

  11. Serena-- I don't even remember the banter, so it must not have made much impression on me. :(


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