Let me first state that I received Pauline Holyoak's books, the Merryweather Trilogy, as a gift. My review is unbiased.
Anyone who follows my blog knows that I've stepped out of my reader genre comfort zone (historical romance and non fiction). When I discovered Pauline's PARANORMAL ROMANCE books, the first thing that grabbed me were the beautiful book covers. I then reviewed the book trailers. Yes, I'm pretty fussy about what I read. The most recent book trailer for the Merryweather Lodge trilogy was one of the best produced trailers I've seen. Merryweather Lodge book trailer: http://youtu.be/T-XfFIHSSvo
Merryweather Lodge trilogy includes Ancient Revenge, Malevolent Spirit, and Ultimate Sacrifice. Now, for me to read a trilogy is rare. However, Merryweather Lodge was so highly recommended that I looked for an opportunity to read the first book; and discovered that all three books were available. And, I was lucky enough to receive them as a gift.
My first impression about the story concerned the detailed descriptions. I was in the various scenes after reading just a few lines. Pauline Holyoak puts you in the story, into the kitchen, garden, attic, basement, country side, and feeling it with all your senses. You connect with the characters immediately. And you're drawn into their intense fear, wondering how are the protagonists going to manage their escape; are they all going to survive?
And, of course, not all the good guys survive. I cried. Yes, and I was almost angry with the author. Reading the Merryweather books sent me on an emotional journey that few books achieve. While I acknowledge the possibility of paranormal beings of other dimensions, I draw the line at the malevolent ones. So when I read paragraphs describing evil spirits taking control of my favorite characters - it was almost beyond my courage to read on. But read on, I did.
You cannot put these books down. Pauline Holyoak has achieved the impossible in writing a trilogy. Each book stands on its own. However, I recommend you start with book one, Ancient Revenge and, if you have not gone hiding into your closet, get book two, Malevolent Spirit; and finally, the ultimate fear factor in book three, Ultimate Sacrifice.
You'll be on an emotional roller coaster. From experiencing the warmth of Auntie Em's old fashioned kitchen with the delicious aroma of her baking, to the sensuous sensations in your erogenous zones in the romantic scenes, to the gut wrenching fear while being nearly consumed by an evil spirit - Merryweather Lodge will remain with you long after you've read the last page of the final book.
In providing a review of books I've read, it's important to be honest about anything that I found lacking in the story. It's rare that a book has achieved perfection. However, Pauline Holyoak has done just that. In fact, she has received the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award Winner Fiction/Paranormal.