Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yvonne Norman: The Treasure at Seacliff Manor

I picked this little gem of an Avalon Romance, published in 1977, up from my local friends of the library group. They have a constant sale going on, and at .25 or .33 cents per book, can you beat it? I can't. The cover art and novel intrigued me, so I gave in and read it. This gothic romance is appropriate for young adults or adults, and it's probably around 50000 words. Interestingly, Avalon still publishes romance novels of this length.

Holly Bronson's sister has gone missing at the ancestral home, Seacliff Manor. Holly sets out up the Oregon coast to find her, but someone wants Holly dead and is after the treasure hidden under the house, too.

Plot: 4/5 [This novel had some interesting twists and a car wreck or two. That was a nice change of pace for a gothic romance. I have seen them before, but not like this one was used.]

Characterization: 3/5 [Holly is a bit weak as a character, and I didn't care for the male protagonist or antagonist much.]

Atmosphere/spooky elements: 4/5 [This one had some genuinely spooky moments. I felt the isolation the novelist was trying to build, and the setting on the Oregon coast really worked for me. Strangely, I am reading another novel set there as well right now.]

Literary elements: 2/5 [No, this one was all about the fun.]

Romantic elements: 3/5 [The romance is just so so, but there are the usual two men vying for Holly's heart.]

Rating: 3+ stars

** I do recommend this one. It had an interesting setting, and the ending was a bit unexpected. I liked it.


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