The Art of Ghosting by Ashley Hastings

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Based in her fictional town of Peacock, Mississippi, author Ashley Hastings brings you a little suspense along with a little history in her new romance, THE ART OF GHOSTING. Alice won’t be tied down and
James lives for no-strings hookups but when they find a 100-year olf journal they both to fall in
love alongside the journal’s writer. Fans of strong heroines, historical elements will adore this
small town, suspenseful yet humorous hot and sexy romance. 


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Alice won’t be tied down, not to a man, a place, or a house plant. Even her job as a traveling nurse allows her to go where she wants, when she wants. And men? She enjoys their company, but when a man gets too close, it must be time to ghost him. 
James is a man whore who lives for the no-strings hookup. James thinks he has it made with Alice – until
he falls hard for her and starts second-guessing his playboy ways. 
 
When James and Alice discover a 100-year-old journal in the walls of an old house she has inherited, they
learn to fall in love alongside the writer of the diary. But do they have a ghost of a chance of making this
relationship work? 
 
The Art of Ghosting is a standalone in a series of interconnecting novels. All of the books are set in the
small, fictional town of Peacock, and the characters cross over from book to book. Although the books
are linked, you can jump in and start reading with any book. Dual POV, contemporary romance with
strong historical elements. 

 

My review:

This was a very interesting book. Alice inherits her great-aunt’s house, that has sat unoccupied for a hundred years. She assumes James is a handyman, based on the times her aunt had mentioned him helping her fix things around the house. In reality he’s a wealthy real estate developer but lets Alice believe he is the poor handyman she thinks he is. They find the hundred year old diary of Willow, and become engrossed in the story of her relationship with her future husband Kirby and their life together. As they read the journal, they also fall in love. But secrets don’t stay secret forever.

I mostly liked Alice and James – there were aspects of both personalities that annoyed me, but nothing deal-breakery. Minor stuff. Willow and Kirby, though… they were my favorite part of the book! I did feel like there were a couple loose threads, though, like what was the deal with the neighbor, Meg?? Such an odd character. I seriously think she was a ghost! But we may never know.

This was a good mix of modern and historical romance.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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SignatureOrder source file
 
 
Excerpt 
Copyright @ Ashley Hastings
2019 

 

Okay, enough. I was going after this woman. I would look at the house, make my recommendations,
and then I would ask her out. No harm in making it an actual date, right?
I would take her out for dinner, and we could share a good bottle of wine and even better conversation.
I wanted to get to know her. I wanted to hear about her travels and why she had chosen such a vagabond
existence. So what that I was deviating from my usual routine. Yes, I trolled bars and
looked for the easy hookup, no strings attached. Dinner never happened, and conversation was
kept to a minimum.
But that was okay. Was there really a problem with becoming friends before we had
sex? I would be clear on my expectations and expect the same from her.
No problem.
I took about two minutes to unpack, which consisted of throwing my folded clothes into the dresser and
putting toiletries in the bathroom. I would worry about cleaning and uncovering the furniture later. Right
now, I had a woman to woo.

After stopping at my truck to grab my toolbox, I walked back to the main house and let myself in, making
a note to get a copy of the key from Alice. I made my way back down to the basement, figuring that was
as good a place to start as any. I was surprised to see Alice on all fours at the entrance to the closet
underneath the stairs. I took a moment to appreciate the view, because I’m still a man, before saying her
name. She jumped.
“Oh!” Alice got to her feet in a hurry. “You snuck up on me. I’m trying to get Sharpie to come out of hiding.”
“I forgot he was in here.” I crossed over to where she stood and peered into the closet. “I don’t see him.”
“He ran in here a minute ago, and I think he might actually be in the wall. See that little panel?” Alice
pointed to an access panel I assumed hid some sort of plumbing or electrical system. It was ajar.
She leaned into me, trying to get a better look in the gloomy basement. My brain promptly short-circuited
as I breathed in her natural scent. Like rainwater or newly fallen snow. Fresh and beautiful.
Shaking it off, I reached in the toolbox for my flashlight and switched it on. I illuminated the dark corner of
the closet, and Alice stepped in front of me. Crouched down on the floor again, she called for Sharpie, and
his shining eyes appeared. Alice held out her hand, and Sharpie slowly advanced, finally giving in to head
butt her outstretched hand. His purr filled the closet. Alice rubbed his head. “Does that feel good, Little
Sir?” I bet it did.
“This is an odd place for an access panel. I mean, it’s so low to the ground.” I was mostly talking to myself,
but Alice nodded.
“Yeah. And it’s kind of hidden. If it were closed, I don’t think I would even realize it was here.” She pulled
the panel open wider so I could see inside. Nothing. I leaned in further and shone the flashlight deeper into
the panel opening. Still seeing nothing of interest, I stepped back. Alice stopped me with one dainty hand
on my arm. “Wait! What was that?” Alice fished her hand around, out of my view, and pulled out a small
cloth bundle with a triumphant flourish. We stepped out of the cramped closet, and Alice unwrapped her
find. We stared at a small, leather book of some kind. Alice opened the old book with care. Scrawled
on the first page with a feminine hand were the words, “Diary of Willow Baxter, Started
November 1918, Age 16.”
“Holy shit.”
I scratched the stubble on my chin with one hand, still looking at the diary.
Alice did a little happy
dance. “Willow must have lived in the house and hid her diary here. This is so freaking cool.”
Fuck, she was adorable. We sat down on the stairs together, and Sharpie sat a few steps above us,
spread his legs, and started cleaning his asshole with no shame whatsoever.
Fucking cats.
Alice turned the page with extreme care, and her eagerness to read the secret thoughts of a
teenager from over a hundred years ago made me smile.
“So, let me guess. She’s going to ramble on and on about petticoats and ribbons or some shit.” I
rolled my eyes, prepared to be bored.
Alice punched me in the arm. “Hush! Let me read.”
I was ready for any excuse to spend time with Alice, so I shut my mouth and listened.

 

Author Ashley Hastings: 

 

Ashley Hastings latest book is Sweet Talk.
She writes new adult, romantic fiction with a dash of suspense and a liberal sprinkling of humor.
A lifelong Southerner, Ashley creates quirky characters in a small-town setting. When she’s not
busy plotting her next book, Ashley is collecting cats and planning a future as a crazy cat
lady.

 

Ashley’s favorite quote is “If opportunity
doesn’t knock, build a door,” by Milton Berle. She intends to build all the doors.

 



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