Title: Ghosts & Liars
Book 2 of The Impossible Julian Strande picks up right where book 1 left off, so I’ll do the same with my review.
Julian is nuts!
There. It had to be said. But he is so freakin’ adorable at times, I’ll forgive him anything. Almost.
Though Julian comes out of hiding, Alice is still in the dark as she works to solve his puzzle. Enraged when his sexual advances return, she threatens to leave the estate for good, and Julian does the unthinkable. He kidnaps Charles.
Knowing the demented magician has killed before, Alice races against the clock to find his corpse, hoping Charles is still alive. When she learns the truth, Alice’s reaction is explosive but led by her heart, an easy but short-lived peace wins out. When I looked down and saw I was ONLY a third of the way through the book, I knew this would not end well.
Peace and trust are shattered when Julian confesses the truth about Billy. Devastated, Alice tries to leave the estate and learns the true depths of Julian’s depravity. It still creeps me out!
Suspense amps up as Julian rushes to complete his ultimate goal for Alice. But Alice Monroe is having none of it!
The nerdy geek-girl is smarter than she believes and possesses strength she didn’t know was inside her. I was cheering as she worked to beat Julian at his own game. She wrestles with her heart and conscience, but fear is her motivator to win before her captor reaches the point of no return.
Julian is even more Phantom-like in book 2 as he straddles a fine line between true love and madness. Like the Phantom, Julian’s treatment in his early childhood shaped his life and it followed him into the afterlife.
I was ready for a bittersweet ending, but that would have been too easy. The author drops a plot twist I didn’t see coming, but… it made sense and made me smile because the heart wants what the heart wants.
I highly recommend this read, but please read book 1 first! Reading Ghosts & Liars without reading Illusions of Grandeur first would be like eating a hamburger bun without the patty. You might get full, but you’ll know you’re missing something!