Juliette's husband Danny was a successful novelist, enabling them to live a very comfortable lifestyle. What all that fame and wealth couldn't do, however, was ensure good health, and Danny was struck down young, dying approximately six months before this story is set.
Juliette has, of course, been grieving and has barely left the apartment that they shared, but she has started to find a way out of her grief. One of the ways that she does this through baking, to the point where she couldn't possibly eat everything that she was making, and there is a lovely idea where she decides to deliver baked goods to all her neighbours in the middle of the night so they wake up to a delicious treat. She also likes to read, with a constant stream of new books being delivered to her from the local bookshop, and when the wrong order is left for her, she even manages to go to the shop herself to fix the issue - a huge step forward for her.
Gradually though, Juliette begins to occasionally hear Danny's voice, to feel as though someone is with her and she begins to regress. As the sense of Danny being with her gets stronger, Juliette once again stops leaving the house, stops cooking, stops eating, stop communicating with those few people who she was still in touch with on a regular basis. The bond between the two of them continues to gain strength until Juliette can feel and see Danny, literally feel him which leads to some very interesting sexy times. Even the delivery of the baked goods stops when they realise that the bond is stretched to almost breaking point whenever she leaves their home.
Of course, this is not a healthy way to be and so gradually it becomes clear to Danny, if not to Juliette, that something has to change as she is unravelling to the point of contemplating what the options are to enable them to be together permanently.
Over the last year or so I have read both of Nicola Moriarty's previously released novels and enjoyed them very much so I was pleased to see that she had something new coming out. I was, however, quite surprised that Captivation was going to be a romance, but in a way I quite liked that this was an author who has a successful fiction career (with her books having romantic themes) who was prepared to give something new a go. Having read the story though, I was a bit disappointed.
The reason for my disappointment is that I don't believe that this story fits within the romance genre. For me, in order to be a romance there needs to be one thing - a HEA...a "and they lived happily ever after". At the very least there needs to be a happy for the foreseeable future. I just can't see how this can happen when one of the two lead characters is already dead. It is therefore interesting to me that this novella has been published by Random Romance, the digital first romance imprint. The other books that I have read from the imprint previously so I can only hope that this non-romance romance is an aberration. Of course, maybe I am just reacting to something that was being done deliberately to bring something different to the genre.
It's not that I didn't like the writing because I did. But for me this was more a look at the psychological impacts of grief and what can happen when the person left behind doesn't find way to cope, with some kind of odd sex scenes added in than the paranormal romance that it is being marketed as.
If you go into this expecting a romance with some paranormal themes, I think it will be disappointing, but if you want to read an interesting snapshot of loss and grieving then this maybe appealing. Either way, I would definitely recommend reading Nicola Moriarty's previous books for a really good introduction to her writing style.
The first paranormal addition to the Random Romance series, Captivation is an intoxicating ghost story . . . True love never dies.After Juliette lost her beloved husband Danny, she closed herself off from the world, tormented by her grief. But now, just as she is finally preparing to move on, she senses he has returned. Is he trying to come back to her?How can Juliette say no to the man she loves more than life itself? And why would she want to when Danny's methods of persuasion have her weak at the knees . . . ?Yet there is always a price to pay. And when their passionate love starts to turn sinister, will she find the strength to finally let him go for ever?Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy of this novella