Saturday, June 3, 2023

June Read: The House on Prytania (a Royal Street novel) by Karen White


I don't know who creates the cover art for Karen White's novels; they are beautiful and I've decided I'd like to live in every house on every cover. Just gorgeous!

This was another highly anticipated read for me. I started it on my flight home from vacation, got busy, and just finished it up the last few days. This is the follow up to The Shop on Royal Street, which introduced us to Nola and her move to New Orleans from Charleston. 

Nola is the daughter of Jack and Melanie Trenholm, the two main characters from Ms. White's previous Tradd Street Series. I adored that series for many reasons: the setting of Charleston, the paranormal plots, and the ever evolving relationship between Jack and Melanie. Now Nola is grown up, settling in New Orleans to work in the historic preservation field as a consultant. 

As a second novel in the series, the characters felt much more familiar to me and it was interesting to see relationships evolve. I especially love Nola's roommate and perfect Southern Belle, Jolene. I wish I had half her energy and cooking talent. She is the calm in the middle of chaos. Nola's first romance, Cooper, moves to New Orleans and there's a spark again, and a sense of familiarity between the two which will be interesting to see develop. He's a solid guy who understands Nola and her sense of comfort around him bodes well for a possible romance in the future. 

Nola's biggest problem, of course, is the evil spirit that still haunts her home. She thought they'd sent him onto the light in the first novel, but it appears Antoine Broussard isn't ready to leave, and he wants to protect his awful secrets at any cost. Nola and Beau have to work together to defeat Antoine and figure out why Antoine continues to stay and terrify not only Nola, but others who sense and see his horrible presence. 

Ah, Beau. Nola and Beau. This is my big frustration with this series. Nola and Beau are a hot mess. It's obvious they love each other, but Beau has a girlfriend in spite of his very deep feelings for Nola. I just can't get why they both have to make it so complicated. The tension between the two is not good romantic tension; it's just too darn stressful to enjoy. I feel like any chance of a long lasting romance between them is not going to happen. I'd rather Nola end up with Cooper. I like both Beau and Nola, but especially Nola's decision making (or lack of) can be frustrating. Get out of your own way, Nola!

There are other things that happen in this novel, especially involving Beau's family, which is one of the backbones of this series. Some questions were answered, but of course the ending scene set us up for more to follow in the next book. I'll be waiting  patiently for that!

Do not start this series without reading the Tradd Street series first. You just won't get a lot of the back story for this series and you'll miss so much! Plus, you get to see Nola's story from the beginning, which is very interesting. She's a great character, but her stubbornness can get a bit old. 

Rating: 5/6 for a series continuation that starts right from the end of the first novel. I like that very much. Some character development that was good, some lack of development that was annoying. However, I love Ms. White's paranormal novels and eagerly read each and every one. Fans of contemporary fiction mixed with history and the paranormal will gleefully dive right in. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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