Author: Jennifer Brassel
Date of Publication: April 1, 2013
Formats Available: E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: A modern gothic romance about skepticism, secrets, and seeing what’s in front of your eyes.
Kelly Reid doesn't believe in ghosts, even when one appears in front of her. She’s sure the man in her bedroom mirror is a hoax, all she has to do is prove it. But it’s hard to concentrate on hidden cameras and tiny microphones when he seems so real, so engaging, so sad.
Accused of a heinous crime, John Tarrant has been trapped in the mirror for 140 years, neither living nor dead. His only chance at escape is convincing the skeptical woman in front of him that he’s real and desperately needs her help.
Working together to solve a centuries-old crime, Kelly and John race to find the key to his release – and fear what will happen if they succeed. Will their unlikely relationship finally have a chance, or will John’s spirit vanish forever?
I started Secret Reflection thinking the entire novel had a historical setting rather than being more of a time travel romance. However, I quickly adapted to the modern tone of the story and despite the slow beginning I ended up enjoying the interesting plot and the main character Kelly. Brassel did a great job creating a fascinating plot and I loved learning more about the characters as the story went on rather than learning everything about them all at once.
I really enjoyed Kelly as a main character. I loved her skepticism toward John and her analytic personality. It was so refreshing to read about a main character who doesn't immediately accept the supernatural situation they are thrown into. Likewise John was a fascinating character; I loved learning more about his back story as time went on rather than learning it all at once. Throughout the entire novel I was wondering what really happened behind John getting trapped in the mirror. Some of the secondary characters, like Tom and Nancy, were underdeveloped but since they didn't play a major role in the story it was easy to overlook their weak personalities.
The idea behind this novel was undoubtedly the strongest part of the story. Brassel's idea of John being trapped in a mirror was an interesting one and even though the solution was fairly predictable I still enjoyed learning more about how he got there. Even though the majority of the novel focuses on Kelly but I really enjoyed the occasional switching of perspectives and getting a look into another character's head. The murder mystery twist at the end threw in some much needed drama into the story and kept things interesting toward the end. Although I really enjoyed many aspects of the plot there were a few things that made me a little uncomfortable, Richard was a fantastic villain but quite a few aspects of his character that made him so villainous made him disturbing as well. Likewise the conclusion of the murder mystery really threw me for a loop, and not in a good way.
Even though I'm a huge romance fan the romance in this novel, even though it was a major aspect of the plot, was my least favorite part. The relationship between John and Kelly was cute in its own way, but I just felt like things moved a little too fast. After a few conversations and Kelly taking her clothes off a few times in front of the mirror he was trapped in they were instantly "in love" and all of Kelly's initial skepticism was thrown aside. Plus most of the conversations between them were extremely short; almost everything I knew about John I learned from the snippets in his point of view. I felt like Kelly and John barely knew each other and by the end I had the feeling that Kelly knew Richard better than she knew John, making the romance feel that much more unbelievable.
Overall I would say that Secret Reflection was an interesting story but a slow one. Readers who aren't scared off by the idea of a slow moving plot may want to check out this time travel/historical romance.
*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.