Although she is a very competent realtor, Melanie Middleton does not really care for the old houses of Charleston. They may have their charm but they can quickly become money pits. At thirty-nine, she needs to support herself with her commissions, but tries to warn potential buyers what they are tackling when they want to buy a historic "fixer-upper". Imagine her shock when she inherits just such a house from an elderly man after a short, but intense, meeting just a few days before his death.
Besides her real estate skills, Melanie has a dubious gift-she can see ghosts. It is not an ability you want to divulge to others, but this old house seems to have more than its share of ghosts with unresolved issues. Jack Trenholm is interested in the secrets of the house. He is a writer looking to revive his career and thinks his research may lead to missing diamonds that could have been hidden in the house after the Civil War. Both ghostly and real people seem to agree with Jack's theory. Melanie and Jack could be in danger as they work to renovate the old house and search for answers to old secrets.
Melanie is an intelligent, strong woman who still has to deal with past family issues that continue to impact the present. Jack has been deeply wounded by a serious relationship and has his own heavy emotional baggage. Jack is kind and protective towards Melanie, but she is more attracted to Marc Longo with his mysterious, sexy aura.
The House On Tradd Street has all the elements that have made Karen White's books fan favorites: a Southern setting, a deeply emotional tale and engaging characters. The Charleston setting adds an extra special touch with its history and homes and the vivid descriptions bring the location to life. The ghost story adds a twist that helps bring past and present together.
I knew I was going to love The House On Tradd Street from the perfect prose of the first line. My only disappointment is that this fabulous book is the first of a series and I will have to wait until November 2009 to find out what happens to these captivating characters.