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The Romance Review

Ancient Revenge

 Reviewed for 

 Book Review

While visiting her aunt and uncle, 14-year-old Emily discovered two ghosts living in their quaint little cottage near Stonehenge. One ghost was a young girl. The other ghost appeared to be evil, taunted her during her visit and left her feeling threatened. No one believed Emily except for a teenage neighbor, Jonathan. Emily was determined to learn more about the ghosts. Five years later Emily returned to the cottage to try to solve the mystery. She was reunited with Jonathan and there was romance in the air.

This book was hard to put down. It was easy to connect to the characters; I felt as if I was right there with them. This tale is full of mystery, suspense and paranormal attributes, from magic, sorcery, ghosts, love and romance, to reincarnation. This is the first book in a new trilogy by the author. It is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will stay with you long into the night. If you are looking for a good thriller, then look no further. Grab a copy, turn on the light and close the drapes.




Geraldine Ahearn “Author Geri Ahearn”  

This review is from: Merryweather Lodge (Paperback)

Emily is anxious to visit her aunt and uncle at their cozy cottage, located in the lush English countryside. During her visit, Emily is invited to sleep in the attic. Within a few minutes after her aunt brought her to her room, Emily felt a strange presence behind her, wondering if the experience was simply due to an overtired mind on an exhausting day of travel. As she tried to brush off the events that took place the night before, new events began to torment Emily the next day. What did she see in the mirror, was the doll still sitting on the rocking chair, and why did Wooky hiss and scratch Emily? Who turned the Eliss Family portrait upside down, and what was Emily’s first impression of John McArthur? What did Emily feel when she shook hands with Jonathan, and did Emily’s curiosity about the woodlot upset her aunt? What was chasing Emily and her aunt through the woods that made Emily extremely apprehensive? Who put the doll in Emily’s bed? As Emily found herself terrified and trembling, did the mystery that she found have something to do with her? Was Emily hallucinating, or did a ghost hiss at her as a putrid smell filled the room? Did anyone believe Emily, or did they all think that Emily was having nightmares? I highly recommend this spine-tingling novel to all thriller and mystery lovers, who enjoy intense suspense, with a blend of romance and humor. Pauline Holyoak becomes a Master storyteller as she fills each page with love, magic, and horror. The reader is invited to take an unforgettable roller-coaster ride as you witness the same terror as if viewing Hitchcock in his classic tradition. Does Emily become a target by mysterious spirits, while she’s determined to unlock hidden secrets? The author paints each page with fantasy, colorful characters, and haunting events that would light up a movie screen. When Emily returns years later to find out answers, who will be seeking revenge, and does Jonathan guide her in a dangerous mission? “MERRYWEATHER LODGE: Ancient Revenge” is as scary as THE GLASS HOUSE, as mesmerizing as EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, and as gripping as DON’T SAY A WORD, with Michael Douglas.

Pauline Holyoak has crafted a thrilling tale of vengeful ghosts, ancient magic, secrets, betrayal, and past lives.  Just a warning…don’t read this book while alone at night!  There were a few spine tingling scenes that had me jumping at the slightest noise!

 At 14, Emily travels from her home in Canada to the English countryside to visit her aunt and uncle on their farm called Merryweather Lodge.  Emily soon gains the attention of two ghosts - a mysterious young girl and a terrifying creature Emily is certain wants to kill her.  Could these spirits be connected to the string of murders in the area?  Only one person is willing to believe Emily’s story - Jonathan, the teenage son of her aunt and uncle’s neighbor.  Emily is certain she knows him, but how?  Determined to lay to rest the ghosts of the past once and for all, Emily returns to Merryweather Lodge five years later.  She is reunited with Jonathan, and together they uncover how their past lives are entwined with the restless spirits haunting them today.

 Merryweather Lodge - Ancient Revenge, the first of a new trilogy, is a completely engrossing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Pauline Holyoak described the places, events and characters so vividly, I could easily picture myself there.  When Emily felt the cold chill of a ghost nearby, I could too.  I would describe Emily and Jonathan’s romance as flirtatious in this book.  Nothing hot and heavy yet, but it establishes the foundation for things to come.  With its suspenseful, fast paced plot and colorful characters, this book will appeal to a wide rage of readers, including fans of mystery & thrillers, suspense, and paranormal romance.  It’s also a must for those interested in Celtic and Druid magic (like me!).  I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Review by You Gotta Read Reviews

 Merryweather Lodge is truly a chilling tale. It freaked me out but at the same time I was sucked in because I wanted to know what happened. The author had to keep many plot lines going and not drop pieces of any plot. She did a great job in juggling them all, at the same time she made the characters believable. The story has a romantic thread but overall it’s a dark tale. Emily and Jonathan are reincarnated from Druid times and they only love each other. Emily has to save the town from the evil that has haunted the town for a long time. I loved Auntie and he heroics at the end.

 Overall if you love chilling, suspense, dark magic type books you will love this one. It has so many twists and turns and love in it that it should feed one’s need for being scared. It made me not want to sleep alone in the dark.                                                                                                                                                                                         Merryweather Lodge                                                                                                                                Pauline Holyoak                                                                                                                                               ISBN: 9781611600063                                                                                                                                Whiskey Creek Press                                                                                                                               Reviewed By Chelsea Perry                                                                                                                   Official Apex Reviews Rating:

  Young Emily has been looking forward to visiting her aunt and uncle’s cozy cottage near Stonehenge for quite some time – but when she’s accosted one night by an evil spirit, her enthusiasm may just come to a crashing halt…before long, she finds herself entranced by the mysterious history of not only the old cottage, but also the entire area – and the less the locals want to talk about it, the more Emily’s curiosity is piqued…soon, she becomes infatuated with the handsome Jonathan McArthur at the same time that she strives to get to the bottom of the hidden ancient legends that surround her – but if she isn’t careful, she may just find herself the target of a vengeful ghost’s time-tested wrath…

 In Merryweather Lodge, author Pauline Holyoak successfully blends the elements of mystery and romance to craft an engaging suspense thriller with a paranormal twist. Inspired by her own real life experiences, Holyoak’s imaginative tale introduces the reader to a fantastical world of magic, sorcery, love, and revenge that effectively suspends disbelief and features one surprising twist after another. Because of its true-life implications, Merryweather Lodge boasts a particularly salient appeal, as the reader is left to wonder just which parts of Holyoak’s compelling narrative are fiction – and which actually occurred. Regardless of your final analysis, though, Merryweather Lodge makes for a fun, entertaining read sure to keep you on your toes until the very end.


 Laurie Garrison of gave to:
Merryweather Lodge
by Pauline Holyoak
recommended for: people who loves Suspense/Thriller 

   ”Spine-tingling, touching and pure captivating! I would love to see this in a movie. This is an excellent bone chilling thriller one that as I read I felt like I could be right there because the detail is so well written, lets just say don’t read this without a lot of light, I had goose bumps as I read. You’ll find a touch or horror, paranormal, suspense and mystery and I highly recommend this to anyone that reads any of them listed. You will also find. There are witches, ghosts, a curse, reincarnation and revenge.

This is a romance story and there is some little flirty comments between Emily and Jonathan, but there is no real sex scene between them, there is mention of sex in dreams and past lives. Don’t let that discourage you from getting this book because their romance will grow in up coming books. I am one I need at least a few pages of a h/h going at it, but I didn’t miss it in this story, it was just to thrilling.

  The author gives you plenty about this book on her website. Please check it out. So this is what I will tell you. When Emily first goes to England at the age of fourteen she finds herself in her aunt and uncles house in the attic with ghosts and the more she digs to find out who they are the more she finds people there just don’t want to talk about it. So Emily finds different ways to find out who the ghost are. Jonathan helps out some. You know how it goes someone tells you to stay out of the woods and guess what Emily does the opposite she goes in there to finds out more, so you know that didn’t go to well. It’s when Emily comes back a few years later at the age of twenty that she finds out a whole lot more of what is going on and she also finds the one responsible for this sinister twisted ghostly tale is out for revenge and it’s Emily she is after.

I loved the characters the way the books flows it’s very easy to understand. I will add this book is part of a trilogy, so when it ends you know there is more to come. I can’t wait to read the second book.”


Feather Stone rated it  on Goodreads Reviews.

“At my recent Cole’s book signing I met Pauline Holyoak. What a surprise to learn that she not only lives just a few homes down the street from me, but that she is also a published author. Her first book, Merryweather Lodge, Ancient Revenge, was published in 2010. This book was awarded the 2011 Readers Favorite Award Winner.
I started reading it and could not put it down. Having finished the first book, I am excited to start on Pauline’s second book, the sequel, Merryweather Lodge - Malevolent Spirit. Pauline is working on the final book to the trilogy.

Now, I have to admit that stories with vengeful witches, evil spirits and gruesome scenes are not normally my cup of tea. The movie “Carrie” thoroughly turned me off that genre. However, having met Pauline and enjoyed her upbeat personality, and saw the book had won an award, I decided to risk the nightmares. I believe that any book that is written well, regardless of the genre, must be read.

Over the next three days I was immersed into the beautiful English countryside, and its ancient myths. The scenes are so well described I became not the reader, but the companion of the main characters. I was wanting to yank them out of the horrific events and lead them to safety. Instead of being overwhelmed with horror, like I am usually in these scenes, I found myself wanting to place myself between the evil and the characters. This was as a result of the author’s skill making the characters real, people I would love to know and care for. I cheered for their courage and selflessness to protect each other. Then, of course, I hoped that the romance between Emily and Jonathon would blossom, hopefully before one or both of them were killed by the evil cousin.

Pauline’s talent for describing scenes is beyond beyond. Not only could I accurately visualize the details, but all my other senses were activated to the max. Humour is strategically placed throughout preventing the dark plot from becoming overly taxing. I loved the dialogue that depicted the English expressions, adding to the personalities of the characters. The plot is well executed (no pun intended) leading you deeper into the mystery and the magic. The ending? Well, you will just have to read the book!”


“What a great imagination this author has. Her story is full of suspense and beauty at the same time, and she really achieves authenticity in her characters’. It was a real adventure and page turner. Not many authors can build up tension like she does.”                                                Stephanie Fraser (former associate editor of HarperCollins)


         “Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge… A thriller that keeps you on the edge. By: Pauline Holyoak.     
         Emily Fletcher is an  uncomplicated, strong willed, well rounded girl with a fascinating family. While visiting her aunt and uncle in their charming cottage in England she becomes infatuated with a handsome farmhand, terrified by the events in the attic room and tormented by an ancient spirit. Emily’s desire to find out what is happening and why there are so many secrets keeps you captivated, as one thrilling event after another unfolds.      
   Merryweather Lodge is a must read for all who have a need for a great adventure edged with fantasy, humor and horror. The storyteller captivates you attention with her many colorful characters who encounter one heart racing adventure after another.”  
                                                         Harriet MacKnight   Principal   Edmonton Catholic Schools


Annie Frame rated it   on Goodreads Reviews. 

“Merryweather Lodge Ancient Revenge is without a doubt a page turner. I connected with Emily (the main character) from the start, so eagerly followed her through out the supernatural tale. Anyone interested in the paranormal will not be disappointed and will be left wanting more of the same. I really hope that this book is made into a film, because it is definitely edge of the seat movie material. Five stars from me!”


Malevolent Spirit 

 Laurie Garrison of gave :

“Pauline Holyoak delivers another bone chilling story. This is the second book in the Merryweather Lodge trilogy and it takes you deeper into the myth around Merthia and the lodge then the first book. You get a better look into how Merthia the creature came about. Pauline still keeps the same pace where you understand all the elements going on and the way she explains it you feel like your right there and that’s where the creepiness really gets you.

Emily gets even more grief this time around from the spirit of Merthia. She and Jonathan’s love life gets very spicy as their love continues to grow spite the fact Merthia is trying to sabotage their every step together. Emily also find out her best friend kinda of has a thing for her. Yep, this one get’s very interesting.

If you want a good storytelling paranormal romance with a touch of horror that will leave you a bit creep out as your reading, then you have to try both books. This can be a standalone but I would highly recommend you to read the first in the series.”



“MALEVOLENT SPIRIT is the second amazing book in Pauline Holyoak’s eerie trilogy about the strange goings on surrounding a quaint English cottage near Stonehenge.  In this book Emily returns to Merryweather Lodge for an extended visit with her Auntie Em, who owns the property.  Emily quickly learns that the evil spirit of an ancient Druid priestess called Merthia is still plaguing Merryweather Lodge seeking revenge, and Merthia’s prime target is Emily.

This is a very chilling tale that kept me on the edge of my seat!  The story is told from Emily’s first person point of view.  Emily learns more about Merthia, and she finds out Merthia isn’t the only “malevolent spirit” haunting Merryweather Lodge.  Emily’s relationship with her soul mate Jonathan deepens, and much is revealed about her best friend Skye.  I think my favorite character is the colorful and quirky Auntie Em.

If you have not read the first book in the series, ANCIENT REVENGE, I highly recommend doing so before reading MALEVOLENT SPIRIT.  The first book gives readers a lot of important backstory for the characters and places in book two.  Plus, ANCIENT REVENGE was a sensational read as well.

There is still much to be resolved, and I’m ready for the third book now!  I give MALEVOLENT SPIRIT 4½ stars!”

 Posted by Diana Leigh (Book of Secrets)


It is very well written and makes it a very easy to read novel. The storyline keeps you so intreged that you literally cant put the book down, you just want to know what happens next.

It has everything that you are looking for in a goodread - love, friendship, mystery, suspence, horror and history.

I have given this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to all.”

                                                                                         Goodreads Reviews - Rebecca Fitzgerald