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Are you ever really alone?
Zoe Grayson needs a change. So, she moves to another state, purchases an old, dilapidated 1920s Victorian Mansion, and sets out to restore it to its former glory. As she begins the restoration, she finds herself falling in love with the old house . . . not to mention its illustrious builder, Mr. Lancaster. Zoe becomes obsessed with the house as she discovers its secrets; hidden rooms, secret passageways . . . and a mysterious man who seems to think the house is his. Who is he? More importantly, how does he live in her home unseen and unheard?
The unexpected answers leave her reeling—and questioning everything she’s ever known. To her dismay, Zoe’s actions land her in the local psychiatric hospital, scheming for ways to return to Lancaster House . . . and the love of her life.
Behind the Story
Lancaster House is not a book I'd planned to write. I never intended to venture into the world of Paranormal Romance. However, it's the favorite genre of one of my daughters. She called me one day and issued me a challenge. She said, "Let's both write a short paranormal story and see what comes of them." I told her I didn't want to write anything paranormal, my mind just doesn't go there. But by the time we hung up I had promised to think about a plot.
At about this same time I was glued to American Idol, watching Adam Lambert take the competition by storm. I loved his “Mad World” performance in the season finale. He sung on a fog shrouded stage while wearing a vampire-like costume. Believe it or not, this image spurred my imagination and started me on my way to writing Lancaster House.
To my surprise, I really got into it. I grew up visiting the Winchester Mystery House on occasion (located in San Jose, California), and the place sparked countless stories in my mind. In my childhood I also had the opportunity to explore the Hayes Mansion (also in San Jose, California). In fact, my parents were at one time considering becoming the caretakers, long before it was restored. Lancaster House contains many things I remember from exploring the nooks and crannies in these houses.
I also couldn't resist adding a little family history into my story. For example, my grandfather drove across the country as a young boy of sixteen, saying it was the best thing he ever did.
Of course, in the end, Lancaster House far surpassed a short story and quickly became a novel. I have my daughter to thank for it.
THE OLD COVER
THE OLD COVER
Can I just say WOW!
I was totally enamored of Taylor's Sierra, when I read it awhile back, but Lancaster House is even better.
Taylor weaves a story that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
Zoe is an interior decorator who wants to restore Lancaster House and resell it, but once she starts working on it, strange things start to happen. Strange things that make her question her sanity, and then she meets Andre.
Andre is a new twist on a paranormal creature, part vampire and part ghost. There's a lot more to him then meets the eye.
The two fall in love as they restore his old home. Yes, Andre is Andre Lancaster the man who built Lancaster House.
Well it gets better, this story is told by Zoe as she's recounting it to a psychiatrist after a suicide attempt.
This is really a gripping read and one I recommend highly! Taylor Dean is on my list of must read authors now.
~ Andrea of A Chick Who Reads
Lancaster House is amazingly written and such an original story. I was Zoe and Andre's number one fan from the beginning, they are an amazing couple, and Taylor easily conveys their love in this story.
Taylor made Zoe so likeable and so easy to sympathize with. You just want to tell off all the people who are so adamant about calling her crazy. Of course she's not crazy you want to scream at them! (Or at least I did, but I get really involved in novels if you haven't been able to tell) : )
I really can't say enough about Taylor Dean and this novel. She has created such an epic story of paranormal romance that you don't even realize that it is a paranormal telling. I ended up feeling so bad for Zoe because to me, all she deserves is to be happy and to be with Andre. It is a beautiful love story that you ABSOLUTELY MUST READ!!!
~Brandy of Book Worm Brandy
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This book really took me by surprise. You know the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well this is that book! Zoe moves to California for a fresh start. She uses her inheritance to purchase a rundown 1920’s Victorian mansion. Taylor Dean describes this house so meticulously that you can see it in your mind’s eye. Strange things begin happening in the house, the stove shuts itself off, the half wallpapered walls are suddenly complete, the list goes on and on. Zoe refuses to believe in ghosts, and thinks her ex or someone else has found a secret passage into the house and is playing mind games on her…The truth will shock you, it certainly did me as I never expected the answer I received. I loved the author’s writing style, jumping from past to present, it helped to know where Zoe was coming from and how she got into the predicament she was in. I wasn’t thrilled with the way this book ended (we’re left hanging in anticipation of book 2). But I must say, Taylor Dean is now one of my favorite authors!
~Simone of Bookworm Babblings
An enthralling tale that was skillfully crafted to keep you on the edge of your seat. Wonderfully created in a re-telling format, the author draws you into the world of Zoe Grayson, leaving you gripped in her story while leaving a niggling of doubt as to her actual sanity. The romance is sweet and tender and curl-your-toes kind of wonderful. Good characters created a chemistry all of their own, creating their own world and giving credibility to the psychiatrist's doubts. A few good twists help keep the plot going. I got completely caught up in this one, my heart silently pleading for a way for their love to work - and to be real. Definitely a great read and one I would highly recommend.
~Jennifer of Clean Romance Reviews
This book sucked me in from the very first chapter. Once I got started I literally put it down one time to make dinner for my family. As soon as dinner was over I was back reading! I probably read it in 3 hours, maybe a little more.
I have never read a book quite like this one. I can't begin to describe to you how good it was. When Taylor contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing it here on my blog, the thing that intrigued me the most was the old house. I remember reading a Nora Roberts book a long time ago about a woman (I think) who bought an old house and was restoring it and I really loved that book. So, I was pretty sure that I was going to like this one. This one took me quite by surprise. I wasn't at all prepared for the depth of the paranormal aspect of this story. Just when I thought I had it figured out something else would happen to take the story that much deeper.
One thing is certain, Lancaster House is a main character in this story. There is a little bit in the book about The Winchester House, I remember reading about it or seeing about it on a TV show. I love how the builder of Lancaster House incorporated some of the things he learned on that construction site into the construction of his own home. It gives Lancaster House some very distinctive characteristics.
I don't want to give anything away since this story is so unique. This story is told from two points in time. Zoe is in the present, in a place she doesn't want to be, telling her story to someone else. The story flows really well from one to the other and when she was telling her story I felt like I was right there with her. I was having a hard time not being really angry about what was going on in the present. I was frustrated for her and I just wanted everything to work out.
Zoe is young and energetic and takes this huge house on without a single thought. She walks right in to a house that the Realtor doesn't even want to go into and she sees it in all it's former glory and just knows that it's meant to be hers. She moves in and gets to work without any hesitation. Then odd things start happening, but at first she just chalks it up to exhaustion and thinks maybe she is just imagining it. One night something happens that she just can't deny and her life changes. She meets a mysterious man who seems to have been watching over her since the moment she walked into Lancaster House.
Zoe spends all her time working on the house and getting to know her mystery man to the point that she isn't even leaving the house at all. She discovers things about him that leave her with more questions than answers and he isn't even telling her everything. She searches out answers by researching the house and it's history, but even this isn't enough.
As the story goes back and forth from past to present, as a reader I was left wondering if she really is crazy! I know one thing is certain, I loved Andre and their love story is so romantic and original. The whole thing is a little reminiscent of random episodes of some of my very favorite paranormal shows. It's a theme that has been played on a handful of them, but I have never read a story with this theme. It's really something else, I know that I keep saying it, but I just can't get it out of my head!
I was NOT happy when it ended, but there is a second book coming out this winter that will hopefully tie it all up nicely. I can't wait to see how Andre and Zoe's story ends. I wholeheartedly recommend this for anyone who likes paranormal books, you will not be disappointed at all. It's not just a good story, it's really well written and just overall a great read.
There are really no content concerns, I don't think there was any profanity. There are some kissing scenes and talk of being intimate, but no detailed love scenes in this one.
~ Shelly of House of A La Mode
Wow! What an intense and refreshing book! It pulled me in form the very first page!It has everything from suspense to mystery and yes, of course, romance! This book kept me on edge by keeping me guessing to the very end! Lancaster House is not your same ole paranormal romance that we all have come to know and expect! Oh no! There was no way I could have guessed all the twists and turns that are held in this book! It left me surprised and very satisfied with the the whole story! I guarantee you have never read any other book that is remotely like this one (well at least I sure haven't and I have read a lot of books!)
I really didn't know what I expected before I read it but once I started it, I literally could not put it down until I was at the very last page! I would definitely recommend this book as a must read! And I cannot wait until I get to read the second one in the series!
~Jess of Book Liaison
The Cover - This is such an unusual, interesting book cover! It definitely has a vintage vibe about it, which fits perfectly with the story itself. I'm really liking the mix of blues and yellows that have been used, and doesn't that tagline just grab your attention straight away?! Love it.
The Review - Wow. Where to start? Lancaster House was one of the most exhilarating, amazing books I've read all year. Maybe even ever. There is an undercurrent of menace and a totally creepy vibe running through the first half of the novel, one which kept me turning the pages and had my heart beating that little bit faster. From the opening pages, you're sucked right into the action, wondering what is going on and what will happen next.
The house itself is as much of a main character as Zoe. A gorgeously dilapidated 1920 Victorian mansion, Lancaster House is to me, a dream come true! I am desperate to renovate a gem from the past myself, and I love the idea of bringing an old house back to life just like Zoe, so this aspect of the story really appealed to me. I also loved the little connection to the Winchester Mystery House, and the role that this played in the book!
I absolutely adored Zoe and Andre. Without giving too much away, their relationship was so lovely, and both were interesting, unique characters. I enjoyed witnessing the development of their relationship, and I really felt the intensity of their emotions and their feelings for one another. The juxtaposition in Zoe's mannerisms, and the way she could quickly go from being a mature woman who renovates houses for a living, to a young twenty-something racing around a house on piggyback was great! I could relate to her a lot, and throughout the novel I could feel what she was feeling, and this brought me so much deeper into the story. And oh my gosh, Andre! What a dreamboat! He was seriously the perfect man! Well, nearly... He did love throwing guys out of windows a little bit too much for my liking!
I was spellbound by Lancaster House. Ms Dean has really outdone herself with this book. The story was utterly entrancing and completely absorbing. It was also very smart; it kept me thinking and questioning what was going on the entire time, and even after reading it, I'm still not entirely sure what was real and what wasn't. I love a book that keeps me thinking about it well after I'm done reading it.
Lancaster House is definitely one of the best books I've read all year, and I cannot wait for the sequel! So please, write it quickly Ms Dean! In the last few pages I found myself nearly in tears, and I was racing to get to the end. This book has left me reeling, and I can't wait to see what will happen next.
~Mandy of The Thoughts of a Girl
When I started reading ‘Lancaster House’ I thought it was going to be your typical ghost story / haunted house type deal. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This book was about a man wronged in loved and suffering eternity for it. His life hanging in the balance for something he did which seemed justified to me.
It also about the woman who buys Lancaster House and wants to restore it to its original beauty, she is in love with the house and falls in love with its secret tenant as well. The only question is will she be able to handle his story or will she lose her mind in the process of restoring the house?
I absolutely adored the story Taylor Dean told in this amazing unique novel. ‘Lancaster House’ took a usually creepy, scary theme and turned it into something beautiful and inspiring. True love cannot be beaten or torn down and that is really the lesson in this book.
Andre and Zoe just give me chills at how beautiful y they are together. Not to mention this story has every wow factor to it you can imagine. Twists and turns like you wouldn’t believe. It was a great adventure and a job well done for Taylor Dean. I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to everyone. A true masterpiece.
Lancaster House by Taylor Dean is an amazing book! It is so creepy in a good way! When I saw the cover, I was like, eh....what is this about? But I read the synopsis and was like whoa I need to read it! So when I was asked to be in this tour, I gladly accepted!
Zoe Grayson is an awesome, strong female character. She's been through some rotten circumstances yet manages to rise above them and go for what she wants. What she wants is to renovate old houses and sell them for profit. Her first undertaking of an old Victorian mansion leads her far beyond her wildest dreams.
I loved when the house was first being described....hidden rooms, staircases that go nowhere? ROSE RED! That was my first thought :) The Winchester House! That was my second thought. Then Ms. Dean actually included the Winchester House in the book. I loved that. I knew right then that this was going to be wonderful.
The further I got into this story, the more I loved it. The way that the story is told is unique. It is Zoe telling her story to her psychiatrist. So right away we know that the house led Zoe into madness.....maybe.
None of the characters in the story feel like they are put there just for fillers. This is something in writing that I love. It makes me crazy when there are so many secondary characters that you can't relate to the main characters since the focus is everywhere. All of Lancaster House's players are important. They are all well-developed and believable.
Each detail of Zoe's story leads you further into her world. Is she really crazy? Are you? Do you believe her story? I hope that each and everyone of you reads this book. Even if you don't win you need to get yourself a copy! If you love mysterious love stories, this is definitely the book for you!
It is so compelling and moving and amazing! I give it 5 stars!~Christy of Christy's Cozy Corner
I received Lancaster House in return for an honest review from Laura @ Colorimetry as part of the Lancaster House tour. Zoe Grayson’s life hasn't been easy her father passed away from a heart attack a few months ago, and she walked in on her fiancée cheating. So needing to reinvent herself she purchases a rundown 1920’s Victorian Mansion with the plan to restore it to its glory. She’s warned when doing a walk through that the house is haunted but as long as it’s a ghosts and not spiders she’s fine with that.
When Zoe moves in she puts her everything into fixing the house hiring all the right people and doing the work herself. It’s the morning after she started on the Banister that she finds someone has finished up where she started. She brushes it off thinking she was just too tired to realize she had finished it. When it happens again she’s sure someone else is living in a secret room in the house so she sets out to figure it out. It’s when she meets Andre she assumes he’s living in the house and when she starts to uncover his secrets he puts her asleep.
The pair starts to form a strong connection overcoming a burglar attack, as well as an attack from her crazy ex-fiancée. The more Zoe learns about her mystery man as the story unfolds. Will his secrets be too much for her to deal with? Will they finish restoring the Lancaster house? Will Zoe be arrested in the two strange deaths’ that happened at the house?
Wow such a fantastic book. It captivated me right from the start with the enchanting story of Zoe and Andre. I found the concept interesting because Zoe is telling the story to Dr. Channing at the psychiatric hospital who assumes she’s created Andre to cope with everything she’s dealing with. I really enjoy Zoe as a character she reminds me a lot of myself because when my mom passed away I pushed myself to keep busy however I didn't buy an old house but it sounds like a great idea. I've not read many ghost stories in the past so it’s still a new subject to me but I’m a new fan. I love the relationship with Zoe and Andre even though he’s from the 1920’s their relationship is very sweet he’s kind of the perfect guy except he’s not human. I think the author does an amazing job of creating a story teens as well as adults will enjoy. The book is beautifully written it was easy for me to see what Zoe was seeing I felt like I was there with her. I really loved the story and I’m thrilled to have the next book so I can know what happen to Zoe and Andre.
~Mandy of The Reading Diaries
For me one of the most important parts of a book is the setting. While character development is vitally important and an interesting plot is essential, if I can't visualize the setting I have a hard time reading the book. That wasn't a problem here, Dean does a fabulous job creating a very vivid setting. In fact, she did such a great job that I wanted to actually leap into the book and visit the place, old and damaged or not. I loved the idea of secret hiding places and staircases that go nowhere and I'm a big fan of carved wooden features. I also really enjoyed Zoe as a character, a woman who is dealing with the grief of losing her father and the unfaithfulness of her former fiance, throws herself into renovating Lancaster House. I admired the fact that she didn't let her struggles from doing something she wanted to do. Of the strange things that start happening throw her for a loop, but she tries to deal with it the best way she knows how. I found the other characters interesting as well, especially Andre. The plot is definitely an intriguing one, which I enjoyed immensely, I found it very unique and compelling. I can whole-heartedly recommend this as a clean, intriguing romance with lots of mysterious elements.
~Heidi of LDS and Lovin' it
Another wonderful book written by the wonderful Taylor Dean. Just when you think you have figured out what is going on, you are blow away with more surprises. Zoe is such a wonderful character. You feel for her and want desperately to believe her story. After you read this book you will believe in true love and that it can withstand anything, even time. A wonderful clean love story that will keep you up all night to finish reading it. I recommend this book to everyone. You will love it!
~Tammy of Oh, The Books You'll Read
I couldn’t put this one down. For me this book was a mix between the movie Don Juan de Marco and Lisa See’s Peony in Love. At some point you don’t care if Zoe is telling the truth or not, you just want to wrap yourself up with her words and go wherever she takes you. My heart was racing during the last chapter, and I was left completely satisfied.
J. King, Dallas, Texas
Loved this book! We all dream of a handsome guardian who watches over us, but in this book there are so many mysteries that I was kept wondering if the main character was crazy or truly in tune with another place in time. Reminiscent of Somewhere in Time, Lancaster House left me satisfied yet made me curious to know histories of old homes and the stories of those who lived in them.
S. Allred, Beaverton, Oregon
Lancaster House is a novel that appealed to the little girl in me who always wanted to explore old Victorian homes and see what I could find there. It is a romance novel and yet paranormal in nature. Just when you think you have the plot figured out, things change. If you enjoyed the Twilight Series, you will enjoy this novel.
C. Newgren, Canby, OR