Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Resurrecting Harry, by Constance Phillips

RESURRECTING HARRY, By Constance Phillips

Published by Crescent Moon Press, 2013


Devastated by Harry Houdini's unexpected death, his widow, Bess, clings to his promise to deliver a coded message from beyond the grave. She's determined to provide the bridge for him to cross, just like she assisted him on the stage, even if that means befriending her husband's sworn enemy.

In order to save the only woman he's ever loved from self-destruction, Harry puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory's keeper, who gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch.

Even with Harry's soul and memories, Erich feels out-of-place and disconnected from everything he once called his own. Will Erich be able to help Bess recover from her loss and will any good come from resurrecting Harry?


This is an old-fashioned love story with a ghost story kind of twist. This well-written and well-researched novel explores the what-ifs of the afterlife, and whether the connection between two souls who truly love each other can continue beyond death.

The Great Master of Escape, Harry Houdini, finds himself twisting in the winds of Purgatory. The keeper of the keys offers him one last challenge to escape death itself, and save his grieving widow, Bess, from the self-destructive path she’s chosen.

Harry’s soul is given a new body, a new identity, and a singular mission. He must stop Bess from conducting the séance scheduled for the anniversary of his death. More importantly, he finds he must help Bess stop living in the past and embrace life.

When Harry’s new body – in the form of a younger man named Erich Welsh – first meets Bess on the road, sparks fly between them. Harry thinks it will be easy enough to cheat death and have a second chance to relive his life. It takes time for him to realize it’s not only Bess who needs to stop living in the past, but that Erich also needs to learn from Harry’s mistakes. His soul needs to learn and grow if he and Bess are to really have a chance at true happiness.

Ms. Phillips gives us twists and turns as Erich makes some of the same missteps Harry made in life, and poor Bess is left wondering if she’s going insane at the similarities in the men she’s attracted to. The author gives us the story from both points of view, which gives interesting insight into their motivations, and makes it all the more gratifying when they come to the same conclusions. The love scenes are nicely done, and I loved it that while Bess realizes their age differences a lot at the beginning of the story, by the time they’re in bed together it all falls away.

The author keeps you guessing right up until the end as to whether the pair will ultimately end up together, and whether Harry’s last and greatest escape will be to defy death itself.

While historical fiction isn’t my usual genre, this was a fun, fast read. Despite the 1920s setting, I’d classify it more as a paranormal romance. I loved the author’s first novel, Fairyproof, and have looked forward to reading more of her work. I’m so glad I did, and totally recommend Resurrecting Harry.

About the Author:

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff. When she's not writing about fairies, shifters, vamps, and guardian angels, she's working side-by-side with her husband in their hardwood flooring business.

She's actively involved in her local Romance Writers of America chapter (MVRWA), and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the United States Pony Club (which her son is also very active in). When not writing or enjoying the outdoors, she loves reality television or can be found at a Rick Springfield concert (just look for the pink Converse high tops).

Fairyproof, was released from Crescent Moon Press September 4, 2012. Resurrecting Harry was released March 1, 2013. 

Come back tomorrow for more about RESURRECTING HARRY and Constance Philips! *yea*

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