Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Publication Date: November 28, 2014
Origins: From Author for Review
Synopsis: When eighteen-year-old orphan, Crystal Valdez, accepts an invitation to the small town of Blacksville, West Virginia, she hopes to have a summer to remember and a chance to learn more about her parents, to also get to know the family she never knew existed. But the Lockes begin to act strange and erratic; eerie movements in the night fuel her vivid and gruesome nightmares. To complicate her summer further, she becomes attracted to the menacing yet handsome Cray Locke: her none blood related cousin. He seems determined to keep his distance. The only bonus to her trip seems to be the housekeeper and gardener. And when a local informs Crystal of the secrets buried at Thorncrest Manor, the kind consisting of a forbidden relationship and a war between hidden worlds, and witchcraft, she must decide whom to trust. Even if it means leaving behind those she has come to love.
Review: THE LEBRUS STONE is about Crystal Valdez, a girl who had been orphaned twice. Crystal lives and works in Cedar City, Utah until the day her “aunt”, her mother’s best friend, comes to visit. She’s there to invite Crystal to Thorncrest Manor – her family home – in Blacksville, West Virginia. Crystal decides to visit for the summer, but she’s in for more than she ever bargained. THE LEBRUS STONE seems to be two stories in one book. Most of the book is about Crystal’s adjusting to Thorncrest Manor and her pseudo-family. She’s attracted to her non-blood cousin, Cray, but he and the rest of them have some very nasty secrets. Crystal had seemed at first to be a down-to-earth girl, but the way she kept coming back to Cray after he treats her like dirt was very disconcerting. Then over halfway through THE LEBRUS STONE, it gets overtly paranormal. I think if there had been a “flashback” in the beginning, it would give readers an idea of the hidden world the author would take Crystal into later. I didn’t feel any kind of emotional connection with any of the characters and spent most of the time mildly annoyed with Crystal. I do think THE LEBRUS STONE may hold appeal for older teen readers who enjoy suspense, romance, and the paranormal.