Book Club Read Along Discussion: Penmort Castle

by Donna Soluri

Welcome friends to the inaugural meeting of the B+M Book Club! We are going all in this month with not one, not two, not even three reads, oh no, we are being especially ambitious and attempting a FIVE book series discussion throughout October. (Side note: I love you all like the best friends we are sure to be, but November will not be this crazy, I promise!) As I alluded to in my Book Club introduction post, I re-read Kristen Ashley’s Ghosts & Reincarnation series almost every October. For me, this is a form of self-care. I read and talk about books for a living, so being not just caught up but ahead of the reading game is part of my job. Taking the time to do a re-read as extensive as this one is a luxurious self-care regimen that helps get me in the mood to better handle the shenanigans the end of the year typically brings.

Here’s how this is going to work. I’ll give you the book’s nickel tour and list a condensed version of our discussion questions. If you want to drop more items here, feel free to do so in the comments below. I’ll check them throughout the day and add them to our main discussion board. Where is that main discussion board? Well, come on over to my B+M Bites profile page by clicking the link below. If you’re not familiar with the Bites portion of the show here at Book+Main, allow me to introduce it to you. You can search for books by keywords and tropes. You can read author-supplied “Bites,” which are extended teases, samples, and sometimes exclusive content from a particular book that can give you a feel for the story and writing. In the Community tab, you can join discussions like this and find some fun recommendations from other book influencers like myself. I hope you’ll join us and stick around for more lively discussions of books we love; maybe you’ll find your next read!

Now, on with the show!

About Penmort Castle

Penmort Castle is Abby Butler and Cash Fraser’s story. A series of incredibly unfortunate events have led Abby to a pub to meet a man, Cash, who wishes to engage her time for a month to help him secure his family home. Yeah, he offers her a generous amount of money to spend a lot of time with him, and no, he is not paying for sex—sex is not on the table. He needs a date to show off around town, attend parties and galas with, have their pictures strewn about the society pages, and ultimately drive his unscrupulous uncle to distraction. For Abby’s part, she has to appear all in and wholly smitten with Cash, which is not a hardship since he is ridiculously tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, and powerful.

Now, as with all of the stories in the Ghosts & Reincarnation series, there’s a ghost story running parallel to the HEA. Penmort Castle is haunted by an evil witch who was also the jilted lover of a past castle owner. Vivianna Wainwright is the darkest of witches, and she has a history of killing the true love of each and every rightful owner, the Lord of the Manor – if you will. She’s been at this for a very long time, and if my count is correct, she’s killed off or driven mad no less than six lady loves of the castle. With Cash maneuvering to take over as rightful heir to Penmort Castle, his burgeoning love of Abby lands her right in Vivianna’s crosshairs. Abby’s chosen family will literally have to rally the troops, some from the other side of the veil, to banish the evil ghosty and keep Abby safe and sound.

(It’s never too late to join the discussion!)

Discussion Questions

Here’s a sampling of our discussion questions. Make sure you follow along and participate over on my profile page.

  1. Like so many women, Abby has a terrible habit of saying, “I’m sorry” for things she has absolutely no reason to be sorry for. We all know women like this, hell, I’d venture to say we are all guilty of it at some point in our lives. Why is the “I’m sorry” gene a predominately female trait? Why do we think men are not affected by this phenomenon? Do you have any theories on how we can break this habit?
  2. Kristen Ashley is notorious for writing a particular type of alpha male. Her heroes, especially in her earlier books, can be exceptionally high-handed. Cash is 100% that type of guy, and honestly, he isn’t even the most high-handed in this series (gird your loins if you’re new here. I’m looking at you, Jack Bennett & Douglas Ashton). Why do you think we openly adore men like this in our books when we would never tolerate that level of bullshit in our real lives?
  3. Ghosts are a running theme in this series. It’s right there in the title. Do you believe? Have you ever encountered one? What would you do if you were trapped in a castle with a shrieking ghosty shrew?
  4. Jenny is Abby’s best friend. They’ve been through a lot together, and Jenny has always been her rock. What happens when your best friend is so overly protective it hinders your growth? And what happens when the tables turn? How does that power balance shift?
  5. Bad marriages for the right reasons? Can there ever be a right reason?

Okay, that’s a taste of what we are talking about on my profile. Get over there, and let’s talk it out!

Next week we are discussing Sommersgate House. It is my absolute favorite in this series. Each book in this series makes me cry, but Sommersgate House makes me ugly sob cry every damn time—it’s written that well. I’ll see you next Friday to discuss it!

About Donna

Donna should be an empty nester, but she’s not, thanks COVID-19. She’s a voracious reader of all books; she can’t pick just one sub-genre. A staunch supporter of seasoned romance and a lover of cupcakes, you’ll often find her with a cup of tea and a mountainous TBR pile close at hand. Follow her @DonnaSoluri on B+M Bites.

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