The Deepest Cut could have been great. It was an interesting idea that was held back by the writing style and the characterization of the leads. It's not often in a book where you end up truly disliking the main characters but that happened for me with this one. The characters, plot, setting, conflict, and conclusion were all remarkably lackluster.
Riley Williams and her family have moved to Scotland to escape their past. Her mother died in a car accident and ever since then, Riley has been able to see spirits of those who have passed on. So the obvious logical conclusion is to move to a place where history/bloodshed/ghosts/legends are thick on the ground and this poor girl will be tormented. Her brother and father don't believe that she sees ghosts but still, that's a bit of a dick move.
So they move into a haunted inn in the haunted countryside of Scotland where everybody is going to get along and stay out of trouble. This is where Riley encounters Ian McKinnon, a young Scottish lad that was killed around 200 years ago.
Ian is the stereotypical Scottish man we see in every book written about the Highlands. He's tall, handsome with a stunning and sweet personality but the desire to protects his loved ones. As soon as he finds out that Riley can see him, he sticks close by her, desperate to talk to someone who can hear him.
Ian catches Riley cutting herself as a way of releasing the pent up anger, frustration, and hurt of being without her mother. She's sick of being medicated and treated but is still dealing with her past. And that's when everything goes downhill.
Because Ian isn't the only spirit sticking around. There is another ghost roaming around and this one isn't nearly as charming and has a thing for homicide. Riley is determined to save Ian from his eternal wandering but that puts her in danger from being cursed or whatever herself.
The idea is good with this book. The execution is excessively awful.
Riley learns everything about ghosts through Google, a couple of books, and the crazy old ladies in the neighborhood. None of which is actually effective. They really make things worse.
There is little to no consistency about the ghosts, meaning that the author basically ignored all of the standards for ghostliness (non-tangible, mysterious, not able to talk, being tied to one place, creepy as fuck) and fits her ghosts to her standards. Ghosts are able to fly through walls but Riley is able to kiss and cuddle them?
Riley is a whiner too.
I get that you're working through your mother's death and it's difficult but stop acting like such a martyr and step up a little bit. The cutting felt like it was added on as a schtick and it never felt genuine. Her brother and her father lost someone too and it felt like they were just so incredibly done with her.
The town they move into must be the Scottish version of Hollywood because everybody there is fucking gorgeous apparently.
Except the bad guys. Because bad guys can't be pretty ever. (Except Hiddleston. Exception to every rule) The important people are pretty. It was just so over the top cliched that it made me want to throw something. A bunch of teenagers running wild, drinking, partying, and being incredibly stupid with little parental supervision. Is this the YA Paranormal version of every high school teen movie made?
And finally, the romance...
It felt stupid and fake. There are better ways to do ghostly boyfriends and this was the worst rendition of it I've ever seen. The whole point of falling in love with a ghost is that you can't fucking touch them or have any sort of physical relationship. It's supposed to torture you. That never happened in this book. The only inconvenient part of him being a ghost is that he would lost energy. They nearly had ghostly sex which would have been awfully convenient since he couldn't get you pregnant. (OMG Ghost babies)
So yeah...don't waste your time or your money. I got the box set of the series but for the first time, I'm deleting something from my kindle library. It's not worth keeping.