Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
She’s running from who she is ...
All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her.
He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.
Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be .
Spirited draws us in with an intriguing premise, a young woman gifted (or crifted as she calls it – cursed and gifted) with an ability to talk to spirits destined to find herself smack-dab in the middle of a homicide investigation led by a man in a profession not prone to believing in things that can’t be proven concretely. The mystery itself is well-executed, a fairly impressive red herring or two keeping us beautifully distracted so the true culprit can blindside us in the end, and we can’t help but smile when our guesses are proven to be so spectacularly wrong.
Where the murders and Jules’s ghostly interactions keep us on our toes throughout, there are a few small niggles with the relationship between Jules and her sexy cop neighbor, Seth, that keep the romantic aspect of the story from being as successful as the mystery. Jules is an enjoyable heroine, understandably on edge around police officers given a painful past with her ex-husband, but aside from the one very large secret of her ghost-communicating ability she’s upfront with Seth about the other aspects of her life. While we can’t help but like her, we don’t necessarily fall madly in love with her either, content to read her story without being fully absorbed by it.
For his part, Seth is of course attractive and protective, making it easy to root for him to be the one person who proves not all people will react the way Jules’s ex-husband did when they learn of her gift. One small personal issue is his use of the nickname “precious” for Jules, something that will certainly not bother everyone, but for me came across as a bit young and condescending even when he clearly never meant it to be so. He also has a mildly frustrating tendency to continually inform Jules that he’s a cop and therefore his time spent with her is in a professional capacity rather than a personal one, but at every opportunity he’s the one who always pushes their interactions across that line before taking a step back again and issuing Jules yet another reminder of their respective roles.
Spirited ends in a flurry of action as the killer’s identity is revealed and all the final puzzle pieces slot into place in wonderfully dramatic fashion, but just as is the case throughout, the romance ends in a far more lackluster way. Jules’s secret finally comes out in the concluding chapters, but because it’s revealed to Seth so late, there’s hardly any time for the two of them to deal with the fallout before everything is wrapped up nicely and neatly. Given the emotional scarring resulting from her previous relationship, her quick forgiveness of Seth’s reaction lacks a bit of believability, but it doesn’t hugely detract from the excitement of the final showdown with the murderer. Overall, Spirited is an enjoyable read, perfect for a quick afternoon read when entertainment is the sole goal.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.