Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Mary Behre on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Excerpt from, Spirited, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
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…
Debut author Mary Behre starts off her Tidewater Trilogy with the first book, Spirited. Though billed as a paranormal romance, I think it might be better categorized as romantic suspense with paranormal elements. How ever it is labeled it is a wonderfully exciting read featuring one of three sisters with special abilities. Jules is the first sister in the series and her ability to see and communicate with dead makes for an exciting read. With a bit of the paranormal, a touch of mystery and a lot of romance, this is the perfect read for any season.
What I liked:
First let me say that I was intrigued by the premise of this series. Three sisters with special abilities, separated from each other and looking for a way to bring their family back together. I liked the idea that the girls believe their abilities to be a cross between a curse and a gift, a crift if you will. I thought it an interesting idea, but I wasn't sure how it would translate into a book series. But Mary Behre had it all figure out!
When I picked up Spirited I was expecting a book that was much like the television series, 'Ghost Whisperer', and this book certainly had that element but there was something about it that set it apart. It had a feeling of realism to it that I don't think was ever present in the tv series. Behre has a knack for making the reader believe and that's very hard to do in fiction sometimes. I think she was able to draw on the part of our human makeup that wants to see the dead safely settled in the here after. Behre makes the reader feel responsible to some extent for helping these ghost make peace. It was an eerie but cool feeling.
Jules was great main character. She knows she has a psychic gift, but she doesn't exactly like the idea. She wants to be normal, but eventually she starts to make peace with it and knows that she can do some good by helping these ghosts resolve their issues. Once she comes to terms with it, she embraces her ghostly side and it gets her into some intriguing situations, including her neighbor's bedroom, dressed as a hooker. That was a very funny moment and proves this author knows how to use humor as well.
Seth was a cop trying to make sergeant who is assigned to the case of a jewelry heist turned murder. The murder victim is the same ghost that is giving Jules fits at the moment. Jules and Seth happen to be neighbors and when they both keep turning up in the wrong place, at the wrong time, she become the only suspect in the murder. What a way to meet a man! Seth comes across as a man with a mission. This is his chance to prove he could be a good sergeant. He needs this case. He is a strong male lead that is being asked to take in a lot, when he learns Jules' secret. He is a little bit alpha, but he has a big heart and his attraction to his red-headed neighbor is undeniable. Just an all around well written character.
I loved this book from cover to cover. I thought Behre did a great job of building this world that Jules lives in, with her abilities and showing how it effected her and everyone around her. There are paranormal elements with the scope of her abilities. There is a strong mystery component, where Jules and Seth try to solve the murder and help the ghost, and there is some strong romantic undertones with the relationship developing between them. Everything I needed as a reader for a fantastic read.
What I didn't like:
Though the sexual tension is strong between the two main characters, readers don't get a real taste of romance until about half through the book. It could have happened a whole lot sooner in my opinion and allowed for more romance throughout the book. But that wasn't a stickler, it was still an amazing book.
There are so many things to like about this debut novel. All of the different elements work together to create a book that has something for many different types of readers, from the paranormal fan to the mystery enthusiast and the romance lover. Behre does just about everything right here, looking forward to what she makes me want to believe next.
Spirited is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Mary Behre could never decide which kind of story she liked more, paranormal, mysteries or romances. So it only made sense that she combined all three in her books. Her debut novel, SPIRITED, is the first in the Tidewater Series. Stories with humor suspense and a psychic love-connection. When not writing in her closet/office, she can be found hanging out with the most important men her life, her family.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Spirited by Mary Behre.
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