I’ve known Jean Marie and worked with her on giveaways over the last year or so. When I saw that she was giving away one of her books, I decided to give it a look, even though the genre isn’t my cup of tea. What did I think? Read on.
A paranormal investigator becomes the subject of her own investigation after stumbling into the crosshairs of a malevolent spirit.
Veronica Wilson has her whole life behind her. At least, that’s what she comes to realize soon after waking up in the mysterious house she had come to investigate. A paranormal investigator by trade, Ron now finds herself investigating her own death with the help of a handful of helpful friendly ghosts — and one who’s just a pain in the ass. Unfortunately, being dead doesn’t keep Ron from noticing that he also possesses quite the nice ass, or from tingling in ways that almost make her feel alive whenever he’s near….
As if unwanted afterlife crushes weren’t bad enough, Ron soon discovers that she and her fellow ghosts aren’t the house’s only inhabitants. They’re all at the mercy of an entity named Sarah, who looks like a cute and innocent kid, but is in fact the reason each and every one of them died. Now Sarah keeps them prisoner and makes them her playthings, until she gets tired of them and… well, it turns out you can kill someone who’s already dead. Or at least Sarah can.
With the help of her still-living sister, a psychic medium who can talk to the dead, Ron and her ghostly housemates must unlock all of the mysteries that the house has to offer and find the way to defeat Sarah once and for all. Only then will they be free to move on to the other side. But is Ron really ready to go, especially now that she knows there’s a lot of living to do after death?
The Goods – I will freely admit, walking into this, that I was biased, and not in a positive way. I don’t generally read ghost stories, unless I’m guaranteed that they’re solidly in the horror genre. I don’t generally read romance. I’ve been branching out, though. I also don’t read very many stories where the heroine isn’t a bit more ass-kicky in the purely physical sense. There didn’t seem to be anything in the positive column, other than the fact that JM is a good writer. Well, let me tell you, I didn’t get two chapter in before I was hooked.
The thing I enjoyed most about this story were the characters. Ron and her sister were well fleshed out. I’d love to see more of her sister in future books (and if you want to help there be future books there’s a Kickstarter). The other ghosts that inhabit the house Ron is haunting are also engaging. Ron develops, not only as a ghost, but as a character. Some of the spirits we meet are a little more see through, but the main bunch are also well developed.
The plot was a very solid mystery. It kept me guessing all throughout with some great red herrings and a satisfying conclusion. The love story at its heart had nice tension and given the differences between Ron and her beau there was a bit of conflict. I really blazed through this story, so if you’re looking for a mystery with fantastic pacing and fresh, interesting characters this is a good find.
The “big bad” and the resolution to the mystery were very satisfying (and heart string tugging). In a mystery, that is, of course, required. And even though most of the characters were ghosts she did a good job of making me feel like there was true jeopardy attached.
The Bads – There was nothing “bad” per se in this story. I did find that the romance felt a little rushed. I would have liked to see it develop over time. I also would have liked to see more conflict, but given that this is more of a mystery than a romance, I don’t feel that it hurt the story.
Verdict – This is certainly not a terribly deep exploration of human nature and or what the next life holds, but it’s also not just a bit of fluff. There’s action, danger, romance, and laughs. If you want an engaging mystery with well done characters that’s a fun read then you need to snap this up. And for the next month or so, you can grab it at no cost.
I give this book four and a half out of five red rubber balls.