This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on April 1, 2014
Ghosts from the Wild Western past, a woman adjusting to the idea that she can now see and talk to ghosts and an embittered, disabled former deputy sheriff who must now adjust to the fact that his old life is over. Sounded good to me so I gave it a try. Now while it didn’t reach out and hold me enthrall from cover to cover, it was definitely worth the read.
Zach Slade is shot in the knee while on the job for a Montana County Sheriff’s department. A mistake was made in how a situation was handled and now he was paying for it- for the rest of his life. He refuses to ride a desk for the rest of his career or tolerate the looks of derision or pity so he packs up and heads for Denver. His former boss recommended him to try working for security and private investigation firm. He isn’t happy, but he’ll give this new opportunity a try. One of the perks of Denver is meeting the delectable Clare who sees past his disability to him and likes what she sees.
Clare Cernak has her own problems. Her Aunt Sandra has just died leaving her a fortune, but Sandra bequeathed her something else too- the family ‘gift’. Clare is a woman who has both feet firmly planted on the ground. She’s an accountant and she likes to be organized. She is not someone who slowly goes crazy because she now has a ghostly dog companion who talks to her or a ghostly western outlaw tagging along who insists that she help him complete what he has to so he can move on.
Clare can tell that Zach wants to walk away from her and her newly complicated life. She doesn’t blame him. He is struggling with stuff too and she knows that he senses Enzo the dog, but he is in deeper denial than she is. Clare enjoys being with Zach and not just for the sexy time, but if he can’t accept her- all of her- then they really should part ways.
The plot on this one took its time. This is a series opener and it took quite a bit of time laying the foundations with getting the picture about the ghost and physic stuff and character development. I loved that the ghosts that Clare interacts with are all from the American West. Yep, its cool how each ‘ghost layer’ like Clare are paired with a certain period in history and those are the ghosts they are to help. Zach’s psychic gift is a bit more nebulous. He sees crows and certain numbers of crows tells guide him like four crows always means death is involved and seven means there are secrets, etc. I hope to get more about Zach’s gift as the series progresses. The action part of the story mostly took place in the latter half of the book. I think my slight disappointment was just wanting things to get moving. I liked the worldbuilding, I liked the characters and I liked the conflicts both the exterior one with the villain and the ghost’s needs, but also the need for the characters to accept each other and themselves.
There is a lot of good stuff introduced in the story that sets the foundation for the rest of the series. Things are left open-ended between Zach and Clare including more room for romantic and personal growth. In this book, they had a rather rocky, tentative relationship that was mostly about the passion and need to accept each other as is. The fact that they are connected to the private investigation and security firm, the canny Mrs. Flinton and the quirky Enzo the ghost dog give hope to more interesting adventures on the horizon. So I will eagerly forge ahead to see what’s next for Clare and Zach in the sequel.
I would recommend this to those who enjoy a slower building, but spicy romance that is paired with some psychic and ghost action for the paranormal.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.