This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on April 11, 2013
The creative worldbuilding in the first book drew my attention as did the characters and the author’s writing style so I eagerly grabbed up the second book too.
The focus shifts from Sera as the main character to Jilly though Sera and Blair along with Jack, Elspeth, Meg and Alex McGowen play pretty sizable roles. This one assumes the reader read the first book and there are spoilerish little bits so I strongly recommend reading these in order.
I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the first book mostly due to Sera’s issues over Blair. Now after finishing this one where that storyline was allowed to progress, I was happy to see Sera continue to grow past all that. Well enough about Sera; this is Jilly’s story and she has enough hang-ups for the both of them.
Sera gets a request from the wealthy Ewans of virtual reality gaming fame to come out to their home and get rid of an angry poltergeist for them. Jilly goes with Sera and she knows almost immediately that the couple is hiding something. Letting Sera pursue the destructive spirit, Jilly follows her techie nose to a hidden room full of the virtual gaming motherload. Jilly is stunned to discover that there appears to be a ghost trapped in the game and he’s the ghost of Dane Ewan’s dead partner, Genesis Adam.
Adam doesn’t know what happened or how he ended up inside the computer systems and programming. He awakens when a beautiful woman enters the hidden lab room. He can see that he shocks and terrifies her, but she’s intrigued as well so he sets up an IM account and they start messaging.
Jilly doesn’t know what to believe about Adam. Is he really a ghost? Is he part of the sophisticated game program? Or is he part of someone’s idea of a hoax? Whatever he is, she can’t resist keeping up the contact with him through their messages on her laptop. He also gives her needed help solving the poltergeist dilemma that isn’t as easy as it seems.
Sera enjoys her time with Blair, but is terrified of how close they are getting so she deliberately pulls away from him to prove to them both that she’s independent. It hurts him and it hurts herself, but she can’t stop doing it. Then there is the danger of that dark shadow figure that watches them. She finds it hard to believe that the Founder will be benevolent about them killing off rogue vampires because they are vampires or that he’d be pleased that one of his vampires is with a human, but Blair assures her that he would never give her up.
Sera, Jilly and everyone else are kept busy by the stubborn poltergeist, the dead body in the Ewan garden and the mystery of Genesis Adam’s death that may or may not have been a cover-up. If it is, someone will do what it takes to keep it that way. Jilly fears that time is running out for her and her VR Adam because solving his death may bring closure for his ghost to move on and for the first time ever with a man, she’s not sure she wants that.
I was into this book from start to finish. I loved the twists and turns of the paranormal and the mystery part. The mystery wasn’t a huge challenge, but figuring out how to get the evidence was the hard part for the team. The unusual romance between Jilly and Adam was just icing on the cake. Those scenes of Adam and Jilly in the gaming world together were hot stuff. Virtual sexy times anyone?
Jilly’s character is a lot like Sera’s in that she’s rather insecure and fragile though she tries to be a bad mama. She lacks trust, went through a horrendous childhood which explains it all and yet she dreams of finding someone who really gets her and can get past her barriers. I wasn’t as annoyed with Jilly when she pulled back or snarled at people because poor Jilly would have been better off if her folks really had abandoned her like Sera’s did. She had good reason to be gun shy.
Adam’s character is less developed, but I still thought he was a lot of fun as handsome geeks generally are. He’s not one of your forceful alpha-types, but he does have quiet strength, patience, gentleness and passion so he’s perfect for the tentative Jilly.
Again, this was an enjoyable addition to the series and I look forward to Jack’s story. Paranormal Romance lovers should try these out.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this one in exchange for my honest review thoughts.