ARC Review: Spirited by Mary Behre

Posted March 10, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 4 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: Spirited by Mary Behre

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #1 Tidewater
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on March 4, 2014
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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She keeps showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time making her the chief suspect in a murder case and yet the officer in charge believes her innocent. What will he say when he learns she sees and talks with ghosts?

Yeah, that grabbed my attention too. New author and a new paranormal romantic suspense series involving ghosts, murders, a danger-prone psychic and a hot cop jonesing to crack the case and get his promotion. It was all good. Jules Scott was such an unintentional trouble magnet and she took poor Seth English right along with her.

Here’s a little sampling of the scene from their first encounter:

[quote]Was he dreaming? Detective Seth English of the Tidewater Police Department rubbed his eyes. Nope, no question about it. Someone was breaking into his apartment.

Criminals are just stupid.

Delicate feminine fingers slipped into the opening and wrapped around the frame, pushing the window slowly upward.

Seth watched, barely breathing, as she wriggled through the window. When she made it mostly through, her hands flew wide in front of her as if searching for leverage. Then she tumbled to the floor with a grunt.

“Stay Down” Lunging forward, he planted a knee into her back.

“Ouch” she screamed. “Help! Police!”

“I am the police.” He ran his finger along her wrists to make sure he hadn’t snapped the cuffs too tight. “You’re fine.”

pp. 6-7 Seth and Jules, Spirited[/quote]

The story opens with a slight ‘ahem’ misunderstanding between Jules and Seth. Jules is accosted by a ghost who wants her help while at the same time Seth discovers that his jewelry robbery case has just escalated to a murder investigation. This is the break he has been waiting for after being passed up for the good cases before. He has a new partner and an attractive woman who he thinks is innocent, but knows more than she will say. Seth tries to balance his investigation alongside his growing feelings for Jules.

Jules has learned from past experience to hide her psychic ability. It grows hard between the ghost pushing her to help her finish one final task to find peace and Jules growing feelings for Seth who she really wants to trust with her secret, but can’t. With all the clues in the case leading back to her, she discovers that even if Seth thinks she’s an unwitting connection to his case, the killer isn’t so magnanimous and she is in real danger.

This story just jumped right in with both feet. I have to admit that I felt a bit off kilter several times and at one point I checked to make sure I had the first book of the series in my hands. The writing style was to slowly reveal the explanatory details and then after a time I figured out that I was meant to be confused at first. Once I got used to this way of telling the story, I was fine.

The narrative is told from mainly Seth and Jules’ perspectives, but ever so often there was a bit of the villain’s thinking that was somewhat chilling. The pace never really slowed, but I thought the author did a good job of making it distinct whether I was following around Jules or Seth. Not all authors can achieve this and I just had to point it out. The tone and rhythm changed. Jules seemed to go through life with a survive and thrive attitude and Seth was more calculating and cautious though this all flew out the window when they got together.

The suspense portion of the plot was fun to follow. The clues are laid out steadily so its not until near the end that I had a pretty good grasp of what was going on and who was who as far as innocent, hero or villain. I love that. There was that big ‘grave’ danger pulse-pounding rescue bit at the end that had me flying through the pages to see what was going to happen next.

The romance developed well. It was fun, it was passionate and it had its serious side too. Both have a past that makes starting up a relationship a precarious thing particularly Jules. They have an instant attraction, but they’re both cautious about doing anything about it. There were some interesting little psychic things- connections if you will- that happened when they were together that are left vague even by the end. I hope there is more explanation about that in the next book to satisfy my curiosity.

As characters go, I really liked both of them. Jules is extremely private and rightly so, but I loved seeing her give Seth a chance. Seth’s career is on the line and he’s already trusted so many people whether it was his wife or his past partners who have betrayed him. Like with Jules, it was good to see that he was willing to give trust one more chance. He had a big moment of doubt, but honestly I can’t hold it against him because it was truly something tough to wrap his head around and it came during a rather intense time. They suited each other so well and it was obvious even in that first albeit comical scene that these two had some chemistry.

All in all, I had a good time reading this one and have a new series to which I’ll eagerly await the next installment. Those who enjoy paranormal romantic suspense with a touch of humor should grab this one up.

My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Braine TS
7 years ago

How cute was Seth’s PJ’s? I was wearing rubber ducky ones whilst reading Spirited and I totally had PJ envy over his bright yellow lamb ones. I hope Seth’s daughter gets either a novella or her own book soon, she seems spunky, I’d sure like to get to know her better.

Sophia Rose
7 years ago
Reply to  Braine TS

The lamb pjs were hilarious. I loved how the nickname just irritated the heck out of him, but he put up with it for Jules.
Oh yes, after the sisters, his daughter needs her day in the sun too. Maybe you should hit the author with that one, Braine. I’m with you on that one.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Ahhh yay! I’m glad you enjoyed it Sophia! I’m so excited about this series and had such a good time with these. I’m with Braine. I’d love to see the daughter get a novella as well. Would loved to have seen more of Seth and her. I just loved their scenes.

Sophia Rose
7 years ago

Yeah, I’m a softie for daddy/daughter stuff. She is totally resourceful enough to handle her own amateur sleuthing and the paranormal.