Spirited by Mary Behre
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Tidewater #1
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
Page Count: 320
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Buy Link: AMAZON
Synopsis: 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 .
A lively début with an engaging romance, Spirited was lots of fun from start to finish!
This was a fun, light UF/PNR read with realistic and endearing characters and a cracking mystery plot.
Ghost seeing twenty-something Jules, and hot thirty-something detective Seth, team up - in more ways than one - to solve a string of robbery/murders that all seem to lead unerringly back to Jules. The investigation is helped along by the fact that Jules can speak to one of the murder victims. But how can she explain this knowledge to Seth without implicating herself even further? It's a tricky one, and would mean putting a LOT of trust in Seth. And after what happened the last time she told someone about her abilities, Jules is understandably a little gun shy...
Seth and Jules were a great leading pair. And that had to have been one of the funniest meet-cutes I've read in a long while! You can't really blame Seth for jumping to the conclusion he did when Jules fell through his bedroom window wearing that, but eesh! It was a doozy! Misconceptions aside, it's not too long before this couple are having to fight to keep their hands to themselves, even despite Seth's suspicion that Jules in hiding something big. Which she is, of course:)
Overall, I thought the mystery element was really well done. Red herrings and misdirection meant this reader was shocked shocked shocked by the big ta-da! reveal moment.
I also thought it was a refreshing change to have a slightly older love interest, complete with teenage daughter. When I first read that I had to do a double take. Like, how old is this guy? But he was only mid thirties and the addition of a daughter, as well as the rest of his back story, really added to his characterisation.
The only area where I though SPIRITED lacked slightly was in the dialogue. I particularly wasn't keen on the nickname "Precious," but that's only a small little niggle.
All in all a great read, one I recommend to fans of UF/PNR with slightly more grown up protagonists and a strong mystery element.
4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I love being a romance writer. The excitement of the hero and heroine meeting for the first time. That spark of chemistry. That rush of sexual tension. And the sex scenes…whew! Who doesn’t like a good sex scene, right? And it’s perfectly fine for strangers to read my boom-boom moments, but what’s an author to do when her husband’s grandmother asks for a copy of her book?
That happened to me…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was delighted when my husband, The Cool Engineer, asked to read my first manuscript. Since that day in 2008, he’s read everything I’ve written. He even critiques it. And let me tell you, he pulls no punches and gives awesome feedback.
The Cool Engineer read SPIRITED and was so proud of me, he told his father about it. The next thing I knew, my father-in-law asked to read it.
I started to get a little nervous at the idea of my father-in-law reading my stuff. But my father-in-law and I have always had a great relationship, so I figured at worst he’d smile and nod after he finished it. He did a lot more than. Like the Cool Engineer, my FIL gave me excellent feedback. He did not, however, comment on the sex scenes—for which I’m eternally grateful. Instead, he did something almost as stressful, he told his mother. Suddenly, the ninety year old woman wanted to read it. This time, I shied away.
When my father-in-law asked why, I replied, “There’s sex in there.”
Now, my father-in-law is the coolest man I’ve ever met. He’s a retired Navy Commander and completely unflappable. But the look on his face that afternoon is one I’ll never forget. He appeared truly puzzled by my response. Then he laughed. And laughed. When he stopped laughing he said simply, “She had three sons. I’m pretty sure my mom knows what sex is.”
And there it was…logic. Grandmother or not, she’d had sex in life. So if she wanted to read a book that had sex in it, why should it bother me that I wrote it? In the end, she did read it. And she did comment about the scene. I’d dropped an important word from the scene. She sent an email that read, “I think you are missing a word in this sentence, ‘She rubbed his through his jeans.’ I think it was cock. I hope you didn’t leave it out for my benefit. I’ve seen one before.”
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 début 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.