Series: Tidewater #1
Published by Berkley on March 4, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: Sex scenes, lots of vivid fantasies
Reviewed by: Libbie
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 .
I’ve always had a thing for ghost stories – from the days of sleepovers, campfires, and my own haunted house experiences, there’s just something about souls in unrest that calls to me. For that reason alone I was very excited about starting SPIRITED and also loathe to put it down. Probably why I was able to read it in a little over 24 hours. It scores high in the ghost whisperer column, but not without its glitches.
We meet Juliana on her way back from her college reunion which was, for some reason, a theme reunion; one which found Juliana dressed as a hooker. It might have worked better if it had been anything else, Hallowe’en maybe, because all it really felt like was a vehicle for sit-com misunderstanding and insta-lust between Jules and Seth. The fact that Jules can not only communicate with the dead, but feel Seth’s little sexual fantasies as if they’re actually happening only adds to that. Not that there’s anything wrong with the fantasy share, it just would have been more effective if it was explained, or even addressed. Once it served its purpose and the two did the deed, it was never mentioned again.
There’s also something almost contrived and forced about the sex aspect of SPIRITED that gives it the feel of something that was added/changed after the story itself was written to “amp up” the sexual aspect of the story. The stilted and awkward phrasing in the sex scenes only feeds that feeling. Despite all that, I did enjoy the relationship aspect of Seth and Juliana very much, and had a few happy sighs as their relationship progressed and the overcame the hurdles of a disbeliever and a reluctantly accepted “crift.” (Juliana’s term for her ability – a cross between a curse and a gift.)
Apart from that, the story itself is pretty good. I loved the differences between the two main ghosts Juliana encounters. The violence of the angry poltergeist, frustrated with her inability to communicate juxtaposes nicely with the peaceful spirit simply waiting to move on. The first causes Juliana pain and fear, the other helps her both with the underlying mystery and to understand her “crift” and better use it to help other spirits.
I will probably pick up the next book in the Tidewater series, because the plot arc of Juliana and her separated sisters intrigues me and I want to meet Shelley, and see if they find their other sister. I’ll do so with a hope that the little glitches in SPIRITED are tightened up.Series Titles: