Monday, April 21, 2014

A Perfect 10:

GHOST SEER – Robin D. Owens 
Ghostlayer Series 
A Perfect 10 
Berkley 
ISBN: 978-0-425-26890-2 
April 2014 
Paranormal Romance 

Colorado – Present Day 

Jackson Zachary Slade is no longer a deputy sheriff, not by choice, but by way of a bullet that tore through his leg and left him with a permanent limp and a bad foot. He's not the desk job sort of guy, so rather than be humiliated, Zach heads to Denver to start a new life. The sheriff has given him a name of a private investigator there who may have work for him. 

Meanwhile, in Denver, former C.P.A. Clare Cermak is trying to get used to her new life. And it's mighty difficult with the ghost of a long dead Labrador Retriever hanging out with her and telling her he's her dog now. With the death of her eccentric great-aunt Sandra, who claimed to actually see ghosts, it seems that now Clare is the recipient of this special ability. What's thoroughly frightening is that she's seeing ghosts everywhere, as she's driving, as she's walking, even in her own little house. Being a logical person, Clare is having a very difficult time aligning her brain with this "gift". Her great-aunt told her that she helped ghosts “transition”, and one ghost has targeted Clare to help with just such a need. Jack Slade, a notorious gunman from the mid eighteen hundreds, wants to join his wife in the afterlife. But without help from Clare, he is doomed to an eternity of…nothing. And the other thing about great-aunt Sandra, she left Clare a millionaire, yet another issue Clare must face. 

Enzo, Clare's new “dog”, informs her that her new life must be to help with the transition of other ghosts. She has no choice; she must either come to grips with this or she will die. When Jack Slade talks her into attending an auction to bid on a box that belonged to his wife, she reluctantly goes and runs into Zach, a man she met at a restaurant with whom she exchanged phone numbers. They are both very much attracted to each other, and soon it becomes clear to Zach that Clare is either in some kind of trouble, or there is something terrible bothering her. Even though he has a lot on his mind dealing with his handicap, he's also very much attracted to Clare and wants to help her. The team of Clare, Zach, and, yes, Enzo, begins their strange search for a way to get Jack Slade out of the lost world he is in and to transition him to his wife's side. 

Zach's own ability to feel danger (he sees crows, and according to their numbers, the results can be danger, or worse) has him worried about Clare and her safety. Clare is determined to deal with this new existence one ghost at a time, and she needs to move quickly to get Jack to his wife before Jack loses control. Before Jack can rest, Clare and Zach will face plenty of stumbling blocks, both real and emotional, and danger lurks too. 

For several years I've thoroughly enjoyed the magical Celta series of books that Robin D. Owens has written and continues to write. Contemporary paranormal is a new and extremely entertaining shift, and this first novel is humorous, poignant, and loads of fun. I can't help but give GHOST SEER a Perfect 10 for the excellent writing, research, and very realistic characters. The all-too-human Zach and Clare, and the loveable, and yet mysterious Enzo make this character-driven tale difficult to put down. I am looking forward to more adventures in the next book: GHOST LAYER. 

Jani Brooks

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