Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella

Ghost Gifts
Author: Laura Spinella
Publication: Montlake Romance (March 1, 2016)

Description: All Aubrey Ellis wants is a normal life, one that doesn’t include desperate pleas from the dead. Her remarkable gift may help others rest in peace, but it also made for an unsettling childhood and destroyed her marriage. Finally content as the real estate writer for a local newspaper, Aubrey keeps her extraordinary ability hidden—until she is unexpectedly assigned the story of a decades-old murder.

Rocked by the discovery of a young woman’s skeletal remains, the New England town of Surrey wants answers. Hard-nosed investigative reporter Levi St John is determined to get them. Aubrey has no choice but to get involved, even at the terrifying risk of stirring spirits connected to a dead woman’s demise and piquing her new reporting partner’s suspicions.

As Aubrey and Levi delve further into the mystery, secrets are revealed and passion ignites. It seems that Aubrey’s ghost gifts are poised to deliver everything but a normal life.

My Thoughts: Aubrey Ellis has made a comfortable life for herself as a reporter concentrating on real estate profiles in the small town of Surrey. She had a very different childhood traveling from place to place with her Grandmother's carnival after losing her parents in a car accident. Aubrey also has to deal with ghosts. Some come to her to get resolution of unfinished business from their lives; others are evil remnants. Aubrey never knows what kind of ghost it will be. Often the ghosts leave her with tangible gifts - marbles, dried flowers, post cards. Often, also, the resolution isn't immediate.

Aubrey is also in the process of a divorce that she really doesn't want. She married Owen after a whirlwind courtship thinking that he wanted the same things she did - a small town, a house with a white picket fence, a couple of kids - but Owen is a computer expert who deals with security issues who is constantly on the move.

When a body is discovered bricked up in the walls of a house owned by Dustin Byrd, it reopens a twenty-year-old missing person case. Missy Flanagan disappeared just before she turned twenty-one and ex-Army vet Frank Delacort was quickly convicted on circumstantial evidence of her murder. He has spent the past twenty years in prison. Aubrey doesn't want anything to do with the new investigation since the last thing she wants to do is deal with an angry, revenge seeking ghost but she is soon paired up with Levi St. John, a hotshot reporter sent in by the owners of the newspaper. Together the two investigate the life of Missy Flanagan and the events of her life. A good part of the story has to do with Aubrey finding someone who really understood her unique gift.

The story has a number of flashbacks to Aubrey's childhood and to the time when Missy goes missing. Getting Missy' story from her point of view lets us know a lot more than Aubrey and Levi do as they investigate. I liked the tension between Aubrey and Levi who have very different viewpoints about the natures of reality and who have very different personalities. I also liked that they became friends before their relationship took a turn for the romantic.

I really enjoyed this fast paced mystery filled with intriguing characters.

Favorite Quote:
"So what you're telling me is you see—"

"If you're about to say 'I see dead people,' I'm so not continuing this conversation."

"But that's what you're telling me, that's what you're asking me to believe."

"That's what I'm telling you. Believing it is strictly your call."
I got this one via the Kindle First program in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

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