The fourth book in the Harmony World series, published in 2006. And I sure do love this cover, don’t you?
Where deadly energy ghosts lurk in the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. Where dust bunnies prove to be loyal pets. And where a ghost hunter will discover that a woman's heart is the most dangerous adversary of all…
Local Guild boss and powerful ghost-hunter Cooper Boone is everything botanist Elly St. Clair could ask for - the handsome, strong, and silent type. Maybe too silent. For when Guild secrets threaten her career at the college, Elly has to call off their marriage - and leave small-town life behind…
But starting over in the thriving metropolis of Cadence City isn't easy, especially when one of Elly's new friends disappears in the eerie catacombs beneath the streets. Cooper turns up just in time to help Elly investigate. And as the mystery deepens and dangerous ghost myths and legends come to light, Cooper makes it clear he intends to stick around - and this time he's holding nothing back…
Six months ago Elly broke off her engagement to Cooper Boone, the new Guild Boss of her home town, Aurora Springs. He has been involved in Guild business way too much, coming late on their dates, or even cancelling them altogether. Does he really want her, or is she as the daughter of a powerful Guild family, just the perfect little wife for him? He sure doesn’t show he is attracted to her, never does more than kiss her goodnight. And now there are rumours that he as fought a Ghost Hunter duel with another of her suitors. Archaic as that is, she is secretly thrilled with the thought of two men fighting over her, until Cooper explains it was just Guild business.
So not only did she break off the engagement, she quit her job at the university and went to town, where she started a little herbal shop. She has no great psy-powers, like a Hunter or a Tangler, as everyone else in her family. But she does have a feeling for plants, like she can feel their potential. As it is not a normal psy-power, it is kept secret from everyone. Her little shop sure thrives though, and she makes a lot of friends in the other shopkeepers on Ruin Road, most of whom are ruin rats and antique dealers.
Elly gets a makeover, more modern clothes and hair, and Cooper sure doesn’t know what he sees! Gone is the shy academic he knew, here is a dazzling and very sexy young woman.
Then one of her friends goes missing, and Elly is concerned. It is not like Bertha to stay to long underground, not when they had an appointment. So when her mother tells her that Boone is coming to town, Elly immediately seizes on it as an excuse to ask for his help finding her friend in the catacombs. And it sure is a good thing she did, when they find Bertha. There is a blue ghost attached to Bertha’s sledge, and there are just a few very powerful Ghost Hunters who can do that, and who can vanish those ghosts. What did Bertha find underground, that she is such a huge risk? So again Guild secrets threaten to ruin Cooper’s plans of courting Elly again. Before Cooper became Guild boss at Aurora Springs, he was a Guild investigator, someone who fights Ghost Hunters, and especially “blue freaks” who went bad. Murderously bad. So it is up to him to find this man and stop him.
Enlisting the help of Mercer Wyatt and Emmett London, het sets out to do just that, not knowing the plot is thickening around both Elly and himself.
But it does bring the two of them together again, investigating, and sharing Elly’s little apartment. Talking to each other of their pasts, their families, and finally they sleep together. Can Cooper really learn to open up to Elly, and not consider everything Guild business and more important than her?
A great story again, and the world building of Harmony is being extended. There are more than just the four main city-states, there are little villages and towns too. And Elly actually discovers an underground rain forest, for which her psy-powers are made for.
I loved the ending of the book, where Inspector Martinez makes an appearance, and of course getting a little peak in the life of Lydia and Emmett.
A really great secondary role is written for Rose, Elly’s pet dust-bunny. She likes to wear Elly’s bracelets and even brings her special flowers. And of course, she is a great bodyguard.
I really want to read on with this series, but I have received so many books I have been looking forward for, I am going to read something else first. I am still hesitating between two books, but you’ll find out soon enough which one has won.