Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nice, but she does not dress like that at all.
There's just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts...
When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it's hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy - and living - Zach Slade, there's certainly no ignoring him either.
A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more - and not just for help.
I love Robin D. Owens Celta series very much, and when I found out she had a new series coming out, urban fantasy this time instead of fantasy romance, I hit that pre-order button as soon as possible. So when the book fell on my doormat, I read it the same day.
Clare has just inherited a small fortune from her aunt Rachel, and she has just quit her job. After all, she doesn’t need to work for her money anymore, and someone else might really need the job. She really did love her job, so it is a hard thing to do, and her bosses are sorry to see her go.
What she did not count on inheriting, are her aunts powers to communicate with ghosts, in order to help them solve problems in their pasts, so they can move on. Having the ghost of her aunt’s dog Enzo visiting her, makes Clare doubt her own sanity. Especially when a ghostly cowboy visits her as well, claiming she is the only one who can help her, and the time is just right. Clare is terrified, and so extremely cold. Clare even goes to see a psychiatrist, but does not really have faith in the man. Being submitted or drugged is not an option for her. And so she sets out to research the ghost who is visiting her, demanding her help. The infamous Jack Slade needs her help to right a wrong he committed. The history books are all wrong, he did not kill the man they say he did, nor did he rob his own boss and stole a major transport of gold meant to pay soldiers.
Meanwhile, ex-cop Zachary Slade needs to start his life over, when he has become unfit for active duty when he was shot on the job. He has a bum leg and foot now, and he refuses a desk job. His severance pay is enough for him to live on comfortably, but he does not have the intention of lazing about for the rest of his life. Still, the idea of going into the private sector does not sit well with him, being hired by those who can afford to instead of serving those who really need him.
But his former sheriff hands him the card of a friend of his, who runs a private investigating company in Denver, and he reluctantly agrees to go see the man.
And then the paths of Zach and Clare cross, after Zach has gotten a new job, and has a nice and cheap apartment thrown into his lap. He is still so very angry about what happened to him, and his new disability. But he likes Clare, and certainly wants to see more of her.
Clare has to believe in her gift, and accept it, or she will die. She has no appetite whatsoever, and is always feeling so cold. Her aunt wearing so many layers and shawls suddenly makes sense to her. And if she does accept her gift, and refuses to help the ghosts who come to her, she will go mad. But if she does help them, she will be rewarded. Her aunt did earn her fortune, and her own parents are living of the fortune and old uncle who had the gift before her aunt Rachel, amassed.
But the more Clare starts to believe, the more Zach refutes it. He does not believe in ghosts, even though other people do think he has a gift himself. And he certainly has strange and creepy encounters with crows …
But ghosts are not the only danger for Clare, someone thinks she is on the trail of the hidden treasure that Jack Slade supposedly stole, and he wants it. He will do whatever it takes to get his hands on it and he won’t take no for an answer …
I really liked the story in this book a lot, and Clare. She was a wonderful heroine, refusing to believe in it all immediately, doing her best to find out what was wrong with her. But when she finally accepted her gift, she went of it, helping ghosts and taking risks. Clare came over as a bit lonely, no real contact with her globetrotting parents and only a distant bond with her brother and his family. She does not really have friends to confide in.
And then she met Zach, and things hit off between them. He does come to her rescue when necessary, but he also refuses to believe in ghosts. Even when he sees enough of her world to prevent a bank robbery in progress.
I had a lot of trouble with liking Zach much. He was kind of whining about his disability, and not being able to be a cop anymore. He was still alive, he had enough money, a brand new job and a great apartment and two old ladies who spoiled him. I had the feeling that he took advantage of what people wanted to do for him, without giving back the same effort. Like truly investigating his landlady’s case, or supporting Clare. He was stubborn, and only towards the end of the book did he realize it about himself. But by then he was losing Clare, and that opened his eyes. I really liked that Clare stood up for herself and totally kicked him out of her house and her life.
The book is told from both points of view, Clare and Zach. I do prefer one point of view, but it worked in this book. I really like the worldbuilding, and the story behind the ghost business. Clare can only see and help the ghosts in a certain time period, which is a good thing or she would grow mad.
The bad guy in this book is a total psychopath, and I was glad that Clare got out of his hands on her own. I liked Enzo, how he tried and tried to make Clare see the truth of his words, and help her out. The different ghost stories are intriguing, and when Clare finally decided to embrace it, she totally went for it. It made her feel better immediately, but the ghosts still freeze her when they touch her.
The book has a lot of good things in it, and I really look forward to reading the next book. I think Zach has learned his lesson and will be a better hero in the next book. And I am also happy that he does not move in with Clare in her new dream house immediately, but that they will take some time to learn each other.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian