August 21, 2014

Review - Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens

Ghost Seer
Ghost Seer #1
Robin D. Owens

Published: 22 May, 2014

Berkley Sensation, mass market pbk, 296 p.
ISBN: 978-0-425-26890-2

There's just something about Clare.  Apart from the ghosts...

When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermak inherits more than just money.  She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts.  While Clare may not believe in sprirts, 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 the she minds.  After the restless ghost of an Old West gunman demands her assitance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more - and not just for help.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

I was looking forward to Ghost Seer, but I have to tell you right off the bat that, for me, this book did not live up to it's potential.  Like numerous paranormal romance books, the use of psychic powers is nothing new, and inheriting them from another family member is a common device.  So when Clare inherits her abilities from her great aunt there was nothing special about that. . . until you find out that her aunt has left her detailed videos and journals to help her find her way.  This was a great twist, and will certainly prove helpful in future installments in this series I'm sure.

Another 'inherited' item from her aunt was the ghost dog, Enzo.  At first he has a lot of trouble trying to get Clare to admit that she has this ability, but there are times when I think that there is more to this furry ghost than meets the eye.  There are a few moments when even Clare questions his form, so perhaps in future books we will find out what is going on there.

Now we come to the main relationship in Ghost Seer.  Zach is a former deputy sheriff, quit due to an on the job injury, and ends up in Denver interviewing for a PI job.  A grumpy, pain in the buttocks character, he meets Clare and within minutes, she's somehow gotten through the hard shell he protects his emotions with.  Surprisingly, it turns out that Zach too has abilities, but instead of acknowledging them - or seeking medical explainations like Clare - Zach has buried any responsibility, or acceptance, of his 'thing' with seeing the crows.  Perhaps this harkens from a Native American ancestry, but he's so not interested in the supernatural.  Which puts him on a collision course with Clare as she comes to accept the responsibilities her gift has in regards to her future, and that of her family.

With two very prickly main characters, it took me a long time to have any feelings for them.  I'm still not that interested in them.  Zach is very standoffish and angry at the world for all the bad things that have happened in his life, and Clare is in over her head and scattered.  The fact that these two end up in bed relatively quickly is just one of the flaws in this series.  I don't know why authors, who are intending to write a series, throw their characters into each others arms ASAP.  The forced intimacy just doesn't work and they usually come off as cheap and easy.

I did like the batty aunt of the guy that runs the PI business.  She's also got a touch of the sight, and is the first to acknowledge Enzo when in Clare's presence.  Annoyingly, there are only a few scenes with the aunt - and the lady that also lives in the house (but I've forgotten her name!) - as well as a lack of character development in Zach's new boss, who is also tolerant of the paranormal aspects.  The ghosts that Clare runs into, who want her to help them, add to the chaos.  It seems like Ms Owens is trying to push very hard to have her world building done in this first book.  So many things going on that it just gave me a headache.

So while this will probably be the only book I buy in this series, I may pick up the 2nd book at my library just to see whether or not it improves.  Okay character development, and average world building that just couldn't deliver on a promising idea.

Until next time,

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