Saturday, October 3, 2009

Review: Ghosts and Roses by Kelley St. John

Title: Ghosts And Roses
Series: The Sexth Sense
Author: Kelley St. John
Read copy: eBook
Published: July 1, 2007
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426802633
ISBN-13: 9781426802638

When a spirit from beyond begs Gage Vicknair to rescue a stranger named Makayla, he never expects that stranger to be the same sensuous woman he’s been enjoying so thoroughly in his nightly fantasies. But Makayla is very real—and she’s living a nightmare.

A vengeful murderer is determined to get her. And Gage is equally determined to save her.

Because the only way he and Makayla can have the love they’ve dreamed of is if they’re still around to live it...

My rating:

We see dead people.

The six Vicknair cousins are mediums, helping ghosts cross over. The powers that be set each ghost a different requisition to transit into the greater beyond and one of the Vicknair cousins to help finish the task.

Now it's Gage Vicknair's turn. The ghost of a stabbed girl, Lillian, can't cross over until she saves her friend, Makayla Sparks from the man that had abused Lillian, Makayla and two other girls in the orphanage when they were little. That man has apparently escaped from prison and wants revenge on the four women that had helped put him behind bars. Lillian was his first victim, but apparently he went after Makayla first, the traumatic experience causing the girl to lose her memory.

Lillian knows where to find her. She goes by the name Kayla now, and lives in a shelter where Gage's cousin works. Gage and Lillian arrive just in time to save Kayla from her assailant clutches, but when Gage meets Kayla's eyes, he has another shock coming. She is the same woman he's been dreaming (and doing much more in his dreams with *wink wink* about for the last two weeks. And it seems she's been having the same dreams.

But before making those dreams come true, and for Kayla to actually have a future, Gage must finish the task given to him. Save her life and help Lillian cross over.

This was an interesting take on the usual ghost lore. The ghosts are those souls that didn't accomplish their "goals" in the life span allotted them, but in this book (or series), they have help. The Vicknair cousins are there to help them finish their missions and transit to the other side.

This was an extremely sad story, actually. About four abused girls, now women, still dealing with their traumas from the past. And with a different take on the things&mmdash;without the ghost, and not published as a Harlequin—it would've been a great, and poignant, read. Unfortunately, the ghost and the fact this is something out of the HB line, diminished its appeal, and almost ridiculed the initial (serious) premise.
I just couldn't grasp the point of Gage, a trauma surgeon and a man who (in his words) basically needs sex to function, being a hero of a story about a woman molested as a child. And I just couldn't fathom how that same woman, that's been afraid of getting close to a man all her life, could have sexual dreams about a total stranger and then trusting him from the moment they meet.

Sure, the characters were well-drawn, the pacing good, the sex hot, but I just couldn't get past my initial reservations, and couldn't quite bring myself to actually enjoy the story that on the one hand strove for compassion from the reader while demeaning its purpose at the same time.


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