by Holly Lisle
(paranormal romance, romantic suspense)
Phoebe Rain is a former science teacher who now reads tarot cards for a living. It’s not much of a living, however: her knee constantly pains her, she rarely leaves the safety of her house with its three deadbolts, and she has no friends. She doesn’t want any friends. She doesn’t want anyone else to take the bullet meant for her if her ex-husband should come for a visit.
Michael, Phoebe’s ex, is the reason her knee is a mess: he blew it out with a shotgun right before she put him into the coma he’s been in for the past couple of years. Yet Phoebe knows, in her gut, that he’ll come for her again, and she wants to be ready when he does. Best intentions aside, she isn’t ready when the time comes. She isn’t ready to hear his voice on the other end of a phone line that he should know the number to. She isn’t ready to see the ghost of a little girl in her living room, telling her to go see the doctor who lives next door. And when she does go next door, she isn’t ready to fall in love.
Holly Lisle has wrought a tale of suspense and intrigue that will keep you up at night. Her characters are believable, flawed enough to be real without removing their humanity. A couple of the medical-related plot points seemed a shade unrealistic to me, but I have never worked in that industry and do not know how accurate those points were. My enjoyment of the book wasn’t impaired at all by my impressions, however; the questions arose after I had finished the book.
I would tag this book with a “mature reader” label, due to sexual content and violence. The sex was good; it has the “best sex scene I’ve almost read” (you’ll understand when you get there). The violence was both of the gory and non-gory kind, with enough tension that the book at times walks the fine line between “suspense” and “horror”. However, it is a very well-crafted novel that touches on the supernatural while remaining firmly grounded in reality. By all means, pick up this book… but you might want to read it during daylight hours…