Published 2011 by Bayou Moon Publishing
About the Book:
Jade loves her new apartment—until a ghost joins her in the shower!My Take:
When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn't count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and developing feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord.
Being an empath has never been easy on Jade's relationships. It's no wonder she keeps her gift a secret. But when the ghost moves from spooking Jade to terrorizing Pyper, the dancer, it's up to Jade to use her unique ability to save her. Except she'll need Kane's help to do it—and he's betrayed her with a secret of his own. Can she find a way to trust him and herself before Pyper is lost?
This is the first book in what seems like a fun paranormal series by a New York Times Bestselling author. The cartoon-like cover gave me momentary pause, but I reminded myself that the original Charlaine Harris covers were all cartoons as well, and I loved her Sookie Stackhouse series, so thought I'd give this a whirl.
Set on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, our main character Jade Calhoun is an empath, able to read and influence other people's emotions. Not quite like Sookie's mind reading, but not too far off. In the first few chapters, the reader is bombarded by an interesting cast of characters, some with unclear powers, as well as a ghost or two. No vampires or shape shifters in the story line (yet) but a hunky piece of eye candy in the form of Jade's landlord and strip club owner, Kane. Not quite Erik Northman, but not too far off either.
I ripped through this book at an incredible rate, having been jonesing for a good new paranormal series. This was fun and fast-paced, with an interesting array of main and supporting characters, but missing the sassy sarcasm of J.C. McKenzie's Carus Series or Sookie's mix of self-deprecation and black humor. I also felt like I spent too much time playing catch up, trying to figure out backstory and innuendo as more and more characters and informational tidbits were thrown at the reader. (I kept having to doublecheck that this was, indeed, book one of the series.)
On the plus side, the ghost hunting story kept me engaged and turning pages, and the complex emotional connection between Jade and Kane kept me invested in their relationship. Even though it's a series, the author gives us a complete story within the context of this novel, building up to a main confrontation and a satisfying resolution. I'm not giving away the plot, but will say that I enjoyed the story and can totally recommend this book for your summer reading, even if the jury is still out on whether I plan to continue with the series.
Grab a copy for your beach bag on AMAZON. (and when I last checked, it was listed as FREE.)