Haunted Souls, by Kathryn Knight
Published 2016 by the Wild Rose Press
About the Book:
Four years ago, Emily Shea and Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds agreed to part with no strings attached. Sparks flew during their brief affair, but fate intervened, sending Brett overseas. When an unexpected pregnancy derailed Emily's own plans, her attempts to locate Brett were soon overwhelmed by the challenges of single motherhood. Now, Brett has returned home, and Emily is forced to share her secret.My Take:
Despite feeling betrayed, Brett is determined to forge a relationship with their son, Tyler. As the former lovers battle both their inner demons and their mutual desire, another presence enters their lives—Tyler's imaginary friend. Soon, however, the chilling evidence points to a different conclusion: a ghost has formed a dangerous connection with their son. Emily's attempts to help both a lost soul and a friend in need spiral toward a deadly confrontation, and Brett must race to save Emily before he loses her again—forever.
This romantic suspense is so much more than a ghost story, but it's the ghost that truly brings this family together. Kathryn Knight does a masterful job of showing us the struggles and tensions of both the hero and heroine, including the fears and insecurities they hide from each other and also from themselves. I loved the way she described the intensity of their emotions, taking us right along with the characters on their emotional roller coasters.
The author gives us alternating viewpoints between the two twenty-somethings: Emily, a veterinary assistant and single mom devoted to her toddler; and Brett, an Army bomb specialist recently returned from Iraq and now stationed closer to home on Cape Cod. They had a torrid two week affair four years earlier when Brett was home on leave for the holidays visiting his parents, but parted amicably.
Until Emily went back to college and discovered she was pregnant. By the time she tried to reach out to Brett, he'd already been deployed and it was too late. Now that he's home she feels compelled to let him know he has a son.
For Brett, the emotions Emily stirs are still there simmering at the surface, but so is the strong sense of betrayal and broken trust that she could keep a secret this huge for four years. He's also suffering PTSD from his deployment time and unwilling to share that part of his life with someone he doesn't feel he can fully trust.
Tyler is a sweet, totally normal toddler, and thankfully the author didn't narrate any chapters from his point of view (I totally hate when authors do that in an adult book. Not necessary.) He's also very "sensitive" in other senses of the word, and ends up befriending a ghost on one of those gimmicky "haunted walks" that are so popular these days. When strange things start happening, it's obvious to the reader that one of the ghosts followed them home, but it takes Emily and Brett a while to reconcile themselves with the paranormal.
I truly loved this story, these characters, and the way the author weaves the paranormal with the everyday. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
Grab a copy on AMAZON
Have a HAPPY and SAFE Halloween!