Thursday, September 25, 2014

"The Spirit Guide" by Elizabeth Davies

I received this e-book for free from the author, but in no way did it affect my literary taste buds. This critique is my honest opinion.

When I'm looking for a book to read, one of the main things I like is something different- the storyline has to be intriguing, but also more than a tad original. As it turns out, many of the mainstream romance novels don't deliver- they are often part of a formula, with plot twists I can guess at the beginning and an ending that is exactly as I predicted, if not cornier. So when I was offered the chance to read this book- a book that is both historical and paranormal romance, I was hoping it wouldn't be like the many other similar genre books I've read.

It wasn't. I made many predictions during the course of reading this book- about who a character was, what plot twist was coming up next, how it would end - and most of them were completely wrong. In this scenario, I was happy to be wrong, and glad I'd agreed to review this book.

The Plot:
Seren is the daughter of a lord, who happens to see, and sometimes interact with, spirits of the dead. The trouble with this gift is that she often mistakes ghosts for actual people, as well as when she touches them, she relives the last moments of their death, leading to rumors of her being a witch. But when she becomes the lady-in-waiting of Lady Matilda de Braose, she finds she has a similar reaction to Lady Matilda's advisor Vaughan fitz Maddock, even though he's very much alive. Will Seren, with the help of a friend, be able to uncover the source of Vaughan's power?

As you can imagine, having a gift like Seren's would be an absolute disaster in the medieval age- especially since she happens to be highborn and in the public eye. All believed witches were given tests of their witchcraft that were impossible to survive, and usually concluded with burning at the stake. Seren tries her best to hide her abilities, but gets into many sticky situations.

The love story in this book is one of forbidden love, and so naturally things aren't as clean cut as they are in other romances I've read. Although Seren doesn't know what kind of situation she's stepped into at the beginning of her relationship with George, she is inexplicably drawn to him, but it never felt like an instalove scenario.

The Spirit Guide is anything but predictable. I had entire plotlines mapped out in my head of how the story would progress, yet they remained largely unfulfilled by the end of the book. If you're searching for a book that blends strong historical and paranormal elements into a tale of forbidden love, this may be the book for you.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for a book with plenty of unexpected twists.

Content: Ages 18+ for sex scenes, violence, domestic abuse, and adultery.

Page Count: 278 pages (estimated) for ebook edition.

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