Author: Athena Daniels
Genre/Age: Paranormal Romance/Adult
Series: Beyond the Grave Series (Book One)
Publisher: Sunset Coast Publishing
Format: ebook via Reading Alley
Synopsis: To save her, he must let go of everything he ever believed.
Upon returning to her hometown for her grandmother’s funeral, Sage Matthews is terrorized by a series of strange events. She dismisses each eerie occurrence as a by-product of her overwrought emotional state, until it becomes chillingly clear that something not of this world is desperate to get a message—or is it a warning?—through to her…
Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade comes to Cryton, South Australia, to catch a serial killer. When Ethan meets Sage—the latest victim’s beautiful granddaughter—his attraction to her is explosive and inconvenient. He knows she’s not crazy, but Sage’s theory about the murders is unbelievable.
With the handsome detective rejecting her ideas, Sage embarks on the supernatural journey that her grandmother started. What she discovers shatters everything Sage ever knew about herself—and who she really is.
Ethan’s routine case quickly turns personal when he discovers Sage is the killer’s next target. For her, he’ll break all the rules and cross every line. But how can he protect Sage from an evil he cannot even conceive of?
Ghosts, demons, and a grimoire, oh my!
Sage has just received some tragic news. Her grandmother has been murdered in a horrific way and seems to be only one of several victims of a serial killer on the loose. When Sage returns to her hometown to lay her grandma to rest, she discovers that strange things have been occurring around the town, but mostly in her grandmother's store. Things are moving, doors are slamming, temperatures plummeting, and Sage can't help but wonder if there is something more sinister happening.
Ethan is a detective and good at his job. His gut instinct has led him to solve cases that others would have taken twice as long to clear up. Yet, after only one visit with Sage, Ethan feels as if he may be out of his element. Not only does he find Sage to be a captivating woman, but she is also one that he can't seem to stay away from.
As a demonic spirit haunts Sage and the threat of another killing hovers over the town, Ethan does his best to find the murderer. However, the idea that the culprit may be of supernatural origin is something that the detective just can't force himself to accept. A charming ghost hunter with an eye for Sage only adds to Ethan's worries as he tries to solve the mystery and sort his feelings for Sage at the same time.
This book took a while for me to get into. It was rather wordy, an almost "epic-fantasy" amount of wordiness, with a lot of inner dialogue and explanation of history that often became repetitious. The pacing was also slower than I anticipated. But that may have been due to the inner dialogue and wordiness, which made the first half a heftier read.
However, about half way through, it starts to pick up and the story gets more interesting and "busy". It was a big relief because I did like the characters and overall idea of the story. Sage and Ethan's relationship was slow to build but eventually did heat up. I foresee their coupling becoming more substantial in the next book.
The paranormal angle was interesting and suspenseful. I liked how the clues slowly fell into place and since we were watching both Sage and Ethan learning things separately, we (the readers) are able to piece the puzzle together before the characters do. This mystery continues into the next book, so I will definitely continue with the series to see what happens next.
A story of paranormal anomalies taking over and changing lives! A good read of romance swirled with the supernatural. 3.5 suns!
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