In Reichert’s debut paranormal romance, the first in a planned trilogy, a woman named Destiny flees her grief over her parents’ deaths for a fixer-upper house on the Maine coast, where she finds an unwelcome but alluring, spectral roommate.
Jack Donovan’s spirit has been trapped in his former home for about three decades, tormented by his ghost’s role in his fiancee’s suicide. He’s managed to drive out every subsequent tenant—but 29-year-old Destiny Harrison, newly arrived from Texas, stubbornly resists his spooky antics. She fell in love with the house just from pictures online, and now it’s hers; she didn’t travel thousands of miles to turn around now, so let Jack do what he will. He’s shocked by her matter-of-fact reaction and can’t help but be intrigued by her strength—not just of character. Having grown up helping with her father’s construction business, Destiny undertakes most of the major renovations herself, wielding a sledgehammer like the pro she is. Finally, Jack and Destiny come to an agreement: If she can find a way for him to make peace and move on—specifically, if she can find where his fiancee, Mary Kate, is buried—he’ll gladly do so. If not, she’ll give up the house, leaving it as a haunted relic. As Destiny investigates, she finds layers of secrets and complications. As she spends more time with Jack, she’s startled to realize they’re falling in love across the barrier of death. The romance is actually the least compelling aspect of the book; the deepening mystery of what happened to Mary Kate is the novel’s real heart. Destiny is a fantastic heroine, and Reichert doesn’t just pay lip service to the idea of her being a strong woman. Her initial attitude toward Jack’s attempts to haunt her and kick her out of the house is hilarious: “Sorry, darlin’. That’s just not going to happen,” she tells him. While their erotic connection doesn’t feel gratuitous, it’s not essential to this entertaining story.
A mostly satisfying tale of love, death and home renovation.