Author: S.E. Harmon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him.
Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex.
It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales.
This story was a near perfect mix of second-chance romance, police procedural, romance, and ghost story. I had the best time reading this, which I didn’t expect because I generally avoid anything paranormal. The story is told in first person, from Rain’s POV, an FBI agent, son of hippie parents (his full name is Rainstorm) and with a twin sister named Sky.
“Always the poet, Sky.” At her shrug, I scowled. “I’m just glad we weren’t triplets. One of you is truly enough.” She shrugged. “I’m glad too. They would have probably named that poor bastard Earth.” […] She scowled. “Earth would never talk to me like this.”
He once had a boyfriend, Danny, but he left him behind in Florida to take the FBI position. He also has ghosts that show up and talk to him. He’s tried ignoring them but the one time he tries to help, he gets suspended from his job and isn’t wanted back on his team. Offered a chance to get back to work, he has to assist police departments on cold cases. He chooses to go work in his hometown, where he immediately comes face to face with the man he’s never forgotten.
Rain and Danny were so realistic in all their interactions; no great drama, just a few bitter words exchanged. They do push and pull at each other but their personalities still mesh and the attraction hasn’t died. Not too heavy-handed, there’s humorous, snarky banter between all the characters, including Rain’s delightful mother, no punches-pulled sister, Danny’s partner Kevin, and Ethan, the most forward of Rain’s ever-helpful ghosts. The police work seemed spot-on and though the missing persons case drove most of the plot, it didn’t overwhelm the romance or Rain slowly accepting that being followed by ghosts was his lot in life.
I’d recommend this book to just about anyone. It’s a little mystery and suspense but easy to follow, the paranormal doesn’t overtake the normal, the romance is delicious and pretty darn smexy but not sex-filled. There’s no epilogue but it’s a solid HEA. Kudos to SE Harmon for making me enjoy the ghosting!