Monday, October 11, 2010

When the Dead Speak


Title: When the Dead Speak
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-288-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Sheriff Laine Stenley hasn’t always believed in ghosts. At least he didn’t until recently coming into contact with the spirit of his friend’s deceased mother. Now every time he turns around, something otherworldly is happening to him—his Stetson keeps flying off his head, his sheriff’s star inexplicably pops off his shirt and he feels fingers brushing hair off his forehead, a sensation that remind him of his murdered lover. He’s pretty certain he’s losing his mind until a friend witnesses one of his strange events.

Since the death of his partner, Laine has been alone and knows that if he wants to keep his position of sheriff in the small town of McKinton, Texas, he’ll likely remain alone—possibly for years. That changes with the arrival of Severo, a small but fiery man who speaks with spirits and who has a message for Laine—there’s danger coming.

From the moment the men meet, they’re in danger of another kind—losing their hearts and whether they’re ready for it or not, the attraction simmering between them can’t be denied. Evil is coming to McKinton and if they want to survive, they have to learn to trust each other and must listen to the spirits trying to help them.

When the Dead Speak is the second release in Bailey Bradford’s new paranormal series, Southern Spirits. I really enjoyed Laine’s character in A Subtle Breeze and I have to say that when I learned he was to be the focus of this new release, I was thrilled. Laine’s a dedicated and determined lawman, a good friend and the author did a nice job bringing his personality to life. I enjoyed seeing the interaction with his friends from the previous release, Zeke and Brendon, giving the story a nice sense of continuity.

Laine’s carrying around a great deal of guilt and more than a few secrets and Ms. Bradford does a nice job expressing his depression, unhappiness and angst. But she does an equally nice job adding Severo as his new ghost whisperer love interest. On the surface, these two couldn’t be more different but through flair and creativity, she brings them together with desire, passion and caring. I loved that neither denied their attraction but allowed it to grow, enabling them to deal with Laine’s past and the danger coming after him.

The spirit of Laine’s deceased lover, Connor, plays an important role but the paranormal aspect of the story is never allowed to overpower the romance and suspense portions of the tale. That makes for a good mix—there’s romance, suspense, threats, friendship, a caring community and a couple of helpful spirits. I’m curious as to who will be the focus of the next release because at this point, I don’t have a clue.

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