A few months ago (this was about January), I had an urge to re-read a book that was a historical, with a fair lady and a pirate, and him essentially kidnapping her. No matter how many Google searches I did (and I'm pretty good with Google and the correct key words -- I typically find everything I'm looking for), I couldn't find the correct set of words to pull up the author and title of this series. I would have gone through my bins and bins and bins of books, but I had them all in storage and they were in the back of the other boxes. Not happening.
One day last week, I saw Karen Robards (an old favorite of mine) on NetGalley with her newest release, Her Last Whisper. Now, I remembered that I loved Karen Robards (I would always search out the Karen Robards releases when I scoped out the Nora Roberts ones), but couldn't pinpoint the books of hers that I had/read (my spreadsheet list of books is severely outdated). So I looked up her book list.
And right there at the top, her first book...
Was the book I'd been looking for all those months ago. Island Flame and Sea Fire.
Now that I know the titles, I will be scouring through my boxes when I get them out again come August.
Anywho, going through her book list, I realized most of her books I've loved were of the Historical Romance variety, which is odd, because I don't like HR -- just Karen's, I suppose!
Flashforward, now, to Her Last Whisper.
Her Last Whisper is part of a series. Unlike most series where they follow a different couple each book, this series follows Dr. Charlotte "Charlie" Stone, a psychologist working with serial killers. I have not read the first 2 books, and I'm pretty interested in at least skimming through them -- there are some pre-Her Last Whisper questions I have.
Charlie, you see, sees and hears those who have passed. She has the ability to hear spirits, and the FBI uses her for it. One particular case (I'm assuming in book one was when we first met him...) hits her extremely hard, and when he is stabbed to death, his ghost attaches itself to Charlie. Now, from what I gather, Michael and Charlie had 'intimate relations' at some point before he passed, but I'm not really sure how all that worked, between a jail doc and an inmate on death row for committing serial crimes. But however it happens, Charlie is fighting her feelings for him as he was a person, and Michael the ghost taunts her endlessly about the fact she loves him.
Michael can't go farther than 50 feet from her, so he's pretty stuck to her side. There is one point where Charlie is learning about his past from a fellow (now fallen) Marine's father, in which Michael gets agitated with Charlie and the situation and tries leaving, not caring about severing the tie. At that point, he doesn't care if he goes to what is called SpookVille (where spirits go to be forever, never gracing the earth again) forever.
Michael has a difficult time with his being dead, and wants to stick around. He is very into Charlie. Charlie has a difficult time with the gorgeous ghost who won't leave her alone, and eventually she comes to grips that the reason why she can't fall for the handsome (very much alive) detective Tony, is because she's not just attracted to Michael, but in love with him. I'm sure it's difficult to realize that the reason why you can't fall in love with a person is because you're sadly attracted to a dead guy.
Charlie believes with all her heart that Michael is innocent of the crimes he's been charged with -- part of her reasoning for this is that he's a Marine. Surely he couldn't have killed all those women. Beyond that, she feels that she knows him. She's pretty good at telling lies versus truth, it is her career, after all, but when she has evidence and DNA re-run and it comes back conclusive, Michael is guilty, she doesn't understand how it can be. Granted, love does shadow things...
Beyond that, there's the fact that once he's forever gone from the earth, he's banned to SpookVille, the land of hunters and evil -- very much not Heaven. He had to have done something to be banned there... and if it weren't the murders, what was it? Michael doesn't tell her in this book...
Michael learns how to enter other bodies, which comes in handy when he just wants to kiss Charlie -- nothing is more frustrating to him when he can't catch her, touch her, brush back her hair.
Between his entering of bodies (namely just Detective Tony's....), his guilty sentence, and the surprise in the last few paragraphs...
......let's just say I'm extremely hopeful for the next book.
I'm going to elaborate on that last line...
Because I need to.
So don't read any further if you hate spoilers.
Turn off the computer...
Close the tab (not in that order, of course)...
Close your eyes, count to ten....
Ok, I gave you plenty of dead space.
The last chapter has Michael spiraling out of control into the deep dark of SpookVille. Surely, he's going to be there for good. He's bent too many rules and entered too many bodies, done too many things he shouldn't have. Surely, he's gone for good.
But right before he's off the earth for good, he hears Charlie crying out that she loves him. The three words he was taunting and teasing her worth for the majority of this book, and she finally gave in and admitted it, as much to herself as to him.
The very last set of paragraphs has Charlie driving past the cemetery that Michael is buried at. She doesn't want to stop. She's sad, depressed, and now lonely, now that her constant ghostly companion, who she had the misfortune of falling in love with, is gone.
But wait, there's a person standing over Michael's grave.
She races out of the car and realizes that man looks like Michael. She's ecstatic -- he wasn't banned to SpookVille afterall -- hell, he's damn well as good as alive and in true person form as he can be!
But when he turns and looks confused to her yelling and screaming his name, and his normally blue eyes are actually a hazel...
Well, Charlie realizes she's made a mistake.
End of book.
My guess is that Michael has an identical twin. Why it hasn't been brought up in his files or talks, I don't know. Maybe they were estranged? Separated at birth? Whichever, he has an identical twin, and therefore identical DNA to someone else.
This twin must have committed the crimes.
But Michael's gone. So whatever happens when it gets proven in the next book that this man committed the crimes, well, it doesn't bring Michael back.
Or can it?
I'm hopeful that somehow Michael can figure out how to cross back over. Tam, a friend of Charlie's who dabbles in spells, mentions to Michael and Charlie that while Michael can take over bodies, it's only for hours or days -- because to take over a body, the spirit of the body has to be gone for the time and typically that person is dead for that to happen. The new spirit will only be able to embrace the body for a short time because come on, the body is dead or dying. There's something wrong with it which causes the other spirit to leave.
I'm hopeful that they figure out how to get rid of twin's spirit without killing him, forever sending him to SpookVille, as he's the one who truly committed the crimes, and Michael can take over twin's (healthy) body. And while Charlie will know that the body doesn't truly belong to Michael, it will then have Michael's spirit in it and will look 99% like him, so they can live happily ever after.
Ok, so now I need to read (at least skim) the first two books to learn more about Charlie and Michael, because I heart them, and I'm extremely excited for the next installment..!