Ghosts of Christmas Past by Corrina Lawson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown
Christmas can be murder on a relationship that s on the rocks.
“The Phoenix Institute, Book 3.5”
As Christmas approaches in crumbling Charlton City, Detective Aloysius James and his partner, Noir, are at a crossroads. Figuring out how to reconcile their careers with their relationship is harder than catching the bad guys.
Now that Noir has learned to control her invisibility and is making a name for herself among the city s artist collective, Al senses there s something she s keeping from him. And he doesn t know how long they can remain partners. Or even lovers.
Noir isn t sure how Al would take it if he knew how deeply he has touched her artistic soul, or how he could react if he saw the secret drawings that have helped heal the wounds of her past.
When a murder lands them on opposite sides Al ready to arrest a suspect Noir insists in innocent they re going to need to unwrap all the ghosts of their pasts to make this Christmas the first of many. Or it could be their last.
When a person is two parts of the same whole, how do you find resolution?
Lucy was a victim of a kidnapping and made to endure experiments at her captor’s hands. She becomes Noir, a girl who can become invisible. She is save by Al, otherwise known as Detective Fixit. The two have a stormy romance but one thing is for sure: they do love each other. There is a particularly spicy sex scene that was positively delightful and I wanted much, much more.
Noir/Lucy is trying to define herself in the real world. She lives with Al, but he too is struggling with how to treat this girl who originally came from the burbs. Is she just on a pit stop or is she involved for keeps? When a murder takes place in the holiday exhibit at the museum Noir is involved with for her art, the two have to work together to solve the mystery. Are Noir’s friends involved or is it an elaborate frame? Insert Noir’s special talent for invisibility, some akward social situations and a whole lot of snark and you have a story that kicks butt.
Vulnerabililty was a theme during the book and it really resonated with me. Noir/Lucy is two people, but why can’t she just be both? Al has to struggle with his fears of relationships and decide whether or not to trust her with his life and his case. Great tension and a wonderful plot development.
The romance between Noir and Al began before the book started but I had no trouble picking up what was happening. The love is there, but so is the mounting tension. Personal barriers, police vs. transient population, politics and greed all play a part in this great novel.
I will be going back for more books from this author and she is on my must read list for urban fantasy.