Spirit of Love by J.L. Addicoat

LOVE
Spirit of Love by J.L. Addicoat
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (120 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Old buildings have an eerie haunting feeling, and the 17th Century Manor house in the Cornish countryside Julia intends to restore, is no exception. Originally her dead husband’s dream, she feels it’s up to her to complete it in his memory. When she arrives, she realizes it’ll take more than a quick clean to put the dilapidated old Manor to rights.

While exploring the house, she feels as someone, or something, is watching her. Darting shadows and movements, seen from the corner of her eyes, seem to confirm sinister happenings at the Manor in the past. The discovery of an old diary hidden in a chest of drawers and the story it tells, lead Julia in a different direction than she originally thought she would be taking.

Grief does funny things to people. All it’s made Julia want to do so far is turn back the hands of time. Will a change of scenery help her or will it only make her miss her husband even more?

I was expecting a lot of things out of this story, but laughter certainly wasn’t one of them. Ms. Addicoat has a bawdy sense of humor that worked really well with these particular characters. It’s difficult to say anything else about this without giving away spoilers, but the scenes that dipped into this genre were by far my favorite ones of them all.

It would have been helpful to get to know Julia better. She switched so rapidly between serious indecisiveness and giving clearcut instructions to her new servants that I was never quite sure which side of her personality was the more accurate one. Julia also had a few ditzy moments that seemed out of character for someone who has been successfully self-employed for so many years, but once again I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to find her a little flighty or if I was reading too much into the clues that were provided about the kind of person she was before her husband died.

The romantic elements of this tale are just as strong as the fantasy ones. At first I was little skeptical of how everything would be tied together since there were so many things going on in the plot simultaneously, but the people involved in it were given ample time to get to know each other first. Allowing their attraction to one another to heat up slowly was definitely the right choice in this case!

I’d particularly recommend Spirit of Love to anyone who likes paranormal romance novels that have one foot planted solidly in each genre.

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