The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert
Publisher: A Jove Book published by Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Jobless and forced home to Wisconsin, journalist Sabrina Monroe can tolerate reunions with frenemies and kisses from old boyfriends, but not the literal ghosts that greet her in this heartwarming tale of the power of love and connection from acclaimed author Amy E. Reichert.

For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells–the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World–means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.

Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance–she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?

When the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time and with Ray in her corner, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is.

Can someone make a movie based on this book? I am not overstating when I say that this novel is seriously wonderful – it made me feel cozy warm and happy all over. The Kindred Spirits Supper Club is charming, funny, emotional, romantic and incredibly well written. The characters are solid, well-developed and full of personality; truly full of life; even the ghosts.

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Most of the story is told through Sabrina’s point of view, but the hero, Ray, has his moments too. There are also a few flashback scenes in this novel plus sized story, one being Molly’s, that flesh out the background of the characters so a reader can better understand the driving force behind everyone’s current state in life, or unlife.

Erika was a convincing thorn in Sabrina’s side. She’s the rich high school bully who never outgrew her cattiness and continues to torment the heroine. Erika instigated a continual state of anxiety and was a stress attack trigger for Sabrina. Oftentimes I felt miffed and angered on the heroine’s behalf. People like that really do exist and I totally understood all the emotions and frustrations that Sabrina felt because I had experiences like it. Not to the degree the heroine did, but those moments never seem to lose their bitter flavor no matter how much time has passed. I got it.

The absolute best part about Erika’s moments on stage is when Ray reacts and makes it plain under no uncertain terms that Sabrina counts and is worthy of respect. How he does it, what he says, the decisions he makes and the action he takes made me cheer and want to hug him. Ray is completely, totally, beyond super awesome as a hero in this book. His little quirks, his drive to stand on his own two feet, to honor his uncle and his role in the community, all are commendable. But, the most romantic of all was his restrained passion for Sabrina. He is a man. By that I mean that he has self-control, self-respect and respect for the heroine. The almost kiss, the first taste of passion kiss, the second that is hotter than Sabrina can handle, all lead to that just-right moment when everything comes together. The bedroom door is completely closed but I was not left in any doubt that not only did their chemistry explode but it was satisfying and eye-opening for Sabrina. I guess all that describes a sensual level of heat but the way he looks into her eyes, I felt the hotness. So sigh-worthy, it was awesome.

As for seeing ghosts – I know it’s been done before but the books I’ve read in the past didn’t have the emotional, poignant and charming effect that The Kindred Spirits Supper Club had on me. There was a bit of angst but it didn’t overshadow and darken the tone of the book. The author kept it low key by involving Sabrina’s whole family. The heroine’s adorable cousins helped keep the cool factor alive by treating it with awe, excitement and normalcy. The scene when Ray, the hero, puts two and two together, and his reaction to realizing ghosts can be seen is romance-story-genius.

Oh, I have to mention Ray’s parents. The author is a clever one. First impressions are not always the full story and Ms. Reichert totally surprised me. Surprised the heck out of Ray too. It was actually kind of funny.

I really could go on and on. There are so many more things I could mention, like Frank the dog, the recipe at the end of the novel, the importance of cheese, Sabrina’s emotional growth, the mystery of the diary, duck boats – seriously, this book is chockful of details, wonderful descriptive prose, excellent dialogue, healthy family dynamics and a romance with a happy ending that totally satisfied on so many levels.

Like I said in the beginning, The Kindred Spirits Supper Club should be made into a movie because it’s that stunning, special, heartwarming, fun and complicated. I adored this story and I heartily encourage fans of feel-good romances to read it. The paranormal element just adds to the fun but I assure you that the focus is on the growing romance between two people ripe for falling in love and the people and ghosts around them who know they are perfect for each other and want to help them along. This is a great read!

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