March 2012 Recommended Reading
I will state up front that paranormal books are not really my chosen reading genre. Sometimes something will pull me in, but it’s rare. Which means when it does, the story or characters pulled me in so much it overrides my ambivalence toward the sub-genre.
But then again, I doubt Suzanne Brockmann would call this book paranormal. Sometimes, books just hover over the line of several sub-genres. This would be one of them. It’s got just a little bit of everything. Action, cowboys, a ghost, strong family bonds, great best friends, a movie set…I could go on but I’ll just move on from here.
Unlike what is typical in the paranormal genre, the hero or heroine were not shifters or vampires or any other other-worldly being. The bad guy (guys, really) weren’t either. So who was? The hero’s great-grandfather. Yeah, little different, right? See, our heroine, Alison Carter, is the history consultant on a movie set that involves the legend of Kid Gallagher and Silas Quinn. The way everyone knows the story, Quinn is the hero and Gallagher is the bad guy. But the problem there is…history got it wrong. And Jamie Gallagher is back to make sure they get it right in the movie.
What that means though, is that his poor great-grandson (and our hero) A.J. Gallagher, is stuck looking like a loony nut because he’s the only one who can see Gramps. Even his own mother doesn’t believe him. Now, granted, A.J. has had his fair share of … we’ll go with the word “issues” in the past, and that might lead people to be skeptical of this tall tale he’s been sharing. But he’s determined to help his Gramps clear the family name.
Alison though, not having it. And so begins the long trek for A.J. to convince her that not only does she have the history incorrect, but that A.J. is getting his information straight from the source. The source that, according to Alison’s research, has been dead almost 100 years. But in reality has only been dead about 30. Either way you slice it, doesn’t lead her to take him very seriously. At least at first.
Along the way, and completely unrelated to the movie or clearing Jamie Gallagher’s good name, Alison unknowingly becomes witness to a crime, and she’s Target Number One for a group of baddies on the loose. Herein lies the place where we get a majority of the action, since her life seems to be in constant jeopardy.
I think what made this book really resonate with me and stay on my keeper shelf is the hero: A.J. Gallagher. The guy has baggage, and it’s not cute Louie Vuitton cargo either. PTSD, recovering alcoholic, seeing his long-dead great-grandfather’s ghost…the guy has a few problems. But that’s what makes him so endearing. And he’s so cute about things too. He’s completely willing to let Alison take the lead when it’s honestly best. But he also has no problem flipping the Alpha switch and getting the job done, regardless of who he has to plow over to save his woman.
“I love her,” he said. “The way I know you love Charlotte. I can’t let her die, so shoot me if you have to, but shoot me dead, because I’m gonna keep going until I light this fuse.”
Okay. Excuse me while I recover from my swoon. I mean, hi… The man has guns drawn on him and he’s just like “can I save my woman before you kill me dead? ‘Kay, thanks.” Ah. Amore.
I thought, after realizing there was a ghostie involved in this book, I might really hate that. See comment above about paranormal not being my usual thing. But I honestly LOVED the Jamie moments. While the rest of the book is third person, the Jamie ghost scenes are in first. It was actually really helpful during the action-climax at the end, when our hero and heroine were split up, because he was able to pop back and forth quickly so we could see what was happening between the two of them from one standard perspective. Plus, the moments between him and his great-grandson were great. That familial bond was there, strong, and interesting. These two learning how to interact as adults (Jamie comes back as a man in his mid-twenties, and A.J. was only ten when Jamie died. So it’s a new deal for them too.)
Overall, the book is a great one, and I still go back from time to time. I’m a big fan, and this one stays firmly on my keeper shelf.
Come back next month to see what my recommendation will be. Missed out on the last one? On the left hand side bar, under Categories, find “Recommended Reading” and you will be taken to all my previous recommendations!
Standard Monthly Disclaimer: I am not affiliated, nor do I receive payment/compensation for, any recommendations I give on my blog or any other social media outlets. These opinions are mine alone and I receive nothing for them but the pleasure of sharing books that I’ve enjoyed with other romance readers.