Author: Virna DePaul
Source: Requested Review
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback, 336 pgs
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Although he keeps company with a vampire and a were, human Shaman Caleb O'Flare can definitely hold his own. But neither his psychic ability nor his healing powers can help his sexy-as-hell teammate, Wraith-a ghost with no memory of her human existence, who cannot experience touch without pain. No wraith has managed to exist past its tenth year, so her time is about to run out. She wants only two things before accepting her fate: to learn her human identity, and experience one night with Caleb...
This second in DePaul's Para-Ops series features Otherborns - weres, vamps, dharmires, felines, shapeshifters, mages and wraiths; a shaman; a special FBI mixed species team; a prophecy; a Quorum of humans who want to "strip [the Otherborn] of their civil rights"; a goddess who wants to wipe all species from the earth to start over again and a very unlikely romance. She adds some inventive differences to the mythos for several of her paranormal characters.
This was a new author and new series for me but DePaul did a good job of writing a story that can stand alone. I didn't feel lost not having read the first in the series. This story takes place several weeks after Caleb is recruited by the FBI for the first team of its kind, humans and Otherborn working together.
Caleb, half-Indian and half-Irish, is a shaman, former army medic, human lie detector and healer. He is also able "to communicate with his ancestors, hear the Great Song, and occasionally walk the Otherworld". He thinks Wraith is "a heinous bitch, yes, but one whose attitude and mouth was designed to hide something textured and complex" and he loved it when she returned his kiss. When he first met her he’d felt a sizzling arc of connection that had only intensified with time. She seems to have no use for him and pushes him away all the time.
Wraith knows she has less than a year to "live" even though she is a "dead human", a wraith — "No pulse. No blood. No body heat or need to eat... Female—and a whole lot of angry going on. Oh, and immortality". She has "bluish-hued skin [and] stark white hair". She only sees in black and white. She's also the "the oldest known wraith in America". She feels pain much more than when she was a live human. And now "a simple touch from someone else was painful". She can touch animals and shifters in animal form without pain and kids without much pain. And she changing... and changing much more quickly than she thought she would when the end was coming close. She knows Caleb wants her and she wants him as well but refuses to give into the desire. She's begun to crave his touch.
There is a lot of good chemistry between Caleb and Wraith. DePaul know hows to write a steamy hot sex scene some of which are not very graphic but still have impact.
I laughed a little, I cried a little. That's when I knew DePaul had me. Up until about three quarters through the book, the story was good, but a lot was going on and the story nor the characters had drawn me in. Then when I cried in the latter part of the book, I realized the characters had pulled me in, made me care about them.
I ended up enjoying the story and now want to go back and read the first book book in the series and the sequel to this one when it comes out. I think both paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans will like this book.
A free prequel novella to the first book in the series, Chosen By Blood: Wraith's Awakening can be found here. Come back here on September 13th to read an interview with Virna DePaul.
Warning Spoiler Alert!!!
This has an HEA ending.