HAUNTED

Heather Graham, Author . Mira $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-55166-750-8

A gorgeous psychic and a skeptical small-town sheriff overcome their initial dislike and fall in love in this uninspired offering from veteran romance writer Graham (aka Shannon Drake). Sheriff Matt Stone doesn't believe in ghosts and scorns anyone who does. But after several people flee his historic mansion, claiming to have seen a menacing spirit, Matt calls in Harrison Investigations. From the moment he lays eyes on psychic Darcy Tremayne, a former make-up model turned paranormal investigator, he treats her like dirt; indeed, Matt's redeeming qualities are few. Nevertheless, Darcy doesn't let his hostility disrupt her investigation or her burgeoning attraction to him. Despite the overblown imagery Graham (Night Heat; The Awakening) uses when Darcy and Matt are together ("the energy within her [was] a lightning storm that catapulted around him"), their intimacy feels contrived and superficial, largely because the protagonists themselves are one-dimensional. It's never clear how or why Darcy can sense things about people and ghosts; she just can—when it's convenient. Graham uses italics for Darcy's ghostly visions as well as for characters' thoughts, which may confuse some readers. Most, however, will be simply baffled by this established author's substandard effort. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/25/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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