Where did we get the book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Release date: Out now
There’s just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts…
When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it’s hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy—and living—Zach Slade, there’s certainly no ignoring him either.
A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more—and not just for help.
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
Thoughts on heroine
Lou: I really enjoyed Clare’s character. At the beginning she is resisting this new gift of hers with all her might. She doesn’t easily accept it; she worries she’s got something mentally wrong with her or if she’s somehow got a brain tumour. She sees and hears this ghostly dog talking to her and she tries her best to ignore Enzo but she can’t. While see struggles to come to terms what is happening to her, deep down you know that she’s fully aware of what’s happening to her. She knows it’s something to do with her eccentric and crazy Aunt who is now deceased. Clare, throughout the book, sort of goes through stages of her new abilities. Anger, sadness, grief and then acceptance. While she was so frail because of her abilities, I loved how sure and confident she was in her sexual attraction towards Zach.
E: Owens has been on my auto-buy list for over a decade which now includes 4 different series. Out of all of them I think Clare has been the most challenging for me to immediately like. She seemed completely overwhelmed by everything for about half the book but when she started coming into her own I loved the mental strength she displayed. In addition to her strength regarding her new gift, I was glad to see that she refused to be with someone who didn’t respect her for all of who she was. I also enjoyed how she never lost the accountant piece and her love for numbers. I thought retaining that aspect kept Clare anchored in the here and now while trying to deal with her sudden life changing events.
Marlene: Owens is on my auto-buy list too! I practically count the days until she has another book in the Celta series. But Ghost Seer was different, and Clare felt like a different kind of heroine for Owens.
I liked Clare, but I did start to wonder when she was going to “wake up and smell the ectoplasm”. She resists her new talent for a long time, and through a lot of stuff that would make most people figure out that their world has just expanded. (She was also a lot naive about the shrink Bradley) At the same time she has a practical side that keeps her very grounded–accounting is not the profession for those subject to flights of fancy. Clare is used to having things add up, and when the ghosts enter her life, things definitely stop adding up! But part of what made Clare a heroine worth following is that once she accepted her new life, then anyone who wanted to be in her life needed to accept the new her, ghosts and all. She wasn’t willing to overlook Zach’s inability to respect her whole self in favor of his very hot body. Clare is the whole package and she stands up and refuses to be with someone who won’t respect her as she IS. (And Enzo is adorable but damn hard to ignore!)
Thoughts on hero
Lou: Zack I also really enjoyed. Clare and Zach both have their own individual conflicts there were rock solid. Zach is just learning and coming to terms with not being a cop anymore. He’s struggling with his injuries and he’s bitter and angry surrounding the incident that caused the injury to his leg. He’s not an easy person and he has some hard edges to his personality. Zack doesn’t like the idea of being a private investigator because it’s not a public servant job. He struggles with the idea of it not being a calling. There’s a scene where he can’t apprehend a subject like he would have done as a cop. But like Clare, despite his issues, he’s confident and sure about his attraction to Clare. He wastes no time in flirting with her and letting her know he’s interested in her. But soon afterwards it’s Zach that pulls away when he learns about Clare’s abilities. I think it’s going to be Zach that will take longer to heal and come to terms with his new life.
E: Zach was fun. He was a lost angry man trying to come to terms with losing his chosen profession, some physical ability, the realization there was an extra dimension in the world, and that he was involved in it. He cared so much about helping people, especially those who could not afford to pay that feeling forced to move to the private sector really hurt his sense of self. I loved how he had every intention of rejecting private sector work until he met his clients or others in need and then he couldn’t turn them down. I enjoyed his reaction to Clare and her acceptance of him and his struggles to fully accept her along with his “premonitions.” I am going to enjoy watching him continue to grow over this series.
Marlene: Zach made a very interesting hero. He spends the book coming to terms with the life he has now, and how it differs from the life he had before–the life he thought he wanted. He clearly has a LOT of backstory, and not all of it is revealed in Ghost Seer. The events of the story change him quite a bit; not just from a sherriff to a private investigator, but also that he begins to accept his physical limitations and that the woo-woo elements of his instincts and premonitions are real. And he changes from someone who never settles down and has no ties, to someone who is building a family-of-choice, whether he wants to be adopted by all the people involved or not.
Lou: I loved the scenes with Enzo. He was hilarious. He reminded me of Doug in the film, Up. Ghost Seer surprised me with it’s humour. It had suspense, paranormal, romance, humour and a feel of the Old West. It really was a mixed bag. The romance wasn’t instant and I was happily surprised when I realised this series will follow Zach and Clare because the book ends on the start of their new romance. And the romance was wonderful in its sensuality and heat factor.
E: I think my favorite scene was when Zach was first introduced to Mrs. Flinton and that gracious old lady completely steamrolled over both him and Mr. Rickman to get what she wanted. She continued to do that throughout the book and included Clare as one of those she mothered. Mrs. Flinton provided some needed comic relief as well as the aspect of a motherly figure to two people who desperately needed one. I do hope she continues to act along those lines because she quickly became a favorite for me.
Marlene: I absolutely adored Enzo. For a ghost dog, he had an incredible amount of personality. Also no slobber and he doesn’t require his human to “scoop his poop”. He’s just about perfect. But Mrs. Flinton stole the show. She’s the grandmother everyone wishes they had, with a core of absolute steel under the fluffiness. Anytime she was manipulating people (for their own good, of course) she was awesome.
Lou: I suppose my only dislike was I felt the beginning of Ghost Seer was a little shaky. I found it took sometime to get started and thought the heroine spent a lot of time in bed in the early scenes. I would also loved to have known how the gift of Seer is passed down in the family. But I suspect we’ll learn more about the nature of her gifts and who the Otherly spirit is that sometimes takes hold of Enzo’s ghostly body.
E: I am accustomed to Owens’ stories building slowly but I thought this one contained some extraneous material at the beginning involving Clare’s family. While it did serve to set the stage for other events Owens then later told what she showed more than once so I found myself wondering why the scene towards the beginning existed.
Marlene: The start of this one was a bit slow. Because it took so long for Clare to accept her gift, the “woe is me” parts went on too long and repeated the reasons why she HAD to accept her gift multiple times.
Misc. thoughts and grade
Lou: I really enjoyed Ghost Seer, and I’m so glad I picked up this arc. The plot is engaging and I loved the story of Jack Slade and I can’t wait to see what other ghostly historical figures will appear in future books. The romance is very strong and I can’t wait to see how Zack and Clare will fare now that Clare has accepted her gift, and I want to find out what gift Zach has that was hesitantly hinted at throughout the story with the crows.
I give Ghost Seer a B+
E: I think Ghost Seer is a great start to a new series by Owens. I enjoyed meeting Clare, Zach, Enzo and the other prominent characters. I also thought the inclusion of history, ghosts, and the dangers of ignoring what you should be doing very captivating. It was enjoyable to watch Clare and Zach both start to find their footing in their new lives as well as deal with the detritus from their past. I am really excited to see what Owens has in store for future installments.
I give Ghost Seer a B
Marlene: Once I got into it, I really enjoyed Ghost Seer, and I’m looking forward to the next book, Ghost Layer. Although this particular ghost has been laid to rest, there are lots of possibilities for more Wild West ghosts to need help–it was a turbulent and colorful time, with more surviving legends than facts. It’s also going to be fun to see how Clare and Zach’s romance proceeds–as good as they are together, I don’t think it’s going to be all smooth sailing, as Zach tries to accept his own gifts.
Ghost Seer did remind me of another series where someone inherits a talent for seeing ghosts through a family legacy. If Ghost Seer appeals, you might want to try Meg Benjamin’s Medium Rare.
I give Ghost Seer a B