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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Passenger by Joie Lesin

The Passenger by Joie Lesin
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Genre: Historical (1940s), Paranormal
Length: Full Length (284 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

The musky scent of skin, a brush on the shoulder, a gust of bitter air--all forewarn Elizabeth a spirit will soon seek her help to pass from this world to the next. Yet a living man's wounded soul offers her the challenge of a lifetime.

Set in the 1940's, The Passenger tells the story of Elizabeth Reilly who travels to the Clemente Vineyard to help the spirit of an old man find peace and loses her heart to the son he left behind.

Elizabeth Reilly has finally accepted life with her “special” abilities. Will the man she loves accept them too?

Elizabeth can communicate with the dead. Elizabeth considers her abilities more of a curse then a gift, and for most of her life, she blocked the abilities, hoping to live a normal life. However, when an old man named Paolo Clemente dies in her arms, she knows she has to help his spirit find peace. Paolo believed his wife and son to be dead, but Elizabeth discovers they are alive and well in California. Soon she finds herself in California on the Clemente vineyard run by Adriana and Gio, Paolo’s wife and son.

Not wanting Gio to think she’s crazy, Elizabeth decides not to tell him that she can communicate with the spirit of his dead father. While she’s not comfortable with lying, Elizabeth believes it’s better if Gio thinks she knew his father when he was alive. However, Gio is still skeptical of Elizabeth’s story. He suspects that Elizabeth might be running some sort of scam. Wanting to protect his mother, Gio demands that Elizabeth keep the reason for her visit a secret from Adriana until he decides the time is right. As Elizabeth and Gio spend more time together, the tension between them builds. Will they acknowledge their attraction before it’s too late? What will Gio say when he learns about Elizabeth’s abilities?

Elizabeth is certainly a strong woman. Her ability to communicate with the dead has made her life very lonely. People instinctively shy away from her and her family. Rather than letting this defeat her, Elizabeth grew into the wonderful and caring woman who held a stranger’s hand as he died. Another thing that I admire about Elizabeth is that she was unwilling to settle for just any man. She is determined that she will never be with a man who doesn’t fully accept everything about her, including her ability to communicate with the dead. While she loves Gio, she is prepared to let him go if he can’t handle the truth of her abilities.

Gio is a man with a heart of stone. However, somewhere very deep in that stone is a soft spot. Gio believes that his father had abandoned him as a child. Then Elizabeth walks into his life and tells him differently. Not only is Gio extremely resistant to changing his long held view of his father, but he also resists his growing reaction to Elizabeth just as strongly. In an attempt to push her away, Gio is cruel at times, and it was very difficult for me to patiently wait for his stone heart to soften. However, once it does, he reveals himself to be a kind and caring man.

I enjoyed reading The Passenger. Paolo and Adriana’s story is heartbreaking, but out of that tragedy comes the possibility of new love between Gio and Elizabeth. I recommend The Passenger to anyone looking for a touching romance with a splash of the paranormal mixed in.

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