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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spirit Beach by Kate Woods

Spirit Beach by Kate Woods
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal, Suspense
Length: Full (150 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When Renee Simone, an investigative reporter, vacations at a small seaside resort for some relaxation and fun, she finds more than entertainment when she stumbles upon the local legend of John Henry Covington, a man who lost his wife and son in a hurricane a century before. Unable to control her curiosity, she sets out to unravel what was legend and what was fact about the man with the mesmerizing eyes in the ominous portrait at the Covington Bed and Breakfast. Was he merely a man or something more? He's as provocative as Adrian, the handsome real-life man she's met on the beach.

Renee's investigation uncovers more than history. She and Adrian find out too late that vampires don’t always want people to know their story, and a vampire’s lust for love and blood never dies. Her fear grows as the gusty sea spray mingled with the wind persuasively invites her to a personal audience with a ghost…

"I've been waiting for you, Renee…"

Renee has always had a nose for a good story, but looking into the history of John Covington might very well cost Renee her soul mate and her life.

Renee Simone is supposed to be relaxing on her vacation to Spirit Beach, Maryland with her sister. However, after hearing the legend of John Henry Covington, Renee is unable to put her inquisitive mind to rest. The more she learns about the tragic life of John Henry, the more she wants to know.

Her investigation leads her to the Covington Bed and Breakfast, which is still owned by the descendants of John Henry. There she meets Adrian Covington. Renee and Adrian weren’t looking for love, but the chemistry between them is too powerful to ignore. Soon they realize they’ve fallen for each other. However, one man stands between Renee and Adrian’s happily ever after, John Henry Covington.

It seems that John Henry isn’t quite dead. He roams the beach as a vampire searching for the grave of his lost love, Lee Marie. Now he wants Renee and Adrian to help him find Lee Marie’s final resting place before the next full moon or else he’ll take Renee from Adrian just as Lee Marie was taken from him. Renee must now use all her investigative skills to solve a century old mystery before she loses Adrian forever.

Renee is a spunky heroine devoted to discovering the truth. Although poking her nose into the Covington family history has put her life in danger, it has also brought her to Adrian. She’s not about to let an angry vampire stand between her and her soul mate. As a hero, Adrian is very playful. He has a very bright outlook on life in general, though he sobers up quickly once he learns about John Henry’s threat to Renee. Even though Adrian doesn’t understand the situation completely, he’s devoted to protecting Renee at any cost.

While I enjoyed reading Spirit Beach, I do have a couple issues with the story. The first issue is the relationship between Renee and Adrian. They have a “love at first sight” connection, but the relationship never moves beyond that. As a reader, I love the idea that some people are destined to be together, but I would have liked to see their relationship develop a bit more. They become involved so quickly and are soon caught up in the Covington mystery that by the time the story ended, I didn’t feel as if Renee and Adrian knew much about each other.

The second issue is how John Henry became a vampire. John Henry was bitten on the neck by his father during a fight. This resulted in John Henry becoming very ill and eventually turning into a vampire. This left me with several unanswered questions. How did John Henry’s father become a vampire? Was he bitten by some other vampire? Was it some sort of curse? The physical characteristics of a vampire are easy to identify, so why didn’t John Henry know what his father was? I feel that this part of the story could have been explained a bit more fully.

Despite these minor issues, I truly enjoyed reading Spirit Beach. From the very first page, I was drawn into the mystery surrounding John Henry Covington. The spine-tingling action held my attention throughout the book and Renee and Adrian’s devotion to each other was touching. Anyone who enjoys a fast paced paranormal suspense and a story of undying love needs to pick up a copy of Spirit Beach today.