I’m not actually sure that there is such a category as “paranormal suspense” but there should be. Mostly focusing on the romantic suspense storyline, but with distinct paranormal elements, Michelle Sharp‘s Dream Huntress would appeal to both lovers of solid romantic suspense as well as readers who love a dash of paranormal.
Jordan Delaney has jumped the gun by getting a job in a hick town’s stripper bar as a cocktail waitress a week ahead of schedule. An undercover narcotics cop in St. Louis, she witnessed two members of her team get gunned down attempting to apprehend members of the cartel pushing China White heroin. When her department agrees to again partner with the FBI, together they come up with the idea of getting her in the bar that’s a local supplier for a nearby college. Her long blond hair and body qualify her to wear the standard short shorts and bikini top and, with the club’s handsy son interested in her, Jordan is hoping she can crack the supply line wide open, and she’s not about to wait for the okay from her uptight FBI supervisor to organize a wire and backup.
A problem of being undercover for Jordan, though, is that she is plagued by the dreams she’s had since childhood – dreams of either murders to come or murders that have already happened. She’s used these dreams to help solve or prevent the crimes using the guise of her position, but since she has to live through them via the victim, it makes a tough assignment even harder, particularly when she again dreams of her family’s death, an incident which Jordan believes she could have stopped if she had only tried harder. When a local cowboy comes to her aid in the bar, taking her to the hospital after a patron blindsides her, Jordan is astonished at the wave of connection she feels to disgraced cop Tyler McGee. Hoping to minimize distractions while she’s focusing on work, she’s dismayed when he takes a job as head bouncer of the club. The potential to have a real relationship – something she’s managed to avoid all these years – is not what she needs right now.
Tyler is first wowed by Jordan’s killer body and gorgeous face, but his initial assessment categorizing her as a blond bimbo waitress is blown out of the water the instant he’s subjected to her lethal wit. She’s a puzzle he’s desperate to figure out, particularly as she comes alive in his arms in a way he’s never experienced with another woman. Having allowed himself to get shunted off the force for his own purposes, Tyler is determined to find out what is really going on at the strip club, particularly as he’s sure it connects to a recent, very personal loss of his own. Keeping Jordan safe while uncovering her secrets is one of his top priorities, but Tyler might not be able to handle what she has to tell him.
I cannot say enough about Michelle Sharp’s outstanding debut novel! Her writing was laced with great attention to detail (the horror of Jordan’s furnished rental was particularly wonderful) and she wields a tight, excellent use of subplot with Tyler’s family loss and Jordan’s workplace tensions. There was a realistic heat between the couple, one that still was fueled by an extra connection perhaps brought about by Jordan’s paranormal abilities, which, while central to the plot, did not take up an inordinate amount of page space, making this novel slightly more suspense than paranormal. I loved the nice depth of Jordan’s FBI colleague who could have easily been a cardboard cutout but instead was a fully fleshed out person with his own motivations. While so many suspense (and paranormal) novels flag at the end, Sharp gave a fantastic resolution by revealing the true story behind the death of Jordan’s family and her strong connection to her father.
Since this book has the benefit of falling under Entangled Publishing’s $.99 early release price, I think it’s easy to sample this new author, who has clearly listed this novel as the first in her Dream Seeker series, so pick it up at that price while you can. To celebrate the release, there is also a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $50 gift card (!), so get on that as well. Michelle Sharp is an author I’ll be purchasing again, for sure.
Happy reading! 🙂