Title: A Reason to Believe
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 217 pages
Detective Matthew Bennett doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the spirit of a murdered child leads him to her body, he's shaken to the core--and taken off the case. Unable to explain his vision, or to let go of the investigation, Matthew turns to renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. Though he has doubts about Kiernan's claims to communicate with the dead, Matt is nevertheless drawn to the handsome psychic, who awakens feelings he thought were long-buried.
Haunted by the lingering spirit of the little girl, Kiernan is compelled to aid in the search for her killer. The chance to get closer to the enigmatic Matt is an unexpected bonus. Although Kiernan's been betrayed by people who turned out to be more interested in his fame than in himself, with Matt he's willing to risk his heart. As the two men grow closer, Kiernan helps Matt rediscover that life offers no guarantees--but love offers a reason to believe...
This is the first book of Diana Copland's I've ever read, and I know it will not be the last. In A Reason to Believe we meet Detective Matthew Bennett who is investigating the disappearance of six-year-old Abigail Reynolds around the holidays. At the child's house, he think he sees what is the missing girl and follows her to the basement, but she disappears again; however, not before showing Matt where her dead body is located. The disappearance turns into a murder case of which Matthew is not allowed to participate in because of his ghostly "sighting." (Basically the police think he's lost his mind, overcome with grief at the loss of his partner/lover about 18 months previously, so they pull him off the case.)
Enter his best friend/sister-in-law, Karen who takes him to a mass reading with psychic Kiernan Fitzpatrick. Together, the two form an unique bond and with the ghost of little Abby helping them they are determined to find the killer.
What I loved about this novel was...everything. A Reason to Believe had amazing characters, a creepy murder mystery, hot sex scenes, an interesting ghostly twist and excellent pacing that kept the plot moving along at a steady pace. First, Kiernan and Matt's relationship made sense and while some readers may be turned off at the falling in love in under a week, I thought in their case it worked under the extreme circumstances. Second, there were great secondary characters like Matt's sister-in-law and Kiernan's sister, Aiden. Finally, compelling female characters in a m/m romance that are three dimensional and not bitches! I was ecstatic about that development. Lastly, the murder mystery while towards the end was a little predictable, it still drew me in and kept me guessing until the murderer and their motives were revealed. To me that is an important piece in a novel that features a murder mystery.
Since every one who reads my reviews knows I am extra picky about law enforcement polices and procedures, I was pleasantly surprised at the realism this book had in that regard. Did Ms. Copland get everything right? No, but despite the missteps with correct police procedure, I was still engaged in the plot, so the other things I could hand-wave.
Overall, if you are looking for an excellent book that brings in a terrific plot with eerie paranormal elements, interesting characters, a slow-building romance that fit in perfectly with the tone and pacing of the book, then look no further. I can only hope Ms. Copland is planning a sequel, because I would read about Kiernan and Matthew again in a heartbeat.
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Next week Diana will be here to discuss A Reason to Believe and more. Check back for the post!