The Summoning by Heather Graham

May 3, 2019 Book Reviews 6 ★★★

The Summoning by Heather GrahamThe Summoning by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #27
Published by Harlequin MIRA on May 21, 2019
Genres: Paranormal romantic suspense
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Goodreads
three-stars
Also in this series: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Heart of Evil, Haunted Destiny, Deadly Fate, Darkest Journey, Dying Breath, Echoes of Evil, The Seekers
Also by this author: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Flawless, Heart of Evil, Haunted Destiny, Deadly Fate, Darkest Journey, A Perfect Obsession, Dying Breath, Echoes of Evil, The Seekers

A CALL FROM BEYOND…

When Kristi Stewart inherits a property in the old part of Savannah, she knows it comes with stories of hauntings. But she doesn’t believe in ghosts, even while she runs seances for the guests of McLane House Bed-and-Breakfast. Until the inexplicable midnight appearance of one of her infamous ancestors. Terrified, she flees into the night—and right into the arms of Dallas Wicker.

Dallas is trying to uncover the truth about a colleague who died under suspicious circumstances. As strange happenings continue to plague Kristi’s home, it is soon clear that there’s a very living threat in the neighborhood—several people have disappeared without a trace. Dallas can’t find any connection between the victims, but someone wanted them gone, and it might be linked to the history of McLane House. And that means Kristi should be very afraid.

Review

FBI agent Dallas Wicker sees ghosts. Kristi Stewart, new owner of Savannah’s reputedly haunted McLane House B&B, doesn’t believe in ghosts… until her several-times-great-grandfather shows up in her room with a warning.

Dallas has been sent to unofficially look into two “accidental” deaths and two disappearances, all of them in the neighborhood of Kristi’s inn. The mystery focuses as much on if and how the deaths and disappearances are related as it does on who is involved. And as Dallas and Kristi edge closer to finding some of the answers, it appears Kristi may be in danger, too.

I like this series; it’s light (in its way) despite the darkness of murder and the presence of ghosts. In fact, the ghosts in these books are usually benign, often helpful, and sometimes disarmingly matter-of-fact about their noncorporeal state. However, the writing is a little uneven from book to book, and the prose is merely workaday; it tells the story well enough, but there’s nothing outstanding about it. The stories usually make up for that, and the main characters in most of the books, while not complex, are usually human and relatable.

For the most part, that is true of The Summoning as well. I really liked practical, kind-hearted Kristi; she’s loyal as well as intelligent, and her journey from shock and denial to acceptance of the ghosts’ reality comes across as very believable. Dallas is typical of the heroes of the series: protective, professional (except when it comes to Kristi), and mostly unflappable, the sort of guy you would want on your side (or by your side) when there are both ghosts and murder in the air.

However, while the mystery in this book was satisfying and kept me guessing for quite a while, the romance felt more pro forma than compelling. The characters were instantly attracted (attracted, not insta-love), but their first intimate scene seemed to come almost out of the blue. I expected more build-up toward it; instead, Graham offered little development of the relationship leading up to that point, and Kristi’s actions in particular felt out of character. Following that scene, the narrative focuses in on the mystery, and I enjoyed the remainder of the book for the light, slightly spooky diversion that it is.

 

three-stars

About Heather Graham

NY Times best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Heather was a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children’s charity. She has been published in approximately twenty languages, and her books have won awards from Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, and Romantic Times, as well as major bookstore chains.

Heather loves travel and anything have to do with the water, and is a certitified scuba diver. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Heather is also published as Heather Graham Pozzessere and Shannon Drake.

6 Responses to “The Summoning by Heather Graham”

  1. Lark

    Sounds like Graham phoned this one in just a little bit. At least you enjoyed the mystery part of it.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      To be fair, it’s hard to make every installment of a 27-books-and-counting series appeal equally to every reader. I enjoyed it, just not quite as much as some of the other books in the series. 🙂