Friday, May 13, 2011
Giving Up the Ghost by Melissa Ecker
Giving Up the Ghost
By Melissa Ecker
Turquoise Morning Press
Kylie McAllister has it all until her world is shattered by the death of her husband, Jackson, in a car accident. After a year of grieving, Kylie uses the proceeds from Jackson’s life insurance to purchase a plantation home on the outskirts of New Orleans to start over with their daughter, Abby. Confirmed bachelor, Ryan LaCroix, has no intentions of settling down with anyone, let alone his best friend’s widow, but somehow Kylie and Abby find their way into his heart.
After discovering an old Ouija board in the attic of her new home, Kylie unwittingly opens a cosmic door to an incubus who pretends to be the dead husband she is so desperately struggling to let go of. She falls deep under his potent spell of delicious sex and malevolent obsession while he gradually drains her life to fortify his own. By the time she realizes he’s an imposter, she is powerless to stop him. Together, with Jackson’s subliminal guidance and the help of a kind voodoo practitioner, Ryan and Kylie wage a fight for her life against the evil entity.
Giving Up The Ghost was not what I expected at all. Melissa Ecker is making a name for herself in the erotica genre so I was expecting, well erotica. Instead I got an emotional, gripping story that had me so invested in the characters that I stayed up super late to read. (My boss can thank Melissa Ecker for me yawning all day)
By reading the book blurb you understand that Kylie’s husband Jackson dies in a car accident. So yes, no surprise, the readers know and expects Jackson’s fate. However, Melissa Ecker spends the first few chapters of Giving Up The Ghost introducing you to Jackson and Kylie as a couple. You fall in love with their family, their baby daughter and in general feel all warm and fuzzy towards them. You get comfortable reading about the teasing through the family dinner and reminisce right along with them during supper. You forget all about the book blurb and then all of a sudden BAM! It hits you. Jackson isn’t supposed to be in this story. He’s supposed to be dead. Remember the book blurb says he dies in a car accident. Then the second BAM hits you. The car accident happens. *pause while I dab my eyes* Talk about emotional. Don’t get me started on the funeral scene.
Gripping and devastating. I moped and I thought there is no way any man will be able to take the place of Jackson.
Nope I couldn’t go to bed here because I had to see how this story played out now.
Thankfully the story jumps ahead about a year. This break in the timeline allowed for some needed healing. Of course Kylie is still not over Jackson but she’s making positive strides to move forward. The story starts to get interesting because Kylie has started a new life in an old plantation home and discovers an Ouija board in the attic and accidentally opens a portal for an incubus to crossover. I thought the emerging of the incubus was well paced. It was a nice believable slow process and you could feel the life slowly being taken away from Kylie.
You endure through Kylie’s confusion of not understanding what is happening to her and at times, you become frustrated with her. Remember at the beginning of the review where I mentioned that I didn’t think no man could replace Jackson? Well by this time in the book, Ryan (Jackson’s best friend) has put himself out there for Kylie and you just want to shake her to reality. How did that happen? Great writing. That’s how.
There were a few times throughout the book I wish that Kylie and Ryan’s conversations were longer and their love making was drawn out a bit more. It didn’t take away from me appreciating their relationship any less; I just think it would have deepened the story a bit more.
Finally I just wanted to add that I was so happy that Kylie had such a wonderful family. It was so pleasing that the villain of the story was the manipulative incubus and not a mother in law. Very refreshing that there was a strong family unit in Giving Up The Ghost.