Review: Giving Up the Ghost by Melissa Ecker

Giving Up the Ghost by Melissa Ecker
Release Date: April 25th, 2011
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Page Count: 272 pages
Source: ebook provided by the publisher

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.

Review: Giving Up the Ghost is a multidimensional story that weaves itself around the reader from the beginning until the very end, sending them on a harrowing emotional journey complete with empathy, suspense and sizzle.

When I began reading Giving Up the Ghost, I knew that I was going to love it. Melissa Ecker writes her characters in a way that brings them painfully to life and attaches them to the reader – heart and soul. The main character of Kylie McAllister is especially powerful. After losing her beloved husband in a car accident where she was behind the wheel, she must learn to continue on with life for her baby daughter’s sake. The deep loss and since of emotional desperation that she feels glows from the pages; anyone who has lost someone will understand what she is going through.

That sense of desperation leads Kylie to unknowingly conjure up an entity, or incubus if you will, a year after the accident. Thinking that this spirit is actually that of her husband, she welcomes it and revels within the warmth and sensuous sensations that the spirit delivers. It is when things begin to turn horrifyingly violent that Kylie realizes something is terribly wrong and she must find a way to rid her life of the evil that has made such a prominent place within her life – before it is too late.

As if having an evil incubus sucking the very life out of her isn’t enough, Kylie has found herself falling in love with her deceased husband’s best friend, Ryan. They have known one another as long as Kylie had known her husband, before his death. Ryan feels he owes it to his best friend to take care of his widow and daughter. However it doesn’t take long for the chemistry between the two friends to move to a new level, much to the great anger of the incubus. This anger increases the violence of the incubus to startling new levels and Kylie and Ryan know they must act quickly before it is too late.

As I mentioned before, Ms. Ecker’s characterization is amazing. Kylie is an incredibly powerful character and Ryan is someone that I instantly fell in love (okay, and lust) with right away. The depth of his love and devotion to Kylie and her daughter are incredibly apparent in every way. Readers can feel the emotions, chemistry and tension effortlessly. The sensuality of the scenes throughout is heated and will sizzle in the mind’s eye. However, these scenes are created in such a way that they speak of love (or in the case of the incubus a manipulative perfection), and are never overly done.

Giving Up the Ghost has a perfect balance of love, sensuality, suspense, paranormal and deep emotions. There were even a few paranormal incidents that actually brought goose bumps to my skin, which doesn’t happy easily. I truly fell in love with the characters and found myself deeply involved within their story. I never found a dull or dragging moment and found myself rushing from page to page wanting to see what was going to happen. The ending was done in an excellent and satisfying way, as was the entire story. I highly recommend Giving Up the Ghost for anyone looking for an amazing and engrossing read that will satisfy on multiple levels.

Favorite Quote: He put an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. Kylie rested her head against him and a swell of emotion washed over him.

In this instant, he realized what he wanted. The precious baby cradled close to his neck and her beautiful mother snuggled up to his other side.

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