From the Cover: Beneath the Caribbean Sea, a salvage diver hears an eerie voice calling to him from the wreckage of a nineteenth-century ship. In return for promised riches, the diver becomes the servant of Adrian deVille, Lord Varre, the creature who has called to him. It's a bargain the diver will come to regret. Varre enlists him in a hunt for a man named Tyler Hawthorne.
Ten years later, in a canyon in the foothills above Los Angeles, Amanda Clarke has become curious about her new neighbor, Tyler Hawthorne. He's not home much, but others tell her that her new neighbor is about her age -- twenty-four. He's also wealthy, handsome, and single.
Amanda soon suspects that another description can be added to the list of Tyler's attributes: con artist. When Tyler shows up at the hospice room of her friend Ron and tells the dying man he'll live, Amanda angrily resents Tyler for giving Ron false hope.
Until Ron begins to recover.....
Captain Tyler Hawthorne lies dying in the mud under his horse in the battle against Napoleon at Waterloo. He's dying, he can distantly feel his injuries when an unknown stranger asks him if he wants to live to fight another day. Tyler doesn't know how he answered the stranger, but YES, he wants to live. There will be costs, the stranger tells Tyler, costs that cannot be paid with money. Do you still want to live? YES, Tyler thinks, I want to live.
Placing a ring upon Tyler's finger, the stranger, Lord Varre who gives Tyler an uneasy feeling of something close to evil, leaves Tyler with instructions on retrieving funds from his agent to help him with his new existence. Shade, Lord Varre's large black dog, chooses to remain with Tyler. Shade is a cemetery dog....
Almost immediately, Tyler feels stronger, feels his grievous wounds begin to heal, and starts hearing the voices of others round him. But those around him are the dead or dying. What is happening to Tyler? As Tyler begins to recover, he feels himself drawn to those who are near death. The dying are asking Tyler to deliver messages to family members. As the last wishes of the dying, Tyler cannot refuse to complete these tasks. Tyler's new existence in life is that of the messenger.
Present day: Amanda has seen Tyler lurking around the hospice. Comforting patients, but what she cannot tolerate is him giving hope to Ron. Ron has been dying of leukemia all these long years. And, Tyler has surely swindled Ron's grandfather, Derek, into selling him Derek's family home. It was kind of Tyler to tell Ron that it was still his home, not that Ron will ever get to enjoy it.
As Tyler walks Shade around the cemetery near his home, he receives a call from the hospice, his services are needed again. After he helps the husband of a dying patient, he checks in on Ron to find Amanda sitting with Ron. She is furious with Tyler for giving false hope. How could this handsome stranger harm Ron is this way. Tyler assures her he is not giving false hope, but he cannot explain, who could tell someone else that the dying have told him it is not Ron's time to die?
On another front, Lord Varre is trying to regenerate from his own grievous wounds incurred centuries ago after one of his ancestors tried to kill him, but Varre is too hard to kill. He is not a normal human with a fragile existence, like Tyler, he is almost immortal. Now, he needs to revive and retrieve that he has given Tyler, his immortality. Many will have to suffer Lord Varre's wrath for the unspeakable act committed against him. Lord Varre will see to it that those who have wronged him received the ultimate punishment...revenge against those who are his own descendants as well.....but he has killed before.....
The Messenger by Jan Burke is another new author for me. It was an enticing story that dealt with ghosts, magic, and immortality. Cemetery dogs to help messengers bring relief for the suffering of those left behind by the dying. It has action/adventure for the adventurous. It has mystery and mayhem for the mystery lovers. It is a contemporary paranormal romance for lovers of romance, with the banter between Tyler and Amanda, and the attraction that is inevitable after Tyler's lonely long existence. Tyler questions his right to have Amanda, cursed as he is with eternal life. She's afraid of dogs, and Shade has and will remain with Tyler for the rest of his unnatural existence. But she is so beautiful and challenging with her quick mind and the ability to accept what others would find unacceptable, making her the forbidden fruit that his body desires. How can he curse her with his love, only to watch her die as he continues to live. Can he watch another loved one perish, look on as she dies leaving him to continue his existence? All these questions and more are answered in The Messenger. This book was a relatively quick read of pure fantasy. If fantasy is your cup of tea, The Messenger will be an appealing book. I enjoyed it immensely wanting the story to continue. For more information about Jan Burke's book, please visit her website.
Since there wasn't a book trailer for The Messenger, I'm adding the trailer for one of my favorite TV shows........The Ghost Whisperer.......Same basic concepts, different sex.
I love watching The Ghost Whisperer.