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Crimson Romance
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dark and Disorderly, Lillie St. Claire Adventures by Bernita Harris

Publisher:  Carina Press
Pages:  262

(Release Date:  6-28-10)

From the Cover:

"I was standing there naked when my dead husband walked into my bathroom…
Lillie St. Claire is a Talent, one of the rare few who can permanently dispatch the spirits of the dead that walk the earth. Her skills are in demand in a haunted country, where a plague of ghosts is becoming a civic nuisance.

Those skills bring her into conflict with frightened citizens who view Talents as near-demons. Her husband has come to see her as a Freak; so when Nathan dies after a car crash, she is relieved to be free of his increasingly vicious presence. Lillie expects to be haunted by Nathan’s ghost, but not to become Suspect #1 for her husband’s murder and reanimation.

But what’s most surprising of all is the growing attraction between her and psi-crime detective John Thresher. He thinks that Lillie killed Nathan—and Nathan must agree, because his zombie is seeking revenge. Now she and Thresher must work together to solve her husband’s murder—before his corpse kills her…"
Lillie St. Claire is one of the lucky few, one of the new "Freaks", one of the Talents. Some say it was an asteroid passing close to the Earth, some say it's a new natural phenomenon, whatever the reason, the shimmering silver sheen of her hair gives her away. The Talents are the individuals who have some form of psychic ability, Sensitives.... clairvoyance,  ghost exorcists, necromancers... and the walking undead that have become common everyday occurrences.

Lillie has had a rough couple of weeks, first her husband is killed in a suspicious car accident, then someone sends the apparition of her departed husband back to visit, and later his zombie. It doesn't get much worse than a visit from your husband's zombie. She doesn't do zombies, everyone in the department knows this, and yet when is comes down to it, who do you think is going to get blamed?

Johnny Thresher, a psi-crime detective, comes into department when Police Chief Bobby Secord is attacked by a rogue zombie, maybe the same one that Lillie's been having problems with, only who could have risen the dead and lost control of it? He doesn't  know what to think until he experiences an attack himself, at Ms. St. Claire's home.  Maybe there's more going on in this quiet little town than he expected, or maybe Ms. St. Claire isn't what she seems. Regardless, he needs to get to the bottom of the problem before anyone else gets hurt.

Dark and Disorderly by Bernita Harris is a dark, first person point of view paranormal romance/urban fantasy where something has happened, something unexplainable, something paranatural. For some reason, children are being born with pre-cognitive abilities and there's been a large influx of paranormal activity. The Talents as they have become to be known as are the only defense that the "Normals" have. And most of the Normals just want the "Godforsaken" (the apparitions, ghosts) to be swiftly dealt with, exorcised with extreme prejudice, especially the ASP (Against Spirit Pollution), but the SOS (Save Our Spirits) has other ideas and doesn't even want the malevolent spirits eliminated, and Lillie finds herself caught in the middle. Lillie St. Claire is one of the Talents and Johnny Thresher is the only person she can turn to, and she's unsure what he's fishing for. He could be looking for guilt, innocence, or maybe something else altogether. Lillie is presented as a woman used to being on her own, burned by the lie of love, used to the harsher realities of life, but still she's an innocent. Johnny Thresher is massively larger than life, used to getting what he wants, and he's not afraid to kick asses and take names. He's a cop on a mission, but Lillie's not quite sure what that mission is.

Dark and Disorderly is an excellent 1st person POV, plot driven story of the urban fantasy variety. There are romantic elements, but I believe the romance will be developed as Lillie's adventures continue. The reader enters this world where ghosts and sensitives are an everyday occurrence and there are organizations and departments in the local constabulary to specifically deal with the issues and problems cause by the apparitions and those who have the power to control them. It has dark elements, this isn't a typical adventure story. There are elements of Irish mysticism and folklore which as the story develops, allows the reader an additional peek into this evolving world. I can't wait to see where Bernita takes Lillie's adventures. I also have to say, the cover art for Dark and Disorderly was nicely done and compliments the story, Lillie pretty closely resembles the written image down to her bracelets. I also love Lillie's ghost dog, Dumbarton, who can choose to be corporeal or not, too cool for the mysterious guard dog.
This is the first book I've review from this new ebook publisher, Carina Press. I choose Dark and Disorderly to be my first review because the author, Bernita Harris, was one of the participants in The Clarity of Night "Silhouette"contest from last January. We both attained the 40's club and I was happy to see her work published, it's well deserved. I have to give it up to Bernita, YAY Bernita, but I also have to say this novel was excellently rounded, entertaining, and attention grabbing. I enjoyed reading about the world she's created and hope to get to see more of it. I recommend this book to all lovers of dark urban fantasy and Irish folklore, it's definitely a worthy read.

I received this ebook for review from the publisher, Carina Press and Net Galley.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Bernita said...

What a gorgeous review, Dorrie! Thank you.

Ladytink_534 said...

Well if that first line doesn't make you go "huh?!" then nothing will. I really want to read this now.

Unknown said...

Hi Bernita!

Congrats on the release sweetie! I really enjoyed your book! Happy to see you reach the mad mad world of published authors, lol! Have fun!! Well deserved!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Tink!

It was a good read, quite involving and twisting. I think you'd enjoy it!

Nice seeing you!

Dottie :)

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