More Than A Spirit

Baker City: Hearts & Haunts - Book 2

Romance - Paranormal
302 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

More Than A Spirit is a work of romance with paranormal themes and was written by author Josie Malone. Forming the second novel in the Baker City: Hearts & Haunts series, this novel contains some romantic scenes but is not explicit or erotic in its nature, and is therefore accessible to all romance readers. The plot focuses on the life of Ann Barrett, a Sergeant First Class who has completed a recent tour of Afghanistan and returned to single motherhood. Master Sergeant Harry Colter is her new boss at the Army Reserve base, and he too is dealing with shadows of the past and the grief of losing his friend. Neither realizes the impact of the quite literal haunting that will change both of their lives forever.

Author Josie Malone has created a sweeping and emotive romance that focuses on the emotional development of the characters as individuals in equal parts to their romantic journey in bonding together. The paranormal and ghostly elements of the tale are done very sweetly and without affecting the emotional realism of the plot. In fact, I think it really enhanced the character presentation of Harry in general through this cool plot device. Ann is an all-around hero, both vulnerable and strong, and her dialogue and presentation of thought are well handled to show a multi-faceted woman that all readers can admire and feel for. Overall, this makes More Than A Spirit a highly recommended read for romance fans looking for something with both sugar and spice.

Deborah Lloyd

Sergeant First Class Ann Barrett returns home to Baker City, Washington. She is in the Army Reserves, returning from Afghanistan and facing new battles. Will divorced her during this tour, and now their six-year-old daughter, Devon, is acting out her anger. Ann thought she had the position she wanted at Fort Bronson, Washington, but the job goes to Master Sergeant Harry Colter, who is one rank above her. Ann is a fighter and a survivor, determined to meet every challenge she faced. The sparks – from Ann’s anger and a strong mutual attraction - fly during her and Harry’s first encounter. Added to the mix is Harry’s best friend, and army comrade, who was killed in combat. He is now a ghost who provides protection to his wife and children, as well as playing matchmaker to Harry and Ann. Author Josie Malone has written a compelling and entertaining novel in More Than a Spirit: Baker City: Hearts & Haunts - Book 2.

This book contains many intriguing aspects – Ann’s complicated relationship with her father and stepmother; parenting challenges after service in war; her love of horses and books; building trust in a love relationship; Harry’s secret. Additionally, some insights into military operations were illuminating. There are many ghosts in Baker City, and how they interact with its citizens is fun to watch. Although many areas are explored, the author’s writing flows smoothly. In More Than a Spirit, which is the second book in this series written by Josie Malone, several main problems are resolved, while some others will certainly be addressed in Book 3. An excellent read!

Steven Robson

More Than a Spirit by Josie Malone is an inspirational exploration of life, drawing the reader into a small Washington State community, where the people are very real and their world is full of spirits. When Army Reservist, Sergeant First Class Angelica Barrett returns from her third tour of duty in a combat zone, she believes her future is secure. She knows the Finance course she recently completed is only a stepping stone to security in a full-time Army position. All is not what Ann believes, however, and after completing the course she runs headlong into Master Sergeant Harry Colter. In a classic unstoppable force paradox, who will break first; the irresistible force of Ann Barrett or the immovable object of Harry Colter? If Harry’s long time friend Zeke has his way, only one outcome will be acceptable.

Josie Malone’s More Than a Spirit is a wonderfully written story, which compels the reader to become fully immersed in a community that is both very real and very alluring. I found it was beautifully crafted in dealing with relationships, particularly between the two main players Harry and Ann, but also in the sublime way it infused Ann’s daughter, Devon, into the shifting currents within her family and the external influences that came into her life. The fact that this book dares to chart a course that includes spirits should in no way deter the reader, as this aspect is treated very adroitly, and is in no way allowed to detract from the main story. It is handled in a subtle way that does, in fact, make the reader wish they were a part of this magical place called Baker City.