Saturday, December 29, 2007

Silken Shadows - Jennifer St. Giles

Silken Shadows
Jennifer St. Giles
Berkley Sensation

Paranormal/ Historical Romance

Note: If you haven’t read the first two novels in this series, MIDNIGHT SECRETS and DARKEST DREAMS, this review contains unavoidable plot spoilers.

In 1880, in the seaside town of Dartmoor’s End, Gemini Andrews and her family are still reeling from their too-close encounter with a fiendish killer, Constable Jack Poole. Poole is presumed dead, but recent events in a nearby village call that assumption into question. Two young women have been murdered, and while not exactly the same as Poole’s murders; the events are similar enough to raise alarms. Gemini’s brother-in-law, once under suspicion himself, vows to help in any way he can, but his first concern is to protect his family.

Family friend Captain Deverell Jansen volunteers to leave for the village right away. Knowing that her ability to communicate with spirits will be indispensable, Gemini offers to accompany him. Naturally, the entire family protests. But Gemini is still haunted by the ghosts of the previous murder victims and feels compelled to help the spirits of the murdered women. So compelled that she stows away aboard Dev’s ship when he leaves. Dev is horrified that Gemini would throw away her reputation in such a way, but soon comes to appreciate her unique talents with ghosts.

Gemini and Dev have been carrying on a strong flirtation for some time. The main obstacle seems to be Dev’s feeling that, at 19, Gemini is too young for him. That, and the fact that there are two ghosts who hang around Dev at all times. Gemini can see them, but Dev can’t, which makes for some interesting interactions. Gemini is no simpering miss who needs to be coddled. She feels a real sense of duty to the spirits of the dead, and manages to overcome her own fears in order to help them. And she’s more than a match for Dev.

Once again, the author manages to deftly blend historical romance, a murder mystery, paranormal, and gothic elements to fantastic effect. There are even some touches of light humor here and there. This novel, and the two that came before, will appeal to a wide variety of readers, and should gain Ms. St. Giles a well-deserved following.

Rating: 7 ½
December 2007ISBN# 978-0-425-21794-8 (paperback)


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