by Robin D. Owens
Series: Ghost Seer #2
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
What lies beneath… Clare Cermak’s adjusting to a new man in her life—and a lot of ghosts. The passing of Clare’s aunt gave way to a sizeable inheritance of not only money, but also the ability to communicate with the dead. At the same time, she met Zach Slade, a private detective with a rough past, and just like Clare, he’s not yet ready to accept her gift—or his own. But Clare has another matter to look into. A multimillionaire needs her help after relocating an old ghost town to his mountain estate. The bones of a murdered prospector are making nightly appearances in his guests’ beds. When the gold miner’s ghost contacts Clare, she promises to help find the name of his killer—but someone doesn't want the past revealed and might find her first…
I enjoyed Ghost Seer the first book in this new series by Robin D. Owens and was excited to dive into Ghost Layer. While Clare Cermak, the protagonist, made me a tad nervous, and it reeked of insta-love I was excited about the mystery, talking spirit dog and possibilities this series held. Unfortunately the character’s actions pulled me from the overall mystery and left me disillusioned.
Ghost Layer picks up a few weeks after Ghost Seer ended. Clare has one case under her belt, and Zack Slade, retired cop turned private detective has just returned to Denver after testifying in a case back in his old stomping grounds of Montana. His new boss has a job for Clare involving a very wealthy snot of a man who relocated an entire western town to his ranch and is now being haunted by a ghost. While it is great for creating an authentic atmosphere, the fact that the ghost is leaving parts of his skeleton in guest’s beds is not.
The ghost contacts Clare and wants her to help solve his murder and things get complicated. The mystery aspect was fascinating tying past histories to the present. Clare’s gift is unique, and she has finally accepted it and we see growth in her skill. Zack too is gifted, but he stubbornly denies it even as it aids him. Enzo, the happy puppy like ghost dog, is the highlight of the series with his childlike voice weaved with wisdom regarding the spirit world. The “Other” had me curious, and we learn more about them. The mystery was interesting and the reason I did not set this aside.
It all sounds fascinating right? So why only two and half cups of coffee? The main characters. Clare gets herself in situations by not taking Zack’s advice. She claims to accept her gift, and then avoids it one moment and is all gung-ho the next. I dismissed this characteristic in the first book because of the way she came into this gift/job but for some reason she annoyed me in Ghost Layer. To her credit towards the end, she did improve immensely. The relationship slowed down which was good, but parts were awkward and weird. View Spoiler » For example, Zack took one of her perfume bottles so he could smell her This was creepy to me. « Hide Spoiler It tainted the overall tale for me. I am not sure if I will continue the series I think book three will make it or break it for me.
Bummer! I really enjoyed the first one, but did have some reservations about the characters and the relationship, so I have a feeling I will come away from this one feeling similarly. Still going to give it a go eventually, but not in huge rush. Great review!
I agree, but really thought we would see development and growth here.
I was going to start this series. The cover art is fun but something has me still on the fence. Sorry it let you down with the second book.
The covers portrays a kick-ass urban fantasy protagonist..Clare is not.
This cover makes her look totally badass! Sorry to see you had the few issues with it. Great honest review! 🙂
I know Lisa..and that is what I wanted 🙁
Sorry this wasn’t a great follow up. It sounds like the MC needs to adapt and grow a LOT more.
Ooh, yeah. No. I didn’t mind her waffling in the first book because she needed to come to terms with her gift but I don’t think I could stand that much of it in the second.
That is what I thought and expected Mary, but it so didn’t happen.
I really like Robin Owens’ Celta’s Heartmates books, but your description of the main character in this one is making me a little leery. Luckily I still have four or five Celta books to go!
i haven’t tried any others.
Hmm I think this series might frustrate me. I think I’ll wait to hear what you think of book three before starting it, since book two was a disappointment. Thanks for your honest thoughtful review!
Sounds like a plan Lauren
Braine Talk Supe
Gasp! I tried to skim but I can’t because I intended to read this tomorrow/tonight! I wasn’t feeling the first one but thought it’s normal for first books but 2.5 stars for the second one? I don’t know about that now… I will mull my reading calendar over because you know our stack and I’d rather spend time reading something AWESOME versus reading something meh.
Thanks for the warning, lady!
Honestly Braine..you can try but let go if you don’t like it as it doesn’t improve.
I don’t mind insta-love as long as I don’t read about it too often, but I like my heroins strong and mature (at least in their head !) 🙂
Agreed, but Clare is not.
Hm, that’s too bad. It does not make me want to try this series
Yeah, and unless things change I honestly cannot recommend it as a purchase
The insta-love really upset me in the first novel so I didn’t try this one and was waiting for reviews to see what to di with book 2… Well at the end I think I’ll pass.
Well the romance slowed down here but got weird, so good call.
Sounds like a great concept for a series, but I already have enough books on my “I was told I have to read this now” shelf with characters I’m not a huge fan of. Sorry to hear it!
Thanks Liza, I saw potential in book one for the series, but didn’t find it here.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Ugh, those are all my pet peeves as well. I just recently listened to book one and moderately enjoyed it, and I had at least some hope for this sequel, but I doubt I’ll be reading it. Clare wasn’t a very memorable character, and it seems that now she became downright annoying.
I had hope too Maja, but we saw no growth and Clare drove me crazy. Ah, well. Next…
I am going to pass on this series. The reviews for the first book were just average, and now your review for this one has me backing away. I don’t like wishy washy heroines in my UF.
Yeah, I really enjoyed the mystery and overall concept of book one and the series and will the characters had issues in book one, I really thought we would see growth here. Sadly it was worse.
Aw man, sorry to hear the romance slowed down and some of the characterization wasn’t as good as could be.
Well the romance slowing down was good, since it came together too soon in book one, but it was Claire that drove me nuts.
That’s too bad. The immaturity of the main character is a serious pet peeve for me. I think I’ll let you read the 3rd book before I see if I’m going to start this series or not!
I am going to try it, but will DNF if it is more of the same Katherine. I do list my DNF’s on Goodreads, so keep an eye out.
Clare does sound like she would most likely get under my skin, which is too bad because this does sound like a good mystery. 🙁
I liked the paranormal aspect, but overall it was a no.
Awww bummer. I hate it when the protagonist starts to get on your nerves because they become so wishy washy. 🙁 I know I bought book one and almost picked this up on Tuesday, kind of glad I didn’t now. I think I will wait for book three to come out and read some of the reviews before I decide if I want to start this series.
I know, I wish she was a kick-ass as she looks on the cover. Ah well.
Felicia S (The Geeky Blogger)
I couldn’t get into the first book so I skipped this one. She does have great covers though and I have heard her other series is fantastic. I just couldn’t connect with the people in this one!
I liked some of the elements in book one, and the little old ladies and case..but this time around..eek gads.
Like you, I thought that the first novel had potential, but in this second installment the protagonists didn’t grow AT ALL. In fact, I think they actually digressed. I found Claire incredibly dense, and I didn’t include that perfume thing in my review that posts next week, but now that you mention it, it was totally creepy! I thought her expectations of Zach were unrealistic too, like she wanted him to confess ALL of his secrets after only a few weeks of dating? Nah-euh. I’m giving up on this one, no book 3 for me.
Agreed, no growth and yep that perfume thing…creepy!
Why do I feel like if I were to start this series i’d just get a super big headache from the characters? *sigh* and yes stealing someones perfume to smell like them is completely and totally wrong. Just no, beyond creepy *shudders*
I had issues in book one, but gave them the benefit of the doubt because of what happen to them Lily..but this time it was annoying. I need kick-ass, strong, confident woman in my UF.
hmm, too bad Kimba, hopefully Claire smartens up in book three
Thanks for your honest review
We shall see Debbie 🙂
Sounds like Clare is kind of inconsistent and doesn’t really stick to her decisions which would lead to a whole source of frustration. Great review Kimba!
No she doesn’t and sadly she made me crazy 🙂
Yeahhh … I wanted to strangle them in the first book, mostly Clare. Good luck with the 3rd, hope it improves. I can’t even bring myself to read this one though.
I was given her some credit in book one, since she really got the shaft with this gift, but gads I wanted to back-slap her in this one.