The Spirit of Love (Available also in the Second Time Around Anthology)
Publisher: Highland Press Publishing
Cover Artist: Leanne Burroughs
Word Count: 12,000
Genre: Paranormal, ghost, contemporary
Price: 99 cents
A tragic accident leaves Brynna and Travis devastated. Instead of turning to each other for comfort, they drift apart. However, they must complete one more assignment—set on an old ship, The Queen Mary, during Yule, one of the most haunted times in the Celtic calendar. It is believed souls of the dead prevail and anam cara—soul friends can visit.
Will Travis and Brynna confront the spirit of love, allowing them a chance to heal and find their way back to each other?
Travis couldn’t believe how Brynna looked—energetic, so alive. She wore her favorite jeans that hugged her in all the right places, and he liked the way the green long-sleeved shirt brought out the color of her eyes. He scrubbed a hand across his face as a dangerous curiosity danced inside him. Why was she here? That hadn’t been part of the plan.
She wore her golden-red hair loose and tumbling carelessly down her back, enticing his fingers to slide through the stands. Blood pounded in his temples as he absorbed the idea of working with her again. He had loved her so much. Who was he fooling? He still loved her. It had been so difficult to let her go, and now she was here, speaking civilly to him—a complete contrast to the last time they ’d spoke.
He accepted the blame for their marriage ending. He’d screwed up big time. The moment he had opened the hotel room door in London, he should have closed it again. Instead, he allowed his loneliness to rule, and invited Tanya in for a nightcap. They polished off two bottles of wine and in the morning he woke up in bed next to her.
He would be the first to admit his guilt , but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember sleeping with her. Making it even worse, he didn’t even like Tanya or her crass ways of doing business. So, he not only hurt the woman he adored, but had insulted another, all in one night.
Tanya couldn’t wait to tell Brynna about the one-night stand. Her way of getting back at him for rejecting her, he supposed. Brynna packed up her belongings and moved out, though mentally she ’d moved out months before that.
“Earth to Travis.” Brynna snapped her fingers. “Quit the daydreaming. We have work to do.”
Travis blinked, coming back to reality and looked at the woman he would always love. God, she was as beautiful as he remembered. Both delicacy and strength were in her face, and her skin held a smooth color of peach-tinted cream. His eyes lingered on her lips. He wanted to reach for her, pull her into his arms, but he hadn’t the right. Not any longer.
“Are you going to help me or not?” She clearly wondered why he was staring at her.
He nodded and set down his camera cases. “I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”
Her brow arched . “I know I haven’t been reliable lately, but we co-own ‘Smith and Jones’ or have you forgotten?”
“No, I haven’t forgotten. I’m just surprised to see you is all. You haven’t joined the team on an assignment in a long time.”
“I wanted to be here for this one. I . . .” Her gaze met his. “I need this.” One shoulder lifted in a shrug. “Is there going to be a problem?”
“Of course not.” He never wanted anything is his life as much as he wanted to work with her one more time.
“Good, because it’s going to be a long night. Who else is showing up?”
His cell vibrated, making him jump. The theme music from the Ghostbusters’ movie broke the silence. He didn’t move.
“Are you going to answer that?”
That snapped him out of his trance. “Yeah, of course.” He walked away as he flipped his phone open. He spoke to the caller briefly then turned to Brynna. “That was Kenneth. The others already said they couldn’t make it, and now Kenneth bailed. He forgot about his nephew’s Christmas concert.” He tried to smile, but it felt more like a grimace. “It’s just you and me, kid. Like old times.” He held his breath waiting for her to respond.
“I’m okay with that. Working together is the one thing we do well.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean it as a dig.” Her chin jutted out with resolve, disproving her statement.
“I guess I deserve it.” He gave her a loose-muscled shrug to show her remark hadn’t hurt, yet her words stung like needles and his voice betrayed him.
Her features softened and she closed the distance between them. Her light caress on his forearm made him flinch and her hand fell away. “I don’t want to fight.”
“I don’t either.” He reached for her, but had second thoughts and shoved his hands in his pockets. “I never meant to hurt you.”
“I know. I didn’t mean to shut you out.”
He swallowed the lump of emotion lodged in his throat.
“Come on.” Her eyes sparkled with the possibility of adventure. “The ghosts are waiting to be found and we have work to do.”
PNR- Paranormal Reviews- After a tragic accident devastates Brynna and Travis’s marriage, they drift apart. But as paranormal investigators, they must complete one more assignment together, on The Queen Mary during Yule, the most haunted time in the Celtic calendar. It is believed that during Yule, anam cara (soul friends) can visit. Will they be able to reconnect and heal the rift between them?
This is a favourite. There was something about the setting, and the concept of anam cara that appealed to me. Travis and Brynna’s backstory—the accident that tore them apart—is touching and devastating at the same time, and I can understand why an accident like that would have torn them apart. There was a twist in the story that I was able to figure out, but the story didn’t end there. Instead, there was another twist that allowed for a happy and positive ending. I thought that both plot twists added to the depth of the story. I thought this was a fantastic read.
4 Stars Night Owl Review- Amazing storyline of love lost and love found in the strangest of places. Brynna and Travis meet again after a separation due to a tragedy in their lives. I must admit I saw this one coming, but I loved the story of haunting pain and forgiveness.
4 Stars Coffee Time Romance- Brynna Jones was a paranormal investigator in San Diego when she first met Travis on a ghost tour. They eventually married, had a son, then complications arose tormenting her soul.
Travis Smith is a certified ghost hunter who fell in love with Brynna and married, forming the Smith and Jones Paranormal Investigations.
It was ten years ago when Brynna and Travis found each other. Three years later, they had a son, but an accident and an affair soon sent their marriage into a separation. Many times Brynna blamed Travis, but in reality, she had never been there for him after the accident. Travis blamed himself for the marriage falling apart. When they are called to handle some business on the Queen Mary, they can only hope love will play a huge part in reuniting them again.
Karen Michelle Nutt fashions a loving story to read again and again. She crafts lovely players that instill just the right amount of paranormal twist to give this reader thought. I love how she spins a tale that stays with the reader once the story is finished.
Brynna and Travis will be in the back of my head when I watch Ghost Hunters.