When the Dead Speak (Southern Spirits #2) by Bailey Bradford


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The only way to stay alive is to listen when the dead speak…

Sheriff Laine Stenley thinks he might just be losing his mind. Ever since he’d encountered the spirit of his friend’s deceased mother, strange things have been happening. His sheriff’s tin star keeps popping off, his Stetson tends to fly off his head at the most inconvenient times—and then there are the subtle caresses that remind him of a lover’s touch… Something Laine has been without for years—since the violent murder of his partner—and figures to be without well into the future if he wants to retain his position as the sheriff in the small town of McKinton, Texas. Laine doesn’t want to risk his career or his heart ever again, but he may not have a choice, not if he wants to stay alive.

A man who listens to spirits, Severo has come to McKinton to deliver a message of danger. One look at the sexy sheriff and Severo finds himself in a different sort of danger. He’s not ready to find a man who can claim him heart, soul, and body, but ready or not, the attraction that simmers between them is undeniable—and irresistible.

Together, they will race against time, because something evil is coming to McKinton. Severo and Laine must learn to trust each other—and themselves— and listen when the dead speak.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a stand alone. addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16 Angela_s PonderingsTAG

Oh this one was goooood!!! Not only did When the Dead Speak deliver the romance, heat, and appropriate level of conflict I’ve come to appreciate from Bradford’s writing, but the author also served up a serial killer – an unknown, undetected, stalker of a serial killer. So not only was I treated to high levels of sexual tension, but there were also high levels of danger-related tension. And you know what happens when those two combine, don’t you? Oh yeah, my Kindle needed a cigarette a time or two while reading Laine and Sev’s bedroom action.

 

When I finished reading A Subtle Breeze I wanted to dive right into this book, but alas I had to wait a few days. But I queued it up as soon as I could because I wanted Laine’s story. No, I needed Laine’s story. Despite the guilt he’s shouldering over Zeke’s injuries, Laine’s actions made him the hero in my book and I wanted to see him get his chance at romance. Bradford did not disappoint. It seems that Laine’s run-in with Zeke’s mother’s spirit made him more receptive to them and he now has his own spirit making its presence known. Because we didn’t learn Laine’s history in the previous book, readers are at as much of a loss to the spirit’s identity as Laine is – or as Laine wants to be because he’s not sure his heart can take it if his suspicions are proven correct. But Laine’s spirit experience proves to be vital in his accepting Sev at face value when he finds out why the man has made his way to McKinton. And I have to say that Sev’s first impression was one of the best I’ve read in a long time. I only wish I could have seen Doreen give Irma the smack down she deserved.

 

I quite enjoyed the dual conflicts that Sev and Laine experienced as they got to know one another. The relationship angle with Sev’s personal hesitations and Laine’s concerns about his career provided an appropriate level of relationship conflict without getting too angsty. The criminal element involving the murder of Laine’s former lover Conner and Laine being hunted by a serial killer led to some extremely intense moments as Laine’s would-be stalker got too close more than once. That the author chose to have the reader learn details at the same time as Laine learned them kept those tensions high and had me on edge multiple times, especially after some of the details surrounding Conner’s murder were revealed. I absolutely loved the Epilogue and was glad to see how accepting of Conner’s continued presence Sev was. I haven’t sneaked a peek yet to find out who the next book in the series is about, but I have a pretty good idea based on how When the Dead Speak ended as to who it is – so I’m about to take advantage of being a teensy bit ahead on my reading schedule and I’m going to delve into All of the Voices next.

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