The Summoning

Tatiana Caldwell
The Summoning
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Liquid Silver Books
Release Date
February 2011
Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Gailyn Bridges is a psychic who is ready to end her troublesome career as a private investigator. For the last time, she summons a powerful spirit to help her close a final case.

However, the mysterious entity who answers, Malak, is no ordinary spirit. He's more than willing to help Gailyn save the would-be victim of a violent crime.

But who's going to save Gailyn when Malak returns to collect payment for lending her his power?

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Apr 07, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
282 people found the following review helpful
This short story was phenomenal. I say that as someone who is not typically a short story reader. It usually takes me a little while to become invested in the plots and characters of whatever I'm reading, and by the time I really get involved in a short story, the action is over. In this case, I am delighted to say, I was hooked from the first few paragraphs. The pacing was perfect, with very well-developed characters and some really ingenious paranormal elements that kept me enthralled from beginning to end, and really impressed at the amount of magic that could fit into about forty pages.

Gailyn Bridges need a break. As a psychic who makes a living by ‘seeking', or locating the missing, she's seen more than her fair share of pain and violence over the years. On top of that, she is becoming increasingly concerned by the presence of a spirit that doesn't seem at all willing to leave her alone—watching her by day, and sharing in some particularly vivid dreams by night.

Aware of the toll such a life is taking on her and hoping to move from the city as soon as she can, Gailyn agrees to take on an assignment for a very wealthy client whose girlfriend has vanished. In order to track the woman down, Gailyn calls on her spirit guide for what she hopes is the last time…

What she realizes, however, is that the entity that has been protecting her and aiding her psychic abilities is no mere spirit. Malak is a demon, and a particularly powerful one at that. For years he has guided her, gaining strength from their connection, and, gradually, coming to care enough for Gailyn that he is willing to reveal himself to her. Now, Gailyn finds herself faced with a heartbreaking decision: turn away from Malak, and thus give up most of her psychic gifts, as well as his companionship, or embrace life with a demon at her side, and accepting all the dangers, as well as all the pleasure, that such a life can bring.

I truly enjoyed this story. Gailyn and Malak have an explosive chemistry together, but there was also a deep emotional bond that developed between, so that their scenes together were that much more intense. The world-building elements gave the story a really interesting depth, making a great tale thought provoking, as well.

Without giving too much away, my inner History Geek was thrilled with the details of Malak's damnation and the explanation he gave for his time spent in Hell—if possible, it made me love him even more. I was a bit taken aback by one of the final plot twists, but looking back on it, it made good sense in context. Given the circumstances, I don't know if I would handle the situation as gracefully as did Gailyn, but it by no means diminished my satisfaction at the story's conclusion.

Ultimately, this story had it all—a fantastically matched pair of characters, some fascinating paranormal elements, suspense, danger, and plenty of humor. I'd love to have a novel-length version (or a series!) of Gailyn and Malak's adventures, but for purely selfish reasons. This was an expertly crafted short-story that kept me spellbound for every delicious page.
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