Title: The Reason is You
Author: Sharla Lovelace
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Description/Synopsis: Anything but Normal... Dani Shane just wants her daughter to have what she never did--a normal life. But "normal" leaves the equation when sixteen-year-old Riley is found talking to Dani's only friend, Alex--who's been dead for forty years. In the small river town of Bethany, Dani never fits in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn't stop the talk. Now that she's back, so is Alex. Mischievous and sexy and still hot enough to melt her shoes.
Between his popping in at inopportune moments and having to hide her daughter's new talent, Dani fears that her plans for staying under the radar may be short lived. As Dani scrambles to get solid footing under her family, secrets buried for forty years begin to unearth themselves. She and Alex have always been connected, but he is hiding something. The computer is making her hear things. Weird memories that she doesn't recognize keep popping up in her mind. Then there's that little thing she's not telling her daughter yet. Like that some of the people she sees aren't breathing...
WARNING - SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT - REVIEW BELOW
I've been on a roll lately picking up some really great books. I picked up this one in a Goodreads Giveaway back in April, and just now got around to reading it at the end of May... but already wish I'd picked it up sooner. I really enjoyed this book. The Reason is You is a Contemporary/Paranormal/Romance book about a 40-yr old woman named Dani. She's reached a point in her life where all her best-laid plans to have a professional career and live in a big city have fallen to pieces, and out of options, she moves back home to her father's house in-the-middle-of-nowhere with her teenage daughter, Riley.
Unfortunately, this is a bit of a traumatizing experience for the mother. She has a bit of a reputation in her hometown for being crazy--and going back, she's terrified that she'll be reliving the nightmare of her youth, as well as dragging her daughter into this fresh hell.
What Dani hasn't told her daughter, hasn't told anyone, is that she can see ghosts--all the time--and back home there's one in particular she's both eager, and terrified to see. What ensues is a deliciously funny and romantic story about a girl who fell in love with two people at the same time... unfortunately, one of them is dead.
The writing itself is clear, well written, and flows nicely. I never felt like it was a chore to read or that the writing quality had dipped down into pre-teen dribble as sometimes happens in romance novels. In fact, I have to hand it to Ms. Lovelace. Her characters were extremely well written. They each had their own unique personality and goals, and it didn't feel like they were being railroaded into any situations like so often happens. Riley, the teenage daughter, felt like a real 16 yr old, and the banter between mother and daughter sometimes had me grinning. There was this very real connection between the two that left me no doubt in my mind that Dani and Riley were meant to be mother and daughter. They felt like family.
As for the male love interests, I'm not entirely sure what was up with Jason. I liked him as a character. He was brooding, but excited to be in a relationship with Dani, and he seemed to really love her... but his constant mood switches from robot to man were confusing, not only to me, but to Dani as well. It was never really explained why he seemed so bipolar, maybe that was just his personality, but it was nice to see that as the female lead, Dani didn't understand it either. She didn't try to make excuses for his weird behavior, she stopped and went "WTF?" too.
On the other side of the male interest duo, Alex made me want to squeal. He was the quintessential teenage dream... an older guy, sexy as hell, who was not only Dani's best friend, but basically only seemed to care about her. She was the only one who could see him for most of her life, and it gave her a sense of claim over him. The dream sequence over Alex as just... yum. In the end when it came down to a decision between Alex and Jason, I have to admit I was riding Alex's side of the fence. It was a bittersweet situation when it came down to Dani having to choose one of the males in her life, and letting the other go.
Overall, I found the romance of the book endearing, funny, and steamy at times. There weren't a lot of sex scenes in this particular book, but the few that there were, were H-O-T and won't disappoint. I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a good ole romantic ghost story. It's full of twists and turns, hilarious dialog, and endearing moments between the many characters. Give it a try.