Emma McVeigh is emotionally adrift. Broken-hearted after her marriage breakup, she has escaped city life and sought solace in a quintessential English village. Allowing herself time to regroup seems like the best course of action right now.
However, the picture-perfect thatched cottage she moves into hides a secret and is not the sanctuary she was hoping for.
Enter her dashing next-door neighbour, Lewis. Charismatic and confident, he seems to be everything Emma wants in a man and she's very attracted to him. But after a drunken one-night stand, he turns out to be not all he seems either.
Can they each face their inner demons and, in doing so, solve the mystery of another lost soul?
Siren Spirit by Elizabeth M Hurst was published on 15 October 2015 via the self-publishing platform CreateSpace, and is the first in a planned series entitled The Lost Souls.
I rarely read self-published books, not because I think that they are inferior in any way, it's just that I have so many review copies of books arrive through the letter-box that I just don't have time to fit them all in. However, when Liz Hurst contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in her book, Siren Spirit, there was something about her email, and the synopsis of her story that attracted me. When I saw the gorgeous cover (other self-published authors, please take note, the cover DOES make a difference), I decided to accept her offer.
Siren Spirit is a novella, the paperback has just 115 pages and it can easily be read in one sitting.
It's a genre defying story really, with a little bit of history mixed with contemporary romance and a dollop of erotica thrown in for good measure. It's also very readable, hugely entertaining and full of nicely created characters.
Beginning in the late 1700s, the reader meets Grace, the daughter of a widowed farmer. Grace is very different to the girls in the village, she's way ahead of her time - strong-headed and wildly in love, and it's that love that will be her downfall.
Fast forward to the modern day, in the same farmhouse and we meet Emma. Emma is mourning the end of her marriage. She's new to the area, she knows nobody, and when she meets Lewis, her next door neighbour she is instantly attracted.
However, as handsome as Lewis is, it is another very unexpected romantic liaison that really affects Emma, and this is when the story takes a twist that I was really not expecting.
I enjoyed Siren Spirit, however, because of the length of the book, there is a lack of depth to some of the characters, yet I'm not sure that there is enough of a story for it to become a full-length novel. Don't let that put any readers off though, it's certainly worth a read and I'll be interested to see what Elizabeth Hurst comes up with for the next book in the series.
My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.
Elizabeth M Hurst hails from West Cumbria in the UK. She was a voracious reader from a very young age but only started writing seriously in 2012 after a friend offered some encouragement.
She now lives in South Warwickshire and Siren Spirit is her first novel.
For more information visit her website www.lizhurst.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter @LizHurstAuthor