Entwine Gives Life to the Paranormal
Last year, around the same time Jason Kilgore contacted me to review his anthology Around the Corner from Sanity, a sweet, young woman by the name of Tracey Shearer emailed me about her novel Entwine. Like Mr. Kilgore, she sent me a link to her book, so I could check it out to see if I wanted to review it or not. Once I saw the cover, that her book included ghosts and serial killers, and that it was based in Scotland, I was sold! Upon reading it, I became enamored at how she created this world filled with the paranormal, special abilities, and love.
What is Entwine About?
Entwine mainly follows Samantha Eveline Hamilton – since it’s written in the third-person perspective – as she journeys back home to Scotland to face some obstacles in her life. One was facing her friends, Kate and Beth, as she lost contact with them years ago. The other was regaining her special abilities after she decided to “let them go” when she was a teenager. What are her special abilities you ask? Oh, that she can see and talk to ghosts and help them move on. Sam's also known as “the necromancer.” Kate and Beth have abilities as well. Kate can see into the future (and the past) while Beth can find objects ghosts are looking for. When they were younger, they were inseparable. They even made a blood pact to always be there for each other.
However, after the death of Sam’s parents, when they were around thirteen years old, something happened. Sam and Kate stayed in touch (on and off), but Sam and Beth lost their friendship because of what Beth did at Sam’s parents funeral.
What did she do? Read to find out.
Now, the reason for Sam returning home was to help her friend, Kate with her bed and breakfast; it was haunted by a poltergeist, or “geist” as they called it. However, there’s a lot more to it. First, as Sam prepared to leave for Scotland, she met her first ghost in over a decade, Lord Robert Grenning. He was wrongly accused of a murder in 1790 and wants Sam to help him not only clear his name, but his family’s name as well. Then, upon arriving to Kate’s B&B, Sam finds out Beth will be joining them to help out. Lastly, Sam learns there’s a serial killer on the loose who’s killing women that look exactly like Kate. Unfortunately, her best friend could be next.
Sam has a lot on her plate, but the adventure she goes on and the relationship she develops with Robert helps her – and Kate and Beth – grow to be better and stronger than what they were.
Are You a Believer?
I’m sure a lot of this sounds incredulous to some, but to me it was rather believable. I do believe in ghosts and the paranormal. I also believe there are people with special abilities who can see, talk to, and even help ghosts or who can see the past and/or the future. The love story between a human and a ghost may be a little out there, but who doesn’t love a good romance?! I feel this book is perfect for anyone who believes in the paranormal, is fascinated by the concept of the paranormal, or is looking for a good romance to read and be jealous of.
What I Liked About Entwine?
As I stated earlier, Entwine is written in third-person, so there are many characters named throughout, but Ms. Shearer does an amazing job of making sure you don’t get lost or confused. Each character – whether major or minor – plays an important role in telling the story, especially the minor characters. We may have our main characters in Sam, Kate, Beth, and Robert, but it’s the other characters – Beatrice, Caleb, Michael, Logan, Graham, and the list goes on – who are giving the main characters life. Who are really bringing them forth. Never underestimate the power of a “minor” character! That was one of the things I loved about this book.
The Relationship Between Robert and Sam
Another was how Ms. Shearer ended each chapter with a cliffhanger. You needed to continue to the next one, even if it was three in the morning and your alarm was about to go off in like an hour. However, one of the main elements I loved about Entwine was the romance (the "forbidden" romance) between Sam and Robert. As I started reading the book, I was instantly reminded of the movie Romancing the Stone as Samantha is a best-selling author who just can’t find the right man to make her happy. Then she falls in love with a ghost, something she has despised most of her life as she considers her abilities to be a curse, not a gift.
As I continued reading, though, I realized it reminded me more of fairy tales like Beauty & The Beast or Cinderella since their love was considered “forbidden”. Belle shouldn’t have fallen in love with The Beast. The Prince shouldn’t have fallen in love with a peasant. But in the end, they did and lived happily ever after.
Now, I’m not going to say if Robert and Sam go on to live happily ever after. But I will say this…Sam shouldn’t be able to touch Robert, but she does. She even says to herself, after squeezing Robert’s hand, “Wait a second, you can’t be a ghost. I can touch you. I can’t touch ghosts.”
For a minute, she thought when she met him it was a dream, but it was all reality. How's she able to touch him and he’s able to touch her? Again, read to find out.
"Steamy Scenes" Between Robert and Sam
Plus, for those of you who like “steamy scenes” in a story, you get a couple of those between Sam and Robert in Entwine, and they’re extremely well-done. The description Ms. Shearer gave wasn’t graphic at all. It wasn’t like watching an X-rated film; she did it tastefully and artfully. I mean you know and understand what they’re doing without Ms. Shearer having to be explicit about it. I would give an example, but I don’t want to offend anybody who might not be into that.
Something else I loved about this book was the description Ms. Shearer gave throughout. She wrote the story so vividly. She gave inanimate objects life and she made you feel like you were there watching everything happen. For example, whenever Sam, Kate, and Beth performed a séance or a ritual, Ms. Shearer drew it out and described it in such a way you not only felt like you're there with them, but you're going through it as well. This also helped to learn more about the characters: their strengths, their weaknesses, their past, etc.
Here are some examples:
“Finally, the line ebbed, and Sam walked over to the picture window at the side of the stone. She looked out at the Kingston streets. Cobblestones erupted here and there from within the cracked concrete. Though the sun had set, an orange glow hovered about the deep purple sky. The warmth of the June day still remained, heating her skin through the window the longer she gazed.”
"With her dark stockings bagging around her knees, laces missing from one shoe, and her brown hair curling madly about her face, Patty embodied wild nature trapped in a seven-year-old frame.”
“She placed her hand on top of theirs, and a charge ran through Sam like it had in the kitchen. But it felt more like subtle heat than electricity this time. Something shifted inside Sam, like chains stretching toward Kate and Beth. Chains which had rusted from years of disuse, being forged again with new energy, new power, new determination.”
“A liquid rush of warmth flowed over her skin, sinking through her in the way she imagined sunlight felt to the plants and trees. Life-giving.”
Lastly, one of the final elements that I loved about this story was how Ms. Shearer made you feel while reading Entwine. There were times I laughed, there were times I cried, and there were times I felt for the characters…or wanted to kill them. For example, the first time I read Robert’s nickname, “hunky, hunky Robert”, I laughed so hard and fell in love with the nickname.
I have mentioned in past reviews, like Things, my love for reading novels where you get emotionally involved with or attached to the characters. You feel for them, you cry with them, you yell at them, or you cheer them on. I seriously love stories like that because it feels like you’re connecting with the characters. You think they're real people and I definitely felt that with Entwine. For instance, when Patty, Kate’s youngest daughter, revealed to Sam that she can “feel” things, she cried to Sam. Patty said she could’ve saved her father, Kate’s late husband, Paul, because she had a feeling something bad was going to happen to him. She also had the same bad feeling about her mom. I was literally crying along with Patty.
Some Other Examples
Or when Kate was trying to help resolve the torn relationship between Beth and Sam. For a second, you thought things were better. However, when Sam said to Beth, “…I’m really glad you’re here,” Beth replied, “Of course you are. You need someone to boss around and do your heavy lifting, right?”
My mouth fell to the floor. I thought, “Wow! Beth is a…” Well, I think you know what word goes there. But as you continue reading, you learn more about Beth and what happened between her and Sam and you start to understand her more and feel for her.
Another great example is when Sam figures out what the serial killer is saying to his victims as he's strangling them. I literally screamed out “Holy sh…!” when I read it. Lastly, when Sam notices Robert is becoming “more human” – even though he’s a ghost – she doesn’t want anything more to happen to him, so she tells him to stay away from her until they figure it out. Robert responded with, “Please…We can solve this puzzle together. Do not turn away from me.” My heart broke when I read that line. I felt so bad for Robert.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Entwine by Tracey Shearer. As I stated earlier, if you believe in the paranormal, if the concept of ghosts and the paranormal fascinates you, or if you love romance stories mixed with thrills and suspense, then you will love this book. By the way, this is actually book one in a trilogy, so be on the look out for book two. I cannot wait for its release! To learn more about Tracey Shearer and her book(s), please visit her website.
Policies & Disclosures
Please remember I am not getting paid to write this review. I am just a fan and fellow author helping out another great author. To learn more, please check out my Policy page. Also, I would love to hear what you think of this review and of the book, if you’ve read it. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my copy of Entwine by Tracey Shearer. The second is my “signature photo”, me with my copy of this fascinating novel.
**This post was originally published on April 23, 2020**