Valerian Howell has no intention of using the Spirit skills she was born with, until she stands over the body of another spirit worker at a murder scene.

Then it's either use those skills or get flattened, with the dubious help of an irritatingly attractive coworker-turned-bodyguard who just might be working for her enemies. More

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About Lauren Ritz

Lauren Ritz was born in Utah and continues to reside there, somewhat to the chagrin of those who know her well. She is commonly known as a walking insane asylum (just ask her) and a compulsive gardener.

She began writing at the age of six with a “journal entry” about aliens flying through her bedroom window and landing on her wall.  She tried to start earlier, but was handicapped by the fact that she couldn't draw well enough.

She lives in Utah with bats in her attic, a cat named Darth Vader and too many books to count. She is a wannabe herbalist, but the herbs stay outside for the most part. Most of her plants are domesticated varieties and housebroken.

No, she does not talk to the plants, but they talk to her. Luckily she's hard of listening.

Writing is her love and her lifelong obsession, taking up the majority of her time when she isn't involved in other less compelling interests. 

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Laura Bastian reviewed on June 29, 2013
(no rating)
Spirit by Lauren Ritz
This was a very fast and fun read. It's not long, but not short either. Just right for a quick escape in to a different world with not really magic, but spirit. The premise of the story is a young woman who was raised in a world where physics and seers, and people who can see your spirit were once outcasts and not trusted or even considered real and now they actually have jobs with the police, and medical examiners and doctors as well as dream parlors and places where you can get your future told. Val works at an office by day, and freelances as a Spirit Worker helping the police with cases that they just can't get the full picture on. She is a very powerful spirit reader and can see things others can't but because she was raised by a very well know spirit reader she's a little leery of the life and the scrutiny of the sensitive so she doesn't let people know of her talent to see spirits.
In one of these cases, she gets involved in something she thought was just another suicide, but it turns out it was murder with a history going back decades. Val is annoyed when a hot coworker Ethan turns out to be a former sensitive who had lost his powers, but is now "on the case" to work with her in helping to keep her safe. Through their experience they come to develop a relationship.
I would have loved to see the relationship between Val and Ethan built up a little more in this, but it's also fun to let myself imagine how things progress for them after the author wraps it up. (might be the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars) Very clean in the romance department.
The fantasy or paranormal aspect of this story was lots of fun too. It's not technically magic, but it was still really magical to me. I loved the descriptions and how the spirit is damaged and shows signs of mistreatment and the state of a person's spiritual health. And the soul was a separate thing. The story didn't go into any religion of any kind, but I loved having it brought out that actions by yourself as well as others really can affect your inner self.
It was only sort of difficult to get into this world because of the use of spirit and sensitives and spirit eyes, being terms that were strange at first, but the world was so well built, I could totally see myself stepping into it. If you are into fantasy and paranormal, this would be an excellent read for you.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

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