A Reason to Believe

A Reason to Believe

4.6 9
by Diana Copland

Detective Matthew Bennett doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the spirit of a murdered child leads him to her body, he's shaken to the core—and taken off the case. Unable to explain his vision, or to let go of the investigation, Matthew turns to renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. Though he has doubts about Kiernan's claims to communicate with the dead, Matt


Detective Matthew Bennett doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the spirit of a murdered child leads him to her body, he's shaken to the core—and taken off the case. Unable to explain his vision, or to let go of the investigation, Matthew turns to renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. Though he has doubts about Kiernan's claims to communicate with the dead, Matt is nevertheless drawn to the handsome psychic, who awakens feelings he thought were long-buried.

Haunted by the lingering spirit of the little girl, Kiernan is compelled to aid in the search for her killer. The chance to get closer to the enigmatic Matt is an unexpected bonus. Although Kiernan's been betrayed by people who turned out to be more interested in his fame than in himself, with Matt he's willing to risk his heart. As the two men grow closer, Kiernan helps Matt rediscover that life offers no guarantees—but love offers a reason to believe...

81,000 words

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Carina Press
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A plate of Christmas cookies sat on the polished black marble counter. It was a large white platter populated with yellow stars, Christmas trees with M&M'S for ornaments, and snowflakes thick with white frosting and sparkling with sugary glitter. And angels. Little girl angels with widespread wings and pink robes and curling blond ringlets. They looked like cheerful little cherubim, with their pink cheeks and little red smiles.

Matt Bennett supposed Christmas cookies were an appropriate thing to find on a kitchen counter in the hours before dawn on Christmas. During his own childhood, cookies and milk for Santa had played an important role in the Christmas Eve rituals. But the purpose for his presence made those bright-eyed angels seem faintly macabre.

The call had come in at one-fifty, waking him from the first sound sleep he'd had in days. As his captain filled in the details with typical efficiency, Matt's mood had grown more and more sour. God, he hated cases involving kids. They were the worst. It seemed particularly cruel such a thing should happen on Christmas Eve.

The facts were already in evidence, but it didn't make the investigation any more palatable. Abigail Marie Reynolds, age six, was missing from her parents' home. When they'd put her to bed around nine, she'd been fine. Excited for Christmas morning, she'd taken a while to settle but she'd been sleeping peacefully by eleven when her father peeked in on his way to bed. When her mother got up at one and saw her daughter's door ajar and a light on, she checked the room only to find the pink princess linens and blankets on the floor. The child was nowhere to be found.

Frantic, she woke her husband, and they made an exhaustive search of the house. When it became apparent the little girl was gone, they called the police. At one time, there would have been a twenty-four-hour wait, just to make sure the child hadn't wandered off on her own. Amber alerts had changed all of that. Detectives now knew the first hours were crucial in the recovery of a missing child, and they swung into action immediately. Of course, it didn't hurt that the father of this particular missing girl was also a high-profile defense attorney. The list of suspects among his clients was no doubt a mile long.

Matt leaned against the counter in the large kitchen as his captain and another officer interviewed the parents. They were seated at a gleaming dining room table, the light from the chandelier above unforgiving. The father looked ragged and shell-shocked, and his wife was tearfully repeating her story, twisting a white handkerchief in her hands. On the sideboard behind them, prominently displayed, were several photographs of an angelic little girl with a full head of curling blond hair and a dimpled smile.

Captain Branson questioned them respectfully, but Matt knew what his captain was thinking. In many missing child cases, the parents were involved somehow and almost always were considered the first suspects, at least until sufficient evidence removed them from suspicion. Matt hated it but had been around long enough to know it was more often than not true. Taking in the father's slouched posture and the mother's white-knuckled hands, Matt pitied them. He'd be hard pressed to believe the shattered, frightened people had anything to do with the disappearance of their only child, but he tended to be more compassionate than Branson. Matt admired him as a detective even while not liking him much as a person.

Meet the Author

Diana Copland began writing very bad, overwrought romance in the seventh grade. She wrote for enjoyment until 2009, when she discovered LiveJournal and a group of supportive writers. They convinced her she was no longer awful, and should try her hand at original gay fiction.

Diana lives in eastern Washington with four obnoxious cats, near her two wonderful adult children and her surprisingly supportive parents.

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A Reason to Believe 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Sandra027 More than 1 year ago
Lets start at the beginning. The first chapter is (as the blurb describes) when our MC Matt discovers the body of a murdered child, led there by her ghost. Now obviously this sounds sad to anyone, but the slow and quite way this chapter progresses, as Matt comes to the realization of what's happening (even though we already know) is heartbreaking in a way I can't describe. So you know you're in for it when you're crying in chapter 1. In chapter two we learn more about Matt and his history, and again, the slow reveal of information and just the way it unfolds hits you emotionally without feeling like the author is trying to sucker punch you. It just feels real and sad and true. So I cried some more. Ohmygod have tissues ready with this one! Now in walks Kiernan Fitzpatrick; adorable, funny, bouncy-with-puppy-lik-energy, and surprising deep and caring. There is just no way you can't love him. Both his comedic and emotional/supportive timing is impeccable, Kiernan is very attuned to people and knows just what they need when they need it. He was a perfect match for Matt and it was great to see him bring Matt back around to the land of the living. Some great side character like the sister and sister-in-law, and even Karen Reynolds. YAY for strong female characters in a gay romance! The plot and romance wove together perfectly and felt very well balanced. It had a sweet ending but I felt an epilogue was in order to wrap up a few lose ends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. This is one that i really wish has a sequal. This is a book i will deffinatly read again.
SmittenWithReading More than 1 year ago
My Review: Straight out, I found this book to be much more suspense than romance, although there absolutely is a romantic story line...the suspense is really where the focus in the book remains. And it works because the suspense story line is just as good as the romantic story line. Matt has never believed in ghosts until a six year old little girl leads him to her body on Christmas Eve. He's shocked and, as a result, doesn't hide the fact of how he found her. That's all his Captain needs to put him on administrative leave. His Captain has been out to get him ever since he found out that Matt was gay eighteen months ago, when his partner both in life and on the job was killed. But there are forces, both natural and unnatural, that won't let Matt leave this case alone. One of those happens to be Kiernan, who pulls him aside to give him a message from the 6 yo little girl. From there on, life gets crazy for both these guys as they begin to follow the clues to this little girl's killer. I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a great romantic suspense. I never did figure out all the twists and turns until they were revealed. There was the perfect level of danger and mystery. Add to that....I really loved these characters. You can't help but love Matt and feel for his loss. He and his partner were together for 3 years. It's been 18 months since he died and Matt is still grieving. He hasn't ever even considered dating someone else, so is as shocked as anyone when he feels a pull to Kiernan. And Kiernan....LOVED him! He is such a fun character who has such an incredible zest for life and having fun. He sees dead people...everywhere...and that could weigh heavily on a person, but he doesn't let it. He honestly is just a fun guy (he wears these awesome sarcastic t-shirts and I would love to have some of them) and was such a perfect match for the more serious Matt. I liked them together...and they make a fabulous investigative team. (I'd like to see more books with them doing just that!) I also have to say that I loved the setting. The book takes place in the week between Christmas and New Years. It snows the entire time and just the imagery of that and fireplace-lit nights was beautiful. I like settings that require more cuddling. ;o) BTW, I totally think the author should have this t-shirt made... "I've got to be good for something besides sensational sex." I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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