Review: Sleep With the Lights On by Maggie Shayne

Posted January 16, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 8 Comments

Review: Sleep With the Lights On by Maggie ShayneSleep With the Lights On by Maggie Shayne
Series: Brown and de Luca #1
Published by Harlequin MIRA on September 24, 2013
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Goodreads

Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull. Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders crimes she soon learns are all too real.

Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.(

The set up
Rachel Mason went blind when she was 12-years old. A chance encounter with Detective Mason Brown led to her receiving his dead brother’s corneas. What first seems like an incredible gift turns into a nightmare when Rachel begins having disturbing visions. Mason is keeping a terrible secret about his brother and has a tough choice to make as he realizes there’s a connection between the organ donation and Rachel’s visions.

What works about this story
Connections between recipients of organ transplants and their donors have been written about before but this one has a slightly different twist to make it a standout. On top of that, Rachel’s snarky humor and clever banter made this story a fun, though macabre read. Shifts between her first-person narrative and others’ points of view were transitioned pretty smoothly and I liked having the multiple perspectives. It wasn’t terribly mysterious but it was suspenseful and a little bizarre. Oh, and Rachel has a dog named Myrtle that steals just about every scene she’s in.

The romance
Rachel and Mason’s relationship seemed to just evolve without much depth. While I liked both, I never felt a strong bond between the two and it was the one weakness of the story. If you approach this story as a paranormal mystery with romantic elements, I think it will better meet your expectations. Their romance was just never a significant aspect of the book as they seemed more like partners.

The bottom line
I really enjoyed this book in spite of the tepid romance. The paranormal aspects are creepy in a really good way and Rachel’s sense of humor adds to the quirky tempo. I’m glad this is a series because I want more of her and this weird phenomena.


About Maggie Shayne

Maggie Shayne is best known as the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels, nearly 30 novellas, a former soap writer, (The Guiding Light, As the World Turns,) a former advice columnist (Shayne on You,) and RITA Award winner. But what’s less known about her is that she’s been a practicing Witch for almost as long as she’s been a published author.

Known within the Craft of the Wise as LadyHawk the Mythmaker, Maggie studied in the Black Forest Circle Seminary for three years, earning her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree elevations there. A licensed minister of Wicca, Maggie was later made a Craft Elder, and co-founded a new Wiccan tradition called RavenMyst Circle. Her coven, The Coven of the Redtail Hawk, turned out five new high priestesses, several of whom went on to form covens of their own, and making Maggie, according to the Old Ways, A Witch Queen.

While The Portal series is entirely fictional, and necessarily brimming with special effects, any portions of the stories pertaining to the actual practices and teachings of witchcraft are entirely authentic. Due to the oathbound nature of some Wiccan rites several of the spells and other rituals, particularly rituals of Initiation and elevation, have been altered, abbreviated, or are deliberately vague. These rites are revealed only to Initiated Witches who reach the appropriate levels of study in traditional Wiccan Covens.

If learning about real witchcraft is your goal, I’ll soon be releasing a nonfiction book, The Magick of the Witches, on that very topic. (Watch this site.) In the meantime, I strongly recommend books by Silver RavenWolf, Scott Cunningham, Dorothy Morrison, Gail Wood, and others, which will give you all the information you need to to decide if it’s the path for you, and to begin your own solitary practice.

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Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

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