Review: Eleventh Grave in the Moonlight by Darynda Jones

Reviewed by Jen

Somehow Darynda Jones manages to up the stakes with every single installment of this series. I will admit, there have been times that the shockers or cliffhangers frustrated me. But not this time. The end of this book left me hungry for more. I am already anxiously awaiting 12th Grave to see where the story goes next.

But I suppose I should back up and talk about what happened before the last few pages. This series lost a little something for me in the installment where Charley had amnesia. The book after that was an improvement and this one has all of the magic of my favorites in the series. Sometimes it takes me a minute to reacclimate to just how snarky and out there Charley’s internal dialogue is. But as I sink back into it, I really do enjoy her silliness and irreverence. That’s especially true now in juxtaposition to the power she has turned out to be. [Read more…]

Review: The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

curse of tenth graveReviewed by Jen

After a disappointing ninth installment, I’m happy to say that the Charley Davidson series got a healthy dose of its shine back for me with this book. Everything I love about the series is back. Charley is still irreverent and funny. Reyes is sexy and broody. Cookie is charming. There are cases to solve and people to save. And the tone is light and engaging, without ever letting us forget the serious stakes that lie underneath. Add to all of that, the series arc is advancing. Lingering questions are answered. And the ending totally rocks. [Read more…]

Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

dirt on ninth graveReviewed by Jen

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I love this series. I love the characters. The wit. The charm. The sexy and smoldering Reyes Farrow. And you can find all of those things in this book. So on one hand, I enjoyed it. I laughed. And I quickly warmed to amnesiac Charley, who –despite her memory loss– is essentially the same loveable person she has been since book 1. The problem is that this book felt like total filler. Other than a couple of revelations at the very end, it’s essentially a prop to get us from the explosive ending of Eighth Grave to whatever is coming next. A fact which I found both disappointing and frustrating. [Read more…]

Review: Brighter Than the Sun by Darynda Jones

brighter than the sunReviewed by Jen

Fans of the Charley Davidson series know that Reyes Farrow has not had an easy life.  We’ve seen little glimpses here and there over the course of the past eight books. But there is knowing, and there is knowing. This novella doesn’t wallow in his misery, but any story about Reyes and his life is going to be tough. And believe me, it is.

Basically, the story begins with Reyes as a child, as he remembers the first time he laid eyes on Charley. It follows him as he grows, juxtaposing the horrors of his real life, with the escape she brings him. It’s heartbreaking to see her as a fantasy in his eyes. A small slice of beauty that is so foreign to his existence that he is convinced he made her up. [Read more…]

Review: Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

eighth graveReviewed by Jen

So much happens in this book. So many question are answered. So many things we have been anxiously awaiting finally come to pass.  It’s got everything I’ve been waiting for… and some things I never expected.  It’s a great story with a fast pace, Charley’s trademark humor, and plenty of feels.  It also has an ending that is not only a cliffhanger, but could create some mixed feelings among fans. [Read more…]

Giveaway: Charley Davidson series

If you follow my reviews or my Twitter feed, you know I am a big fan of the Charley Davidson series. The latest installment, Eighth Grave After Dark, is out next week –and it’s sure to get fans talking.

In honor of the new release, St. Martin’s Press has a great giveaway: the complete Charley Davidson series and a branded coffee mug and Grim Reaper nail decals.

MugNailSeriesPrize

If you don’t know much about the series, here are the deets on book 1:

Introduction to the series:

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper..

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

CompleteSeriesIf you’re already a fan, don’t miss what happens in Eighth Grave. I’ve read it and it’s a doozy.

eighth graveSometimes I wonder if the purpose of my life
is to serve as a cautionary tale to others.
–T-shirt

Charley Davidson has enough going on without having to worry about twelve hellhounds hot on her trail. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape onto our plane, and they’ve made Charley their target. And so she takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Of course, if hellhounds aren’t enough, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent.

Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley’s tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full…but also tied. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds. Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they’re a scrappy bunch who won’t let a few thirsty hellhounds deter them.

While the team scours the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, for a way to kill them or at least send them back to hell, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. Their presence is comforting. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life…

To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter form below. It’s open to US Residents only.

[Read more…]

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

seventh grave and no bodyReviewed by Jen

I worship at the altar of Darynda Jones. The Charley Davidson series is one that is guaranteed to make me laugh, keep me guessing, and light my fire, all at the same time. At a point when so may series would have faltered by now, gone stale, or jumped the shark, this seventh installment is just as irreverent, smart, sexy, and funny as ever.  Maybe even more so.  And it’s building toward something I never could have predicted back at the beginning. [Read more…]

Giveaway: Sixth Grave on the Edge

sixth

Charley Davidson fans, listen up! Sixth Grave on the Edge is out tomorrow, and we’ve got a sneak peek for you. Check out this fabulous excerpt and enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a copy!

 

SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE-Excerpt

 

Chapter One

A blank is the only thing I draw well.

—T-shirt

 

“A girl, a mocha latte, and a naked dead man walk into a bar,” I said, turning to the naked dead man sitting in my passenger’s seat. The elderly naked dead man who’d been riding shotgun in my cherry red Jeep Wrangler, aka Misery, for two days now. We were on a stakeout. Sort of. I was staking out a Mr. and Mrs. Foster, so I was definitely on a stakeout. No idea what Naked Dead Man was on. Considering the fact that he looked about 112, probably blood thinners. Cholesterol medication. And, judging from the state of his manhood, which I couldn’t stop seeing every single time I turned toward him, Viagra. If I were to hash-tag that moment, my status would read something like #impressed. [Read more…]

Review: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones

sixth graveReviewed by Jen

I loved 99% of this book.  It’s funny and irreverent.  The world-building is awesome. The characters are engaging.  And the plot is completely entertaining.  It was a great book. But that one percent that didn’t work for me was pretty significant. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

If you haven’t read the previous books in this series, stop here.  You need to start with First Grave on the Right.  This review will reference spoilers from the previous books. [Read more…]

Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light


Reviewed by Jen

Every time I return to this series after several months away, I am immediately sucked right back in to all the things I love about it.  It’s funny. So, so funny.  The plot is complex, but woven together so well it reads effortlessly.  The romance is smoking hot; the hero: sexy, powerful and loyal.  And Charley?  She is as amazing as ever… a fascinating mix of strength and vulnerability, wrapped in a goofy exterior, completely void of a filter.

This book picks up just a couple of weeks after the events of Fourth Grave.  Reyes is living next door to Charley, a constant source of temptation, but she is afraid he is the person setting fires to buildings around towns. After all, they are all places from his past.  And he isn’t helping her resolve, because he is making no secret of the fact that he wants her.

In the meantime, Charley is working a case.  This one seems pretty simple, catching a cheating husband in the act. But as with all the books in the series, Charley’s PI work is secondary to her job as the grim reaper. In that role, she is being swamped by dozens of dead blonde women who are too traumatized to speak. She needs to figure out who killed them, in the hopes that justice will help them find peace.

Meanwhile, fellow PI Swopes is working to unravel the mysteries of Charley’s (and Reyes’) existence. His trip to Hell may have been short, but it left a big impression. I love how Darynda Jones continues to reveal pieces of the bigger picture throughout the books.  Every installment, we learn more.

I loved how the plot all came together.  Darynda drops these little breadcrumbs along the way –and a red herring or two– always keeping you guessing.  Once you get to the end, you don’t see it coming, but it all makes so much sense, you’re kicking yourself for not seeing it sooner. Brilliant!

Of course, the romance is just as exciting as solving the mystery and the mountain of danger. The sexual dynamic between Charley and Reyes is completely off the charts.  The temperature in the room goes up every time they are together. And when they are in the bedroom… wow.  I was completely satisfied with the romantic element of the book.  Their relationship has so many facets to it, and even after five books, they are nowhere close to boring. It feels like the rug can come out from under them at any moment.

Speaking of which… my only complaint… there is a pretty big revelation about Charley and Reyes half way through the book.  One that I will absolutely not spoil. And I waited, terrified, to see how it all would play out.  Only, it doesn’t. The thread is completely dropped, seemingly to be continued in Sixth Grave.    You don’t just drop a bomb like that and then ignore it!!

PS — The last line of the book is a total jaw-dropper.  How am I going to wait until 2014?

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by St Martin’s Press

Click to purchase: Amazon
Fifth Grave Past the Light
by Darynda Jones
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: St Martin’s Press