Friday, June 3, 2011

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

Disclaimer: I received a copy for review from Netgalley

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mystery
Pub Date: 4/19/11
Buy link: The Restorer (Graveyard Queen)
Author's Website

The Restorer took me by surprise. This was a much darker, sexier and sinister read than I had been expecting. At first I had some trouble with the mythos of this world. I didn't completely understand why things were the way they were, but as the story unfolded it became a bit clearer. Quite honestly, the dark, eerie and sexy quality of the story put me into a place where I didn't really care if it all made sense or it all my questions were answered. It was like a warm, sultry Southern night where you wake the next morning and wonder if it was all dreams or....if it was real and you're not sure which answer you'd prefer.

There was so much going on in this story, so many undercurrents. We had Devlin and his ghosts (both real and emotional) and we had the mystery surrounding him, we had the mystery of the murders and several characters that may or may not be tied to it, then we have the mystery of the supernatural and what is going on with that world and ours and why the rules that Amelia have lived by for so long no longer seem to be enough to protect her. Amelia's family seems to have their own secrets as well and Amelia needs to know the truth. It was like she was wading through a world of dreams and nightmares of lies and half-truths and I was hooked wanting to know just what was going on. In some ways this story could seem convoluted and confusing, but it was written well enough and the threads were all woven together to make it a cohesive and rather fascinating story.

The Restorer really didn't read like a romance to me, in that there was very little romantic interaction between Devlin and Amelia, but the interaction they did have was so full of tension and yearning that mixed with an all around intriguing story, I was hooked. The ending left me on pins and needles to find out what is going to happen next. I can't wait to revisit this world and these characters and discover all of their secrets.

Final Grade: B+


SusiSunshine said...

This really sounds a bit eery and I really like the sultry Southern night comparison. *G* Never heard of this one before but it seems it is definitely worth further investigation. Great review hon!

Anonymous said...

Great review!! I enjoyed this one so much! So haunting and talk about a tortured Hero. Can't wit for the next one!!

The Queen B said...

@Susi- Why thankya, ma'am ;)
You really should check it out. You should also go read Tori's review over at Smexybooks. She seems to have felt much the same way I did and she summed it up great when she described this book as very "Southern Gothic."

@Pam- I cannot wait for the next one. I read some of the excerpt and description up at the author's site and it looks like there's a new love interest and plenty of eerie mystery. Can't wait!!

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