Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Review: First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)
By: Darynda Jones
Published By: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 2011
Page Count: 310
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Library
Audience: Paranormal Romance, Mystery

It took me awhile to read these because of the titles and I'm not really a huge romance novel reader, but I kept seeing good things about this series. I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try. Just to be safe - I opted to go the library route. I didn't want to spend money on this series until I was positive it was one that I wanted to stick with until the end. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved spending time with Charley and Reyes AND that the steamy scenes made me blush, but didn't cause me to close the book and walk away. First Grave on the Right is just the right amount of smut laced through an amazing story with witty, memorable characters.

Charley Davidson isn't your average twenty something female - she's a Grim Reaper. The dead people that constantly loiter on the Earth are a constant thorn in her side. Who wouldn't look a little odd talking to people that nobody else can see? Charley's task is to help these people tie up their loose ends and then cross over. However, more than a few spirits, have no desire to leave this realm for the next so there is always someone to keep Charley company. I really enjoyed the spirits in this one and Charley's interaction with them. 

One of the best things about this book is Charley. She is such a strong and lovable heroine. She's sassy and has a mouth on her that cracks me up. Her wit and sarcasm lured me in from the beginning chapter. I wanted to know this woman and spend more time in her world. Did I also mention that Charley has no sense of self preservation and barrels head first into a variety of conflicts? She is not one of those meek damsels in distress. No, not our Charley, she's more likely to kick ass and take names later.

Another addictive element to this story is Reyes. I don't want to give anything away about his background, but the man is HOT. He's moody, dangerous, and one hell of a kisser. His relationship with Charley is steamy enough to scorch your fingers as you turn the pages.

What truly makes this read compelling is that the story is not sacrificed for the romance elements. Those elements are there and are integral to the part, but they aren't just thrown in to give the reader a few hot flashes. I hate romance novels that focus only on the sex; I need a good story line to keep me invested.

Kudos to Darynda Jones - I was blown away when I learned that this was her debut novel. Her style is witty, addicting, and suspenseful. The dialogue in this one is some of the best I have read. I can't wait to get my hands on the other Charley novels and to see what Jones will come up with next.

One Last Gripe: I have no complaints. I LOVED this book.

My Favorite Thing About The Book: The humor

First Sentence: I'd been having the same dream for the past month - the one where a dark stranger materialized out of smoke and shadows to play doctor with me.

Favorite Character: Charley

Least Favorite Character: Charley's Stepmother

A 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.
This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.


  1. I've seen this series around Goodreads, but I'm very picky about reading romance books because I definitely need a strong plot in addition to any kind of smut. And the covers kind of threw me. But I'm going to look into this one. :) Thanks for the great review!

  2. @Randi - I am the same way. I hate books that sacrifice the plot and good writing for the smut. Its just not for me. I also wasn't a fan of the covers for this series, but I promise you that the book is way better than the cover would lead you to believe. Charley is awesome! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you get around to reading this one. :)


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