Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen Series - Book #1) - By Amanda Stevens

Release Date: 4/19/2011
Publisher: Mira

Never acknowledge the dead

Never stray far from hallowed ground

Never associate with those who are haunted

Never, ever tempt fate.

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--like 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.


This book had me hooked from the beginning! It's so hard to find a book that depicts ghosts so well. They're either SUPER eerie or trying to maintain an impossible love relationship with the main character. In Amelia's world she's one of the few who can see them, and she's doing EVERYTHING possible to make sure they don't know that. Her father's rules have stuck with her throughout the years, giving her the strength to keep going and providing the foundation that she bases her life on. While starting the restoration of a college cemetery in North Carolina, murder stops her progress before she can even really begin.
Stumbling upon an unearthed body generally comes with the territory when you're a cemetery restorer....but when it is a fresh murder victim, that's a whole different ball game.

Amelia is out of place in this investigation, but as the only person who knows what condition the cemetery was in and possibly where things were before the body was dumped, she feels it's a duty to help. But in doing that it's requiring her to work side by side with detective John Devlin, someone who's sexy, mysterious and haunted. For the first time in her life Amelia is breaking her fathers rules, and in the process discovering that there's something else out there. Something so dark and so malice, that it causes her to broaden her ghost world farther then she wants. Amelia and Devlin's chemistry is hot! She can't explain to herself why she's breaking the rules she lives by for this man, but there's something dark about the way he looks at her. Something primal and hot that makes her want to just give into whatever he wants. So she does the only logical thing she can think of....stay away! But after a series of strange events Amelia finds herself constantly in the presence of the one man who gets her gears working, but sends her brain into "run away" mode. With a glimpse into Devlin's past Amelia has suddenly become more intrigued with him then the ongoing problems they're facing. Trying to crack Devlin's shell and figure out why he's haunted seems to be sending her places she never thought she'd go, you know this place called, "I'm a stalker, because I don't even know this man, but I'm digging whatever I can up on him", that place. But with spooky P.I.'s, murder cover ups, and a crazed killer on the loose, Amelia is now trying to unravel a mystery that seems to have been set in motion over 15 years ago.

I loved this book from beginning to end! There wasn't a part that I thought, "this doesn't fit", because it all fit. Ms. Stevens did a fantastic job of creating just the right balance between bone chilling suspense, hot romance and creepy ghosts. This is the first of 3 books that will be in the Graveyard Queen series, and I will be one of the people pounding on the doors of Barnes & Noble at midnight trying to get my hands on the next book!



Neri said...

Loved your review! This is one of my favorite books. Did you read the Abandoned it's a prequel that's available on Amazon/Barnes & Noble. It might hold you over until November when the second book comes out :)

Taking it One Book at a Time said...

Thank you !

I have it, haven't read it though. I'm waiting a little bit longer so there's not quite such a distance between...November is SOOOOO far away!

Deea said...

Great review! I was a little skeptical about this book, but I'll definitely pick it up now! it sounds great!:)

Taking it One Book at a Time said...

At first I was too, but it will grab ahold of you in the beginning!