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Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. 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 (like 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. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?
With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.
310 pages, Hardcover
First published February 1, 2011
“Well, I was kind of kidnapped, though not really kidnapped so much as led away.”Charley is special without being a special snowflake.
A hand shot to her mouth to squelch a gasp.
“God, all this sounds so awful when I say it out loud,” I complained. “I whine more than a Goth with a blogging fetish. It’s really not that bad. I actually grew up rather happy. I had lots of friends. They were mostly dead, but still.”
“Is anything broken?” Uncle Bob’s voice had softened.Charley is a Grim Reaper. She can see the dead and take them through the other side. As you can well imagine, it must have been pretty fucking rough growing up with that ability. Seriously, some kid comes up to me and tells me "I see dead people," you'd tell him he was nuts and eventually everyone else would pick up on the weirdness, because kids are assholes. Charley grew up ostracized by friends and even family, but she coped in her own way; she is strong, she is resilient. She isn't filled with misery and depression and self-pity. She is pissed off, at times, but she deals with it through her snark and sarcasm and all-around awesome Charley-ness. Which isn't to say she never gets angry, she damned well gets mad, but she can deal with the unfairness life has dealt her.
“My eyelids, I think. I can’t open them.”
I heard a soft chuckle. “If it were anyone else, I’d say eyelids can’t be broken. But considering the source…”
A weak grin spread across my face. “So I’m, like, special?”
He snorted as he pressed gingerly here and there, testing for broken bones and the like. “Special wouldn’t even begin to cover it, my dear.”
“People like those assholes at the station yesterday. People like Taft with their sideways glances and hushed whispers who turn their backs on me every time I walk into a room. People like you who treat me like shit until they figure out I really can do what I say I can do. And then suddenly I’m their best friend.”We all have our coping mechanism, and I see her sarcasm and her inappropriate sense of humor as one of such. Seriously, I find Charley absolutely hilarious. She speaks her lines with such a deadpan sense of humor. The first time I read the book, I was howling with laughter.
I twisted around in my seat to face him. “My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.” I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”I know that Charley isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I completely understand if she grates on your nerves, but personally, I adore her. (well, I can't say the same for the later books in the series, but still)
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?”
I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.
“Don't fear the reaper. Just be very, very aware of her.”
“Just a girl, a few ghosts, and the entire human race. What could be easier?”
Because perfection is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.”
“Better to see dead than be dead.”
His features darkened. He stepped closer, pressed the length of his body against mine, leaned into me, and whispered in my ear. "What's your name?"
"Charley," I said, suddenly afraid, too afraid not to answer.
...He was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. He was solid and strong and fierce. And vulnerable. "No," I said in a whisper as his fingers drifted down and brushed intrusively over my breasts.
"Have you ever been raped, Dutch?"
..."No," I answered breathlessly.
His cheek brushed across mine as his hand eased back up to lock on my throat. To an ordinary passerby, we would look like lovers playing flirtatiously in the dark.
He forced a hard knee between mine and spread them, gaining access to my most private area. I gasped at the intimate contact as his free hand dipped between my legs, and I knew instinctively I was in way over my head. I grabbed his wrist with both hands.
He paused but kept his fingers cupped at my crotch..."
Never knock on death’s door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that. —T-SHIRT
I may not look like much, but I’m an expert at pretending to be a ninja. —BUMPER STICKER
PI Charlotte "Charley" Davidson is a 27 year old beauty. She drives a jeep named Misery..."in honor of the master of horror"...has a cop for an uncle...an ex-cop for a dad, and an evil step-mother. Most importantly, though, she has very special abilities...abilities not everyone believes. SHE SEES GHOSTS....talks to ghosts...and even acts as a portal to the other side.
Most of Charley's other-worldly friends are pleasant and just want help...answers...or to deliver messages to those left behind, but one presence in her life is dark, creepy....a huge cloaked figure who sweeps in and around her....and another who enters her dreams....is dangerously mysterious....irresistibly sensual....and ultimately her protector.
Charley Davidson in many ways reminds me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. Working cases in conjunction with the police....great sidekicks (love Cookie & Angel)....cracking wise....ALWAYS getting into trouble....AND having lots of hot sex!
FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is an entertaining read albeit, overall, a bit too light for me. I truly like my ghosts super creepy-scary - - - LIKE THE SECRET WE DISCOVER IN THE END, hehehe.
3.5 Stars with a roundup to 4.0. Just might have to read one more!
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the complimentary reading opportunity.
On the Cover: 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.I’m a huge fan of paranormal romance, but lately I’ve not found much in the genre that grabs hold, keeps hold, and has me coming back for more. There’s just too much of the same old stuff out there, but that’s not the case here. I love the fact that Charley Davidson isn’t just a full time Grim Reaper, but she’s also a part-time PI who uses her “other-side” connections to help her solve cases. Of course there’s a lot of humor involved because no one else can see or hear the people and the voices that Charley can, but I was also blown away by the depth of emotion at points in the story.