Favorite Lines: “I wondered if he realized the power of his stare. If he had any idea the effect it had on me. Perhaps that should have been another warning—the fact that I couldn’t tear my gaze from him. It was as if he had some sort of hold over me, but I couldn’t put the blame on him. I was solely responsible for my actions.” (p. 94)
NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEAD.
NEVER STRAY FROM HALLOWED GROUND.
NEVER GET CLOSE TO THE HAUNTED.
NEVER, EVER TEMPT FATE.
My father’s rules.
I’ve never broken them…until now.
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.
Amanda Stevens sure knows how to write an intriguing and creepy story and she showcases her talent in The Restorer. The Restorer is book one in Stevens’ Queen of the Cemetery trilogy. There is a prequel, The Abandoned, available for download at Harlequin’s website. As I write this the prequel is free, but that could change at any moment. It’s listed at $2.99. But back to The Restorer.
The entire time I read this book I felt like there should be eerie piano music playing. You know the type that plays as the suspense builds during a movie. Instead of the music playing for a few seconds before exploding into action, it built and built until I almost couldn’t stand it. I wanted the other shoe to drop so that I could pick myself up. It was GREAT! Any book that is capable of building tension without introducing gore is alright by me.
The Restorer left me feeling uncertain and jumpy. It’s a strong paranormal suspense with a touch of “will they be drawn into a love affair?” The would-be romance aspect adds depth to the spooky story which is told in first person point-of-view from Amelia’s perspective. The slow pacing helps create a chilling tone to the book which some readers may find off-putting. I feel like it adds to the story making it believable.
Conclusion: I would recommend this book to people who don’t care if the story has a happily ever after/clear, every problem solved ending.. It’s an urban fantasy that focuses on the fantastic. It is not the action packed UF that has been flooding the market over the past several years, but it is filled with good stuff. Don’t read it if you are looking to race through a story, but if you want a look into the uncanny check this story out.
I’m not sure how long the contest is open, but Stevens is hosting a giveaway at her blog for signed copies of The Restorer. There’s also an excerpt posted on the author’s site if you want to read a little before you buy the book.
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