Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life.
A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.
NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.
As Cookie and Gemma planned my wedding, a job I did not envy in the least, I watched Reyes. I tried to single out his emotions, but there was so much blisteringly raw lust in the room, I couldn’t get past it all. Damn him and his sexual tractor beam.
A giggle floated toward me, and I saw the woman’s head tilt back again. Clearly, Reyes was slapping on the charm, but why? Was this about an interview? He’d been asked a dozen times for one and never gave any of the other reporters the time of day. Even 60 Minutes had wanted to do a story on him and got the door slammed in their face. But this woman came in, pinned him with a glittering smile, and he caved?
That was not like Reyes.
“I need a pretzel,” I said, ignoring my food.
Before any of them could say anything, I rose and walked to the bar, which put me a few precious feet closer to the happy couple. If he were ever to break up with me, I would so be that stalker ex- girlfriend who stole his underwear and hid in the hedges outside his bedroom window. But finally I had a clear path and could read Reyes’s emotions. Only I still couldn’t feel him.
He was blocking me!
**Spoilers for anyone who hasn't read Sixth Grave**
Typically when I'm reading a series that has been going on for this long, I'll have at least one book that I can say was just not as good as the others. With the Charley Davidson series, they're all amazing. Charley is always hilarious. Reyes is always oozing sex appeal. The secondary characters are always interesting. There are always plenty of mysteries to hold my attention. And the sex scenes are always incredibly HOT. I could never grow tired of this series.
Charley and Reyes' relationship still has plenty of ups and downs. They're both stubborn and continuously butting heads. Reyes wants to protect her and keep her safe and Charley just wants the freedom to continue on with her life and her career. It's not in her nature to sit still or to stop helping people, despite the fact that their lives could be in danger.
In true Charley fashion, she manages to make her worries about becoming a mother both sweet and silly at the same time. It doesn't immediately click with Charley that her own needs can't come first anymore. She has a little one to think about now and while she has her doubts about her maternal abilities, I can't wait until we get to future installments when Charley becomes a mother. She's going to be fiercely protective, incredibly loving, and hilarious all at the same time. Can you imagine Charley giving life lessons to a kid?
Another highlight of this story (although it was brief) was Mr. Wong. We may soon know this mysterious man's secrets! I've always been curious about Mr. Wong and I'm certain that we're getting closer to learning who he is and why he's there.
As you'd expect from any installment in this series, Seventh Grave was the perfect blend of funny, dark, and sexy. I can never get enough of these characters and I'm always eager to see where the story line will take us next. It would have been nice to see just a bit more hellhound action, but I still loved the story regardless. 5 well-deserved stars.
~ Cat ~
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