Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ARC Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

The Restorer
{The Graveyard Queen Series ~ Book #1}
Author: Amanda Stevens
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Publisher: Mira
Source: Received for review from NetGalley
Release Date: May 1, 2001
Buy it here:
Amazon

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. (Goodreads.com)

My Romancing Thoughts:

Blew me away!

Amelia Gray has a unique ability and an even more unique occupation. Not only can she see spirits, she spends her days as a cemetery restorer in the beautiful and historically rich city of Charleston. She's learned everything she knows from her dad who also has the same ability and has taught Amelia there are rules to follow when dealing with the dead. When the body of a murdered young woman is found in the cemetery she's currently restoring, Amelia is asked to help Detective Devlin and provide her expertise to decipher clues the killer has left. She feels drawn to Devlin but knows he's definitely off limits when she realizes he's haunted by two spirits, a young woman and a little girl.

Informing him of his haunting would be unlocking a door that should never open and a rule Amelia is not willing to break. The more distance she tries to create between herself and Devlin, the more fate interferes in bringing them closer. As she uses her skills of deciphering epitaphs to find the killer before he strikes again, Amelia uncovers long buried truths that make her question those around her. The information she finds puts her in the sights of the sadistic killer and her unique gift might be the only key to her survival.

Amelia is a charming protagonist who enchants you with her realness and determination. She's just a woman living her life who happens to have a special ability, a refreshing change in a sea of drop dead gorgeous heroines that encompass the genre. Her internal struggles and secrets force her to lead a lonely life and show just how strong she really is. Devlin is just as charismatic and enthralling. He's mysterious and sexy with a dark past he is unwilling to let go of. Both characters are haunted in their own way and fight the intense attraction for each other but finally succumb and find comfort in each other. I love that both Amelia and Devlin accept each other for who they are, secrets and all.

This story is beautifully written and draws you in from the first page. From the charming characters to the intricate descriptions of the historic South and it's traditions, The Restorer is both chilling and romantic. It's fast paced with plenty of mystery, suspense and twists that will have you turning the pages in anticipation. The romantic tension that builds between the two main characters throughout the story is thrilling and is woven perfectly into the story. Gothic graveyards, brutal murders and secret societies up the creepiness factor to hair raising, I wouldn't recommend reading this one late at night during a storm like I did. This is bewitching start to what I'm sure will be a hauntingly beautiful series!

My Rating:
5 Roses Rating

 

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