Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens {review~giveaway}

The Restorer
by Amanda Stevens
Series: The Graveyard Queen #1
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: 2/21/2012
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Purchase*:Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

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.
I read a review on a blog about The Restorer and immediately downloaded it for my nook. Sadly I cannot remember who reviewed it, but thank you so much! I love crime mysteries and when you wrap it in a little paranormal woo-woo I begin to drool. Amanda Stevens delivered a beautiful, dark, chilling mystery with a side of sexual tension. I quickly became swept up in this tale, the characters and the crime. The opening sentence “I was nine when I saw my first ghost.” grabbed me and the tale kept me enthralled.

Ameila Gray is a cemetery restorer and has quickly built a reputation for herself. She also has a successful blog showcasing old cemeteries which has made her recognizable. Since she was nine she has been cursed with a gift she shares with her father. She can see ghosts and her father taught her rules that she must follow to keep herself safe. Rule number one, never acknowledge them. Until now she has always followed the rules. When a haunted, smexy, dark, brooding police detective asks for her assistance after discovering a dead body in the cemetery she is restoring everything changes. When the clues to solve the murder(s) involve symbols on the headstones she realizes she may be the only one who can help them catch a killer.

I really connected with the protagonist Ameila. She is quite, refined, intelligent and confident in her profession. She also seems very lonely and guarded. I loved her profession and the fact that she blogs and enjoys it so much had me smiling. John Devlin is a police officer, a true southern gentleman and he oozed smexy. John has suffered from a horrific loss and it shows in his eyes and the lines on his devastatingly handsome face. He unnerves Amanda and she struggles with her attraction to John on so many levels. I adored the tango these two danced. Their tale is just beginning and I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I love the secondary characters and the southern door Stevens opens for us. I am really looking forward to learning more about all of them.

Stevens is a breathtakingly gifted writer. She brought Charleston and its historical district to life. I could see, hear, taste and smell the world she immersed me in. Her attention to detail and the facts surround these old neglected cemeteries captivated me. The mystery itself was filled with twists, foreboding and an air of believability that had me chilled. The twist she put on ghosts and Amelia’s gift are completely original and the back-history on these entities was freaky-tastic! The flow of the novel was wonderful, and Steven’s descriptive writing style kept me reading late into the night. I am in love with this writer and must read more of this series. My favorite type of series are ones that can be read as standalones, but also have sub-plots, romances etc running through them. Where each book solves a case, shows character development and further advances these overall sub- plot. This appears to be the recipe Stevens is using. Eep! I have not been this excited since reading The Passage by Justin Cronin and if you know me at all, you are rushing to ordered this book!

I recommend The Restorer to fans of mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal suspense. This book totally rocked my face off and Stevens has made my auto buy list. The Kingdom is the next book in the Graveyard Queen series which is calling me from my nook. Look for my review next month.

I gave this novel 5 delicious coffee cups out of 5.
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
*purchases made through buy links on this blog earn a small commission that supports our giveaways.

Giveaway time!
Open to US/Canada residence

I loved this book and Amanda Stevens has graciously agreed to help me share it. 
One lucky follower will win a paperback copy of The Restorer.
Just follow the rafflecopter instructions below and good luck! 

Things That Go Bump in the Night
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At July 17, 2013 at 9:33 PM , Anonymous Tammy Sparks said...

This book sounds so good, and any 5 cup of coffee review from you is one I trust:) Thanks for the giveaway!

At July 17, 2013 at 9:59 PM , Anonymous karina said...

Gorgeous review, Kimba! I'm so glad my library has this book. Like you I saw few lovely reviews on The Restorer and put it on my wishlist straight away. Now just need to get to it :)

At July 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM , Anonymous Erin F said...

thanks for the great review! This book is on the top of my want list and I've read such awesome reviews for it :) Thanks for the giveaway!

At July 18, 2013 at 12:32 AM , Anonymous Michelle@ Book Briefs said...

I love a good mystery and suspense so this seems like a great book for me to check out. I love finding out about new books!

Thanks Kimba :) I'm off to enter the giveaway now

At July 18, 2013 at 1:33 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...


At July 18, 2013 at 1:33 AM , Anonymous GRgenius said...

Definitely an attention grabber (though somehow I missed this post til now...oops!) and as book two sounds equally great, I believe your review did sway me...count me in! Thanks for sharing... ^_^


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