Hi all! It’s Friday the 13th. I’m watching out for black cats and it’s too early in the growing season to get me a pumpkin, so I’m going to embrace the “Dark Side” for a day and wax poetic about my love for Reyes Alexander Farrow–the male lead in the Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones.
About the book:
Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?
Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear.
Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.
In true Charley fashion, the book’s pace is set to plaid.
If you’re planning to read this book, you ought to have read the previous five installments first.
To be clear, I have a total girl crush on Charley. First Grave got me totally hooked on the ADD-suffering, grim reaper. She’s hysterical and brave and selfless and damned funny. Her brightly shining aura guides souls into the Great Beyond, each time she senses a little of that soul’s experiences–upping her empathy quotient by bazillions.
No, no! Not that! Cripes! I’m not a freak!
Don’t let his lineage fool you, however, Reyes is unequivocally, unremorsefully, totally in love with Charley. His mission was to escape Hell and kill the next Reaper. In fact, it is still his mission, he simply found Charley’s essence so awesome, he decided to be born on Earth so he could know her.
His life on Earth hasn’t been even just plain okay–he suffered horrific abuse and was jailed for a time. Still, he served Charley as a defender many times, and has built a fortune which he uses to protect Charley’s interests–oh and he wants to marry her. He’s waiting (again) on Charley–for her answer.
So, in this installment, Reyes is in constant pursuit of Charley’s answer, affection and companionship. A living man seeks Charley’s help getting his soul back from a demon. One of Charley’s “friends” has been kidnapped as a bargaining chip to get access to a WITSEC informant. And Charley’s cooked up a fool proof plan to get her Uncle Bob to finally ask her BFF Cookie out on a date. Whew! That’s a lot for a book that spans only a few days in time….
The Dealer is a new supernatural in town. He’s a Deava, the kind of demon Satan would stitch together from the remnants of dying demons. He’s on Earth’s plane, eating souls for sustenance. Charlie wants to win back the soul of his client, and makes an ally instead. A powerful one as even Reyes will admit. It seems the Dealer would like Satan defeated, and he knows that the Twelve hounds of hell have been unleashed to find Charley.
Cookie’s dating takes up a good part of the book–Charley sets her up on three fake dates to irritate Ubie enough to get the gumption to (finally) make his move. I love when a harebrained scheme falls apart spectacularly. As this one does.
Meanwhile, Charley’s reaper powers are becoming stronger. She is able to summon souls at will–and even mark them for Heaven and Hell. This becomes more important when she’s being blackmailed and tortured, by the police and a Mexican drug cartel, respectively.
Interestingly, Charley is only kidnapped for an hour in this book. To be fair, it’s a shitty hour with lots of innocent blood spilled, but usually she’s facing death a whole lot longer. Even with her newly-expanded powers, Charley’s not able to bring everyone home safely. Still there’s new life on the horizon, and it’s clearly going to get even more hectic for our coffee-swilling heroine.
As always, the overall series plot revelation is subtle. Charley gains an ally. She makes a new enemy. Her relationship with Reyes takes on a whole new level. Her father has a new mission–one Charley doesn’t know yet. We learn about the Twelve, and how Reyes may tip the balance in Charley’s favor. The cliffhanger this time was a bit heavier than usual, but also more tantalizing. The smexytimes are interesting and well-written, though I will always crave more Reyes.
Good thing I had the print edition, because I got me some bonus pages in Reyes’ POV! Yay!
About the Author:
Thanks for popping by, and keep reading my friends!