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25 December 2014

Have You Read It?: Amanda Stevens' The Restorer

I love a good ghost story. When I was growing up few things gave me as much joy as watching the old Topper movies or The Ghost & Mrs Muir every time they came on tv.

I also love a good graveyard. My mom and I used to actually plan vacation destinations around cemeteries.

When I found out about Amanda Stevens' series called The Graveyard Queen about a ghost-seeing cemetery restorer named Amelia? Definitely count me in!
The book opens when Amelia was nine years old and she realized that she could see ghosts ... and so could her father (who, at the time, was a graveyard caretaker). He told her the rules of being able to see ghosts:
“For those of us who can, there are certain precautions we must take in order to protect ourselves and those around us. The first and most important is this - never acknowledge the dead. Don't look at them, don't speak to them don't let them sense your fear. Even when they touch you"..."The second thing you must remember is this," Papa said. "Never stray too far from hallowed ground."..."Rule Number Three," he said. "Keep your distance from those who are haunted. If they seek you out, turn away from them, for they constitute a terrible threat and cannot be trusted." ..."Rule Number Four," he said sternly. "Never, ever tempt fate.” 
[Wait. What? Ghosts aren't all bad! What about Simon de Canterville? Nearly Headless Nick?? George & Marian Kerby??? Captain Gregg???? Hrmph!]

Fast forward almost 20 years and the rules start flying out the window. You know, it happens. Besides, who wants to read a book about a girl who can see ghosts but never acknowledges that fact except for constantly thinking "Hmmmm. There's a ghost over there but I'll ignore it and pretend that this isn't supposed to be a ghost story."

Actually, for the first part of the book at least (I'm currently only about 25% in), that happens far too often. Four specific ignored ghosts mentioned before Chapter 3 -- not including her first when her father explained the rules to her. I get it. You shouldn't play with dead things ... or with others who have dead things attached to them ...

Oh yeah. That's why the rules start flying out the window. You see, a murder takes place in the graveyard she's been working on and the hot detective assigned to the case? Yep. Being followed by ghosts. Two of them so he must be, like, extra special dangerous to be around for her. But, you know, he's hot.

Oh. And the publishing company is an imprint of Harlequin.

I don't have anything against Harlequin. Really. Some of their imprints I quite enjoy.... as long as I can skip over the steamy "sexy" crap and still have a substantial amount of book left to read.

So, now I'm about to start Chapter 10 and wondering if I stick it out all the way to Chapter 41 (plus the Epilogue that everyone seems compelled to add nowadays) .... or cut it short and be glad that it only costs $1.99? I would really hate to end 2014 with a book that I'm not immediately sure of, you know?


  1. I am always a little iffy with Harlequin books, most of the time I refer to them at girl porn, ya know tons of gratuitous sexual scenes and the story is an afterthought, but every now and then I find one I adore, Gena Showalter's Imperal seies comes to mind, so I keep reading the Harlequin books because of the gems every now and then

    1. Exactly! Harlequin is, after all, how I came to know Heather Graham's books and she's still one of my favorites. SHE, however, actually LIKES ghosts. LOL