Book Review Club ~ May 2012

Here we are again, with Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club. It seems like every other post on this blog is a book review club post! But in my defense, things have been crazy, and they’re going to get crazier still before they get sane. May is the fun month if you’re in school and it’s the last dash month if you have kids in school that are about to be glued to you for three months of summer. You do your absolute best to get everything on your to-do list done before the Last Day of School. Otherwise you’ll be dragging them around, while they whine, “Why do we have to do errands everyday?” At least that’s what boys say. So I’m in the final scramble. But I would not miss an installment of the Book Review Club if I could at all manage to avoid it.

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This month, I’m reviewing Amanda Stevens’  THE RESTORER. I met Amanda at a local RWA meeting, where I was speaking and she was signing.  I picked up her book, read the blurb, and was hooked.  I couldn’t wait to get started reading it.  But I was good–I dutifully finished the book I was reading, and finally got started on THE RESTORER.  I will confess, I have not yet finished this book. If I hadn’t had the Avon Walk and a deadline to contend with, I totally would have. As it is, I’m letting myself read for twenty minutes every night before I go to bed. But I will not let myself end on a really creepy part.









Because I’m not used to creepy.  I’m a happy-go-lucky book girl.  I don’t typically read books involving ghosts either.  But there was something about this one.  Maybe the fact that there were rules, and the heroine was breaking them…

[from the back of the book]

Never acknowledge the dead

Never stray far from hallowed ground

Never associate with those who are haunted

Never, ever tempt fate.

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–like 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 was reading this book on Monday, while eating lunch in a restaurant by myself, and when the waiter showed up to ask if I was ready for the check, I just stared at him.  The page I was on had me so utterly creeped out and freaked out that I couldn’t even speak. (It was slightly embarrassing.)  As I said, I love that there are rules, and Amelia is studiously living by them, until she can’t resist breaking them.  I love that it’s set in Charleston and other parts of South Carolina (which I visit every year), that it dips into Gullah magic and traditions, and that it’s full of interesting graveyard history.  The imagery is wonderful; the story has me mesmerized and wishing I could pick it up constantly.  I am positively agog to uncover the secrets of these characters!

And I am beyond excited that there are two more books in this series already out!  Must read faster…

Seriously though, I suspect this book will pique your interest, draw you in, creep you out, and get you hooked!

For more book recommendations, swing by Barrie Summy’s blog for a list of Book Review Club participants.  Click on the typewriter above.


Posted in book review club on 05/01/2012 11:48 pm


  1. Patti Abbott

    I am doing a piece tomorrow on my blog about a ghost hunter. Funny to see this today.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I suspect it would be very interesting to follow a ghost hunter around for a day (or night…) :)

      Thanks for visiting, Patti!

  2. Ooooo. Creepy. And I love Charleston, too–and can’t imagine a better setting for a book like this. Thanks for the review, Alyssa, and good luck with the May push!

  3. I can see why you were hooked and I love those covers.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Me too, David! The covers are wonderful. I love Amanda’s website too!

  4. I love your vignette about being speechless in a restaurant. Paranormal romance isn’t my thing, but it’s fun to hear about new books.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      It’s not really my thing either, Sarah, but this one barely even feels like a romance. And now I’m hooked! :)

  5. I’m so glad you enjoy our Book Review Club! Thank you for sharing the anecdote about the restaurant. :) I do do creepy, so I may just pick this up! Oh, and I can totally relate to your May push. Yikes. The summer is almost upon us!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Finished it last night, Barrie! And it got soooo much creepier!! :)

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