ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

Blog Tour/Reread: First Grave on the Right and Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson: Books 1 and 13) by Darynda Jones

 

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: February 1st, 2011

Genre: Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy

Where you can find First Grave on the Right: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has followed her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to the paranormal suspense of the highest order.

My Reread review:

You can find the original review here.

I was pretty excited when I got invited to the Summoned to Thirteenth Grave blog tour. I was even more excited when I saw that the invite included a reread of my favorite Charley Davidson book. It was a no-brainer that I picked the book that started me into this series, First Grave on the Right.

Reading First Grave on the Right again reminded me about how much I enjoyed this book. The plotline flowed nicely and the characters were relatable. This book set the tone for the rest of the book. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to read the Charley Davidson series.


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Where you can find Summoned to Thirteenth Grave: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Mystery, Fantasy

Series: Charley Davidson

First Grave on the Right: Book 1 (review here)

For I Have Sinned—Book 1.5

Second Grave on the Left—Book 2

Third Grave Dead Ahead—Book 3

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet—Book 4

Fifth Grave Past the Light—-Book 5

Shimmer—Book 5.5

Glow—Book 5.6

Sixth Grave on the Edge—Book 6

Seventh Grave and No Body—Book 7

Eighth Grave After Dark—Book 8

Brighter Than the Sun—Book 8.5

The Dirt on Ninth Grave—Book 9

The Curse of Tenth Grave—Book 10

A Very Charley Christmas—Book 10.5

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight—Book 11

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave—Book 12 (review here)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave—Book 13

Where you can find Summoned to Thirteenth Grave: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person stark-raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently, it is. Bummer.

She’s missed Reyes and her daughter, Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

My review:

Excerpt:

1
What, pray tell, the
fuck?
—T-shirt

It wasn’t until I felt the sun on my face that I knew, really knew, I’d
made it back. The bright orb drifted over the horizon like a hot
air balloon, blinding me, yet I couldn’t stop looking at it. Or, well,
trying to look at it. After giving it my all through squinted lids, I
gave up and closed them. Let the warmth wash over me. Let it
sink into my skin. Flood every molecule in my body.
God knew I needed it. I hadn’t had a drop of vitamin D in over
a hundred years. My bones were probably brittle and shriveled
and splintery. Much like the current state of my psyche.
But that’s what happens when you defy a god.
Not just any god, mind you. No siree Bob. To get booted off the
big blue marble, one had to defy the God. The very One a
particular set of children’s books called Jehovahn.
The Man had some serious control issues. I bring one person
back from the dead and bam. Banished for all eternity. Exiled to
a hell with no light, no hair products, and no coffee.
Mostly no coffee.


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave is the last book in the Charley Davidson series. After the events of the last book, Charley had been banished from the earthly plain for all eternity. But, she is unbanished after 100 years. The reason? Reyes unwittingly started a zombie apocalypse. It is up to Charley to stop the apocalypse. Somehow, the death of her mother is tied to what is happening. If she can find out what happened to her mother, then she finds the cure. But there is a catch. Charley has only 3 days to make this happen. With the help of Reyes and her motley crew of living and dead friends, can Charley do it? Can Charley stop the apocalypse?

Charley rocked in this book. She was as funny and as snarky as she was in the earlier books. I was dying laughing at her one-liners. I loved that she was willing to do anything to keep Beep safe. Her investigation into the cure for the zombie apocalypse was action-packed. But the thing I liked the most was that she cherished her friendships. And that is what I am going to miss the most from this series.

The main plotline is Charley trying to figure out who killed her mother. The author did a great job at throwing out hints throughout the book. When it came time to reveal what happened, I was shocked. Not only at what happened but at who was there. Also who or what that person turned out to be. Talk about a huge surprise. I was in shock because there was zero lead up to what was revealed. When the storyline was resolved, it brought a tear to my eye. Because of how it was resolved and who gave Charley the final insight into what happened.

The plotline about the zombie apocalypse was interesting. I thought it was interesting that Reyes involuntarily started it.  The reason why he started it was interesting too. I did like where the author took this storyline. There were things revealed that made me go “Whaaat“. Like what was causing the people to turn. Or who Thaniel was. That made me go “Whaaaaat” and brought a small tear to my eye. I liked how the storyline was resolved.

I will say that the secondary characters were awesome. Each character had their own personality and brought that extra “oomph” to the story.

I also liked the secondary storylines. There was one that was ripped right from the headlines. My heart hurt for that woman and her daughter. It also hurt for Meiko. I will say that I was happy with what happened to them at the end of the book. Also, that man and his mother got what they deserved. Of course, the identity of the man was a surprise also. Was not expecting that twist.

I gotta say that Reyes and Charley burnt up the pages. They had unbelievable hot sex. I mean, they turned the sand to glass. Is that hot enough? I liked that while they were having hot monkey sex, it wasn’t explicit. Enough was left unsaid so that I needed to use my imagination. Loved it!!

The end of the book was AMAZING!!! The author did a great job at wrapping up all of the plotlines. I will warn you guys that there are times where you are going to need tissues. I was bawling. I did have a feeling about a spin-off book. The very last line made me go “Hmmmm“. Made me wonder.


I gave Summoned to Thirteenth Grave a 4-star rating. This was a fast read. The characters were well written. The plotlines were engaging and kept me focused on the book. I will admit, I wasn’t expecting the twists that happened. I cried. But, overall, this was a great book and I am sad that the series is ending.

I would give Summoned to Thirteenth Grave an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would suggest the no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Summoned to Thirteenth Grave. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Summoned to Thirteenth Grave.

All opinions stated in this review of Summoned to Thirteenth Grave are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York
Times bestselling paranormal series!
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for
eternity—which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But
someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too
much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently, it is. Bummer.
She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. Now
that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to
her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a
broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and
hilarious novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a Golden Heart and a RITA for
her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing
damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast
alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two
beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
BUY LINK:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250149411

DARYNDA’S SOCIAL LINKS:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Darynda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darynda.jones.official
Website: http://www.daryndajones.com/
SMP Romance Twitter: https://twitter.com/heroesnhearts & https://twitter.com/SMPRomance
SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/


A FUN FACT FOR EACH OF THE CHARLEY BOOKS:

First Grave on the Right

 The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign
language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students
at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far as
Darynda knows they have all forgiven her for her thievery.

Second Grave on the Left

 Uncle Bob is a combination of two people: Darynda’s oldest brother, Luther, and
the principal at the high school where she worked for several years.

Third Grave Dead Ahead

 This was originally titled Third Grave Straight Ahead, but Darynda’s web
designer, Liz Bemis, asked her to change the name to Dead Ahead. Firstly, it fit
the content better, and secondly, Liz got tired of spelling the word Straight wrong
while updating the website. Dead is much easier to type.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

 Quentin Rutherford makes his first appearance in this book. While his first name
was stolen from Darynda’s little brother and his last name stolen from yet another
Jr. High student, Quentin is physically sculpted from her oldest son, Jerrdan, a
bona fide blond-haired, blue-eyed devil with a sparkling smile that melts even the
staunchest of hearts. And, like Quentin Rutherford, he was born Deaf. Not that he
let it stop him for a second.

Fifth Grave Past the Light

 This book was fun to write! Darynda was trying to come up with something truly
creepy to throw into the book, and she figured what would be creepier than
having an apartment full of departed women crawling up the walls, skittering
across the ceiling, and huddling in the corners? Also, it is one of the hotter books,
so that was fun, too. Because, you know, Reyes.

Sixth Grave on the Edge

 Darynda really wanted to open this one on a humorous note. She wanted to have
Charley on a stakeout with a departed elderly man, who also happens to be naked,
riding shotgun. Which begs the question: Are we really stuck in (or out of)
whatever we are wearing when we die for all eternity? ‘Cause that would suck.

Seventh Grave and No Body

 Osh’ekiel was originally supposed to be in one book only. And he was supposed
to be a very bad guy. But Darynda fell in love with him while writing the book
and decided to redeem him and give him a bigger role. Just how big his role
would become didn’t come to Darynda until plotting Eighth Grave. He has been
one of her favorite characters since she wrote that first scene with him.

Eighth Grave After Dark

 Darynda wanted to really turn the tables on Charley and force her to have to stay
in one place, thus the sacred ground of the convent came into play. It was fun and
challenging to write a “locked room” mystery, so to speak, but that’s why she
loves writing so much.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave

 One of Darynda’s favorite books in the series, she looked forward to writing this
book ever since she came up with the concept while plotting Sixth Grave. Part of
what makes a romance so fun is the falling-in-love part, and she wanted Charley
to fall in love with Reyes all over again. This book was doubly fun because the
audience knows all the characters’ backstories, and they get to watch in
anticipation as Charley slowly unravels the mysteries of her past, while seeing her
fall head-over-heels for the same guy all over again.

The Curse of Tenth Grave

 This book had one of those too-close-for-comfort calls. Right before Tenth Grave
went to print, after going through editors and copyeditors and readers of all shapes
and sizes, a savvy proofreader let Darynda in on a little secret: A Sherpa is part of
a culture, not an occupation. Thanks to this razor-sharp reader, Darynda narrowly
escaped insulting an entire culture in one fell swoop. Aka, her worst nightmare.
Her gratitude is unending.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

 Darynda dreamed of going to Scotland for so long, she finally decided to just put
it in one of her books. She had Charley accidentally materialize in the magical
country, only to find out weeks after finishing the book that she would finally get
to go there herself. In person. For realsies. It was even more magical than she’d
imagined it would be, and she can’t wait to go back.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave

 This book has one of Darynda’s favorite epiphanies EVER!!! She thought, what if
someone out there in the universe, a child perhaps, knows everything about Reyes
and Charley? Everything starting from their supernatural heritage to their human
identities? And what if that person wrote a book about them? Or a series of
books? Say, perhaps, a set of children’s books and Garrett just happens to stumble
upon them while doing research? How fun would that be? And the international
bestselling children’s book (fictionally speaking) The First Star was born.

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

 By far the hardest story in the series to write, penning the last Charley book was a
bittersweet experience. But Darynda knew she had to go big or go home, so what
better way to go out with a bang than to end the world as we know it by starting
the zombie apocalypse? Because that’s what writers do. We start apocalypses.

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour/Reread: First Grave on the Right and Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson: Books 1 and 13) by Darynda Jones

  1. I read to the point when she had just become pregnant. I think that was book 11…wow the heat between them made me long for my own Reyes. Will check the last 2 books out.
    Fab review… You made me go oooooooooo

    Liked by 1 person

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