(Charley Davidson #4)
Release: October 30, 2012
Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.Review:
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet continues a fantastic series with a snarky and hilarious heroine, a sexy as hell bad boy, and a few intriguing mysteries to solve. This series is one of my favorites and Fourth Grave exceeded my expectations.
After the events of the previous book, Charley has some unresolved issues she is dealing with - well, not dealing with is more like it. It's a great arc for Charley's character development. At some point, what she does (solving mysteries, catching bad guys, running from demons...) had to catch up with her. In the last book, it finally did. At the start of Fourth Grave we meet a Charley-turned-hermit, afraid to do anything besides lay on her sofa and order ridiculous items from the home shopping channel. Somehow, Charley still manages to keep her funny and charming personality amidst her depression and agoraphobia. She remains one of the best and most original characters in the paranormal genre.
“For one week, all I could think about was drinking margaritas--well, that and running my tongue along Reyes's teeth--but I didn't have salt--or Reyes's teeth. I'd also lacked the energy to leave my apartment to get some--or the desire to stoop low enough to beg Reyes to let me lick his teeth after what he did--so I could only wish for a margarita. And dream of Reyes's teeth."
Reyes is just as mysterious and maddening in this book. In a previous installment Charley refers to him as "chocolate-covered heroine" and I think that is a perfect description. He's the bad boy to end all bad boys. Now that Reyes is a corporeal being, meaning that we spend more time with him in an actual human body, we get to learn about his strengths and weaknesses. Charley handles him well, but Reyes handles Charley even better. He knows exactly what he does to her - all of his sly smiles, sexy grumbles, and hungry looks are proof of that.
“There is a fine line between love and hate, or haven’t you heard? Sometimes it’s hard to decipher exactly which emotion is strongest.”
I raised my chin. “I don’t love you either.”
He lowered his head and watched me from underneath his dark lashes. “Are you certain? Because the emotion pouring out of you every time I’m near you is certainly not disinterest.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s love.”
“It could be, I promise you. Take off that sweater and give me ten minutes, and you’ll believe beyond a shadow of a doubt you’re in love.”
As the series goes on, we get to learn more about Charley's psychologist sister, Gemma. I love seeing their interactions because Gemma is so different from Charley and tries hard to understand her but just can't wrap her head around her. They don't bounce off of each other quite as easily as Charley and Cookie - who are still one of my favorite buddy pairs in the genre - but they still have some great moments in Fourth Grave as Gemma spends a lot of time with Charley and tries to help her heal.
"I borrowed a pair of your sweats. I ran into a convenience store with them on. I talked to neighbors out in their yard when I pulled up. And only after I got inside did I realize they had 'Exit Only' written across the back."This is a wonderful series with a lot of things going for it and I'm always in a good mood when reading these books. Darynda Jones has the wonderful ability to infuse humor and lightness into serious situations, which gives this series just the right balance of dark and funny. There were lots of side plots happening in this book that I wish I had time to mention, but then this review would be pages and pages long! I will say, however, that all of my favorite characters make appearances, some longer than others, including Swopes, Artemis, Donavan, Uncle Ubie, and Cookie's daughter Amber.
"You stole my favorite sweats?"
"I wanted to die."
"Its weird that sweats would make you suicidal. I'd analyze the crap out of that if I were you."
Fourth Grave is entertaining, romantic, and engaging and is one of the best in the series!
This review is baed on an advance copy of the book, provided by the publisher.
Recommended for fans of: the rest of this series, paranormal fiction that combines romance and humor, hilarious one-liners, T-shirts with funny quotes, bad boys, and ghost dogs that like showers.