Author: Terri Garey
Release Date: August 28, 2007
ISBN #: 9780061136153
FTC Disclaimer: Book was purchased by reviewer with no publisher or author involvement.
It’s amazing how one little ad can allow a person to find a metaphorical gold mine. I was reading Gothic Beauty in the summer of 2007 and saw an ad for a book which had a cover of a tomb that read “Dead girls are easy…it’s the live ones who cause trouble!” Immediately, I was intrigued and went to see if the bookstore I was currently patronizing carried the volume.
When I realized it was an adult romance rather than straightforward paranormal/thriller, I became skeptical. I had read novels before which promised to give romance and paranormal equal importance in the story and then proceeded to disappoint in the “paranormal” department, but I decided to give Mrs. Terri Garey a try anyway. I am so glad that I did.
From the first page you are taken into the world of the Afterlife (Otherworld, Heaven, whatever you like to call it), as a girl views herself on a hospital gurney and hears the machines long, flat, high-pitched wail, signaling that the patient has passed. When she realizes she is the woman on the gurney, her spirit jerks up, up and away through a tunnel of colors, with whirling, human-like shapes, beautiful music and a bright, pulsing white light at the end.
Like you hear on psychic TV shows, Nicolette (Nicki) Styx is told it isn’t her time and to go back and “do unto others as she’d have them do unto her”.
What she didn’t realize as she woke up to her best friend (and business partner) Evan Owenby’s worried face was that the people she’d have to “do unto” are not really people anymore. They’re dead.
Nicki gets her life back, but it isn’t as uncomplicated as before, when it consisted of sexy flings, mourning her adoptive parents and running her vintage clothing shop while reassuring customers that she is not a Goth…anymore. Now, given a new lease on life, she has to do that, sure, but she also has to get restless spirits to cross over and tell their mournful living loved ones that she really isn’t a lunatic. Easier said than done, especially when she can’t escape the eye of her sexy doctor, Joe Bascombe.
And then a friend gets murdered across the street from Nicki’s shop and needs her help to top it all off. But this spirit might not go as quietly as the others…
I enjoyed this story immensely as she touched on more paranormal issues rather than purely being a sexbook. The characters were all well-rounded and three-dimensional. Women (especially those who have dealt with broken hearts or had paranormal experiences) can relate to Nicki and her life. She is unlike many romance novel heroines in that she is a tough girl who doesn’t go out looking for love, but finds it anyway. And woman will also adore Joe. After all, who doesn’t like to play doctor?
I couldn’t find very many faults in a story like this. It contained the right amount of fear, love, hate, even jealousy. Mrs. Garey puts in so many accents to her characters, even having a LGBTQA relationship where those were still not as common even so few years ago. She researched voodoo, Heaven, and ghosts very well. If you believe in ghosts, you’ll enjoy the work put into this novel.
There were twists in the story, including something about Joe that I never in my life would have expected. I can clearly recall nearly dropping the book from my hand after reading it!
This was her first novel and it screamed “SEQUEL“. It spawned three books narrated by Nicki and one short story, each of which were better than the last. I went into this knowing nothing about the author nor this novel and came out a fan.
All in all, the romance was beautifully written, the paranormal aspects frightening enough to give even yours truly chills, and it came together leaving you begging for more.
Dead girls, it turns out, are very easy to love!