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Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Title: The Restorer
Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen, #1
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Mira (Imprint of Harlequin)
Date Published: April 19th, 2011
Edition: eBook

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 – lie 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.

My Review:

The Restorer is a great story about a woman named Amelia who can see ghosts. She also happens to work as a graveyard restorer, which protects her by keeping her on hallowed grown on a frequent basis. But Amelia’s problems don’t begin and end with seeing ghosts. The latest job she’s taken on has uncovered a murder mystery that she finds herself deeply involved in solving along with the detective on the case, Devlin.

So I really liked the story and the mystery. I didn’t figure out who the murderer was, although I had my suspicions as the story progressed, but my guesses did jump around a bit, which is a sign of a good mystery in my opinion.

But, even though I did really enjoy the story itself, the characters fell a little flat to me. I didn’t feel particularly connected to Amelia and the sort-of romance going on between her and Devlin was just not working. I could see she had a crush on him, but I didn’t really feel a connection between the two of them. I think the story could’ve been fine without the romance element, but with it just seemed like a stretch.

If you’re all about the story then you’ll probably enjoy this one, but if you need main characters who have depth and seem real, then this might be a bit of a disappointment. I probably won’t continue on in the series simply because of the characters. Even if the story is great, I always need characters that seem real to me, whether I like them or not, and I just didn’t feel much of anything for the characters in this book. That said the story was really good and it did make up for the lack of character-building for the most part.

3 Hearts
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April Random Reads (29): The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Random Reads

Hey everyone! Thanks for coming back to participate in Random Reads this month!

Last month I still had to catch up on my books from January and February, plus March’s Random Reads. Thankfully I was able to finish all three books in March. So you can read my reviews for The Two Towers (January), Radiant (February), and Anne of Green Gables (March) by clicking on their links.

In short, Random Reads is a meme where we pick a random book from our shelf to read within the month. Feel free to do more than one per month, but since a lot of people have a lot of books to read each month, only one is “required” for the meme. I’m on Goodreads so I’m using a combination of the sorting feature and to pick the book I’m going to read.

Want to join in on Random Reads?

It’s easy…

  1. If you’re on Goodreads enable sorting to your to-read shelf (you should see numbers next to each book now).
  2. Go to and type in the Min as 1 and the Max as how many ever books are on your to-read shelf. Or you can enter a smaller number as the Max in order to always pick books that have been on your TBR shelf for longer.
  3. Scroll down to the book matching the number picks.
  4. Link up to your Random Reads post (below). If you choose more than one book per month, be sure to put a number by your name in the list so it doesn’t look like a duplicate.
  5. Read and be merry. :)

If you’re not on Goodreads just pick a random book from your list in whatever way you want to do it. You can use the method I used above or even just close your eyes and point randomly at a book on your bookshelf if you want (spin the bottle style). lol

Now onto this month’s Random Read! This month chose…

April 2014 Random Reads - The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

#91 on my to-read (own) list, The Restorer by Amanda Stevens, and it’s been on my to-read list since August 16, 2011.

This month I decided to reduce my max to 100 in order to pick books from 2011 and before. I’ll probably keep doing this in the future, except for months I want to pick things off of my own shelf. I’m looking forward to The Restorer. It sounds like a bit of a mystery which is a genre I’ve been liking lately.

Random Reads Buttons

Here is the meme button you can use and it’s copy/paste code:

Random Reads

Or you can use the longer “banner” version I used in this post instead:

Random Reads

Link to Your Random Reads Meme


Review: Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Dearly Devoted Dexter
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Series: Dexter, #2
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday (Imprint of Random House)
Date Published: January 1st, 2005
Edition: eBook

Dexter Morgan has been under considerable pressure. It’s just not easy being an ethical serial killer – especially while trying to avoid the unshakable suspicions of the dangerous Sergeant Doakes (who believes Dexter is a homicidal maniac…which, of course, he is). In an attempt to throw Doakes off his trail, Dexter has had to slip deep into his foolproof disguise. While not working as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he now spends nearly all his time with his cheerful girlfriend, Rita, and her two children, sipping light beer and slowly becoming the world’s first serial couch potato. But how long can Dexter play Kick the Can instead of Slice the Slasher? How long before his Dark Passenger forces him to drop the charade and let his inner monster run free?

In trying times, opportunity knocks. A particularly nasty psychopath is cutting a trail through Miami – a man whose twisted technique leaves even Dexter speechless. As Dexter’s dark appetite is revived, his sister, Deborah (a newly minted, tough-as-nails Miami detective), is drawn headlong into the case. It quickly becomes clear that it will take a monster to catch a monster – but it isn’t until his archnemesis is abducted that Dex can finally throw himself into the search for a new plaything. Unless, of course, his plaything finds him first…

My Review:

Dexter’s back, but a little bit tamed because, well…he has to be. He has Sergeant Doakes breathing down his neck and suspecting him of doing bad things (which, of course he is, but Doakes doesn’t need to know that). So Dexter has to use his cover with Rita and her family to a higher degree in order to get Doakes off his back. This means lots of boring nights sitting in front of the TV with a beer at Rita’s house instead of doing what he really wants to do.

Because of the predicament Dexter finds himself in, this book could be a little frustrating. Many times I found myself just wanting to scream at Doakes to leave poor Dexter alone. What’s wrong with me? lol Leave Dexter alone so he can go kill people. Right. I’m twisted. But, that goes to show you how well Jeff Lindsay manages to make the reader sympathize with Dexter.

But, even deep under cover Dexter is a wonderful character and the darkly sarcastic humor from the first book is still in full force going into book two. So that kept me a happy camper for the most part.

One thing I will say though, aside from Dexter being on the down-low, is that this one didn’t have so much mystery going on as just suspense. The bad guy the cops are hunting is pretty much known from the start and it’s just about finding him because he’s a slippery one. I liked how the first one was more of a mystery so I missed that a bit. It still managed to be entertaining though but I liked that aspect of the first book.

So overall still a good series, I’ll be jumping into the next one as soon as I can get it from my library. But the first one was still the best. I did watch one episode of the TV series after finishing this book and I’m actually liking the books more. I know I’m in the minority here and it could be because I picked up the books first, I don’t know. But either way I’m just going to hold off continuing the TV show until I’ve read all seven books. Then maybe I can enjoy the TV show more and not get their story-lines mixed up.

4 Hearts
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