Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Review: Charmed by Cambria Hebert

Charmed (Death Escorts, #2)
Charmed by Cambria Hebert
(Death Escorts #2)
July 22, 2013
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Contains: Sexual situations, mature language
(much hotter than Recalled - you've been warned)
Source: eARC for honest review
Book Blurb:

Life or Death? Not many people would choose death. But what if death chooses you? What if death doesn’t mean the end of your life, but the beginning?  
For a Death Escort, death is life. Death is your paycheck. Death is your job.
And Charming is the best Escort the Grim Reaper has ever had.
But when you piss off the Reaper, being the best doesn’t matter. So Charming is assigned a Target who is practically impossible to kill. He knows the Reaper hopes he fails—that he’s counting on it. So Charming vows to prove him wrong. He vows to make the kill. 
But someone else vows to get in his way. Someone with a big mouth, a sugar habit, and blond hair. Someone who makes his heart start beating again.
And so Charming is left holding more than one person’s fate in the palm of his hand. He thought the choice would be easy, that there really wasn’t a question at all.
He was wrong.
Life or Death?

My Review:

If you've read Recalled, the first Death Escorts book, you may recall meeting Charming and Frankie. But if you have not read Recalled, have no fear, you don't need to in order to enjoy this book and get caught up in the storyline. Charming and Frankie's interactions in Recalled are reviewed enough for you to get on pace with the story. But I loved Recalled and it is the book that made me fall in love with this unique series, so if you haven't read it yet, I do recommend going back to it. You can find my review of Recalled here.

Back to Charmed: First, let me say that I love this series. There is just something so unique and fresh about it. The storyline is quite fascinating and I love that I have no idea which direction Cambria Hebert is going to take us, especially after reading Recalled. I feel like I have no guarantees with how things will turn out at the end of each book. Not that there are cliffhangers. Thanks to Cambria for no cliffhangers! But the books end in a way to close out one part of the story, but there is so much more story to be told and I can't wait to read more. We're dealing with the Grim Reaper for Pete's sake; that dude cannot be quickly dismissed. There were lots of twists and turns with the plot throughout that kept me guessing until the very end. I loved that I was never completely sure of what would happen next or how things would end.

I love that we get to know the cold-hearted Death Escort, Charming, that we met in Recalled. On the surface he is one way - he has to be; it's his job to be charming, cold, and lethal - but every onion has its layers and Charming is no exception. Cambria reveals his layers one at a time and I loved it. And I loved that Frankie played such an important role in revealing who Charming was buried beneath all that cold exterior. And Frankie herself was a fantastic heroine. She's funny, quirky, curvy, and fun, but she's also loyal, feisty, compassionate, and genuine. They also had terrific chemistry, which is apparent from the build-up of all their sexual tension and obvious attraction. And their scenes together-together were quite hot. These are a big step up from Recalled, which was much milder. Fortunately this attraction is more than skin deep.

The interactions and reactions between Charming and Frankie felt honest and real. The world they are involved in is not one that can be easily dismissed or swept under the rug - they're dealing with death after all. They have so much to deal with in regards to the past and present, in regards to individual and potential "couple" needs, in regards to outside factors (like the ever-persistent G.R.). I loved the honesty about how they each had to struggle with the decisions and choices put before them. I also loved how barriers and walls and facades were broken down. What was really fun is reading how their revelations came about, particularly Charming's, and the seriousness but especially the great humor and wit interwoven throughout the book, to guide these revelations.

Bottomline: I loved Charmed. I loved the characters, the story, the twists and turns. It kept me on my toes, kept me fully engaged (until me eyes hurt from reading), and kept me coming back for more. This book has both humor and seriousness, and the blend of the two really drew me in as a reader. I felt satisfied with where the book ended and didn't feel tortured by an unnecessary cliffhanger (as some authors are in the habit of doing). What more can I say except that I can't wait for the next installment of this series!


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