The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (2022)
Florence is a ghostwriter for a famous romance novelist, which is a little awkward because she no longer believes in love. Her meeting with her new (and hot) editor is cut short when Florence is called home after her father's death, but she's surprised when the editor's ghost greets her in her small hometown. I have seen such glowing reviews for this story that my expectations were really high, and unfortunately, I didn't seem to love this one as much as others have. I think the "romance" elements of this book didn't work as well for me. Florence and Ben, the editor, only have two brief encounters before his ghost appears, and their rapid closeness afterwards just felt a bit odd (and also a bit juvenile, which kind of makes sense since this is Poston's first adult novel after a string of YAs). However, I did enjoy Florence's journey through grieving her father and spending time with her family after being away for so long. All the happy (and sad) family dynamics came through so strongly, and I was really hoping for one last meeting between Florence and her dad, considering her gift for seeing ghosts. Also, all the bookish references were really fun! 3.5 stars
Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey (2020)
Ginny, a funeral home director, is surprised but not scared when the body she's about to start preparing for its funeral suddenly sits up and starts talking to her. It's soon revealed that Jonas is a vampire, and while he should wipe her memories of this night, the instant connection between the two (as well as a disturbing problem Ginny is dealing with), brings their worlds together. Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book! I couldn't tell if the author was serious about the story or if it was more of a tongue-in-cheek look at the paranormal romance genre. I'm going to go with the latter, because that makes for a much more interesting read for me! The story was basically Twilight for a slightly older audience (human girl falls for vampire boy, someone is trying to kill human girl, there's a hidden but very powerful vampire hierarchy). Ginny is super naive and innocent, but I admired her devotion to Jonas, and the way he cared for her was actually pretty swoon-worthy. The side characters inject some much-needed humor. I won't be continuing with the series, but this was good for a quick, light read. 3.5 stars
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