Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday + Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

This week my teaser comes from The Restorer by Amanda Stevens. I devoured this in two days sitting by the pool and I loved it. One of my favorite reads of the year, and a perfect pool or beach read, by the way. Think sultry, southern heat meets spooky, hair-raising chills! This is from page 19:

Behind him, translucent and hardly discernible from the mist, were two ghosts, that of a woman and a little girl. They were both looking at me, too, but I kept my gaze trained on the man.

From the Back Cover:

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 Thoughts:

Oh wow, this was a good read! From beginning to end, I loved everything about it. It's got that easy, sultry, southern vibe; secret societies, occult history, cemetery history; a smart and sensible protagonist; a sexy, haunted detective; an intellectual and entertaining mystery, and it was spooky as hell.

They call her the Graveyard Queen. Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer by day, devoted to preserving history and the resting places of the departed. By night she's a popular blogger and thanks to an interesting video, she's a Youtube sensation. She's a smart, educated, classy southern girl...and she sees dead people. From her experience, that's not a good thing, and her life has been one of discipline, reservation, and isolation, adhering to rules handed down by her father designed to keep her safe and sane:

Never acknowledge the dead. Don't look at them, don't speak to them, don't let them sense your fear. Even when they touch you. Never stray too far from hallowed ground. Keep your distance from those who are haunted. And never, ever tempt fate.

But all of the rules that have kept her safe her entire life are about to be tested when Detective John Devlin walks out of the mist on a warm Charleston night to tell Amelia that a fresh body has been discovered in the old cemetery she's just begun restoring on a local university campus. The police want her to consult as an expert on the case, and Amelia's life will never be the same.

The back cover copy provides a concise and eloquent plot synopsis, so I won't go into anymore detail here and risk spoiling anything! The Restorer is so well-crafted and so suspenseful--I savored every word, every twist, every revelation. It's a mystery and a thriller, but it's also an immersion for the senses, dripping with atmosphere and sensuality. I could feel the red-hot chemistry and the pull of attraction between Amelia and Devlin; I got goosebumps every time something went thump in the night or appeared in a window; I could feel the fear and urgency growing with each step toward the mystery's heartpounding conclusion. Along the way a few personal mysteries were teased out and the stage was set for future books in the series. Everyone has secrets, and I can't wait to see how they unravel. The Restorer is a new favorite for me--thrilling, evocative, and an excellent start to a new series. If you like history, mystery, and supernatural chills, you're gonna love this one!

My rating:  5 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance digital copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists!


  1. Spooky!


  2. This book sounds like so much fun! I'm going to check it out.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. Hopping by to say Hi! *waves*
    Following you...

    Awesome teaser!

    Here's our Teaser

    by Era Penera @ We Fancy Books

  4. That good. Not convinced yet. Perhaps the genre is just wrong for me in the end

  5. I've heard really good things about this book! It's definitely on my TBR list.

    My teaser is here.

  6. I thought this one was great too. But I really need a sequel now!

    My teasers are from The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong and Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh. Happy reading!

  7. oooh! i love ghost stories i will have to check this book out!!

  8. I love that teaser! I skipped your review for now until I read it, but I'm really looking forward to it now :)


    Holy smokes... Indigo Book Depository get ready I'm coming now!

  10. Very spooky. Sounds like a great read. If you get a chance, my teaser is here.

  11. Okay, definitely adding this one to my list. Sound slike just my kind of read!

  12. Ghosts, mystery, love, murder -- and all of it set in Charleston! I don't want to miss this one.
    Here's my teaser: Sandy's Teaser

  13. Sounds like a great one! Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  14. Wow, not one but two ghosts! Ghost stories give me the creeps. John Saul,s "Here Comes The Fury" still "haunts" me and I read that like 6 or 7 years ago!

    Here's ours: http://ourstack.blogspot.com/2011/06/tuesday-teaser-glimpse-and-cow-loves.html

  15. I featured this book as a wish list book at my series book blog, A Serial Reader (http://aserial reader.com). After your great recommendation I'll be buying the Kindle edition on my next venture to Amazon.

  16. This book combines a few genres - supernatural, mystery, thriller. Sounds like a good read.


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