Warning!!! Read at your own risk! Because this is a three book review it will contain spoilers to the overall series. I read the Charley Davidson series over a four day period and when I say read I really mean devoured. The last time I was this excited about a series was the Fever series. These books are lol funny and have a plot line that will just suck you right in. I hope my reviews will do the books justice and everyone will want to go out and buy them. ‘Cause they are that freaking fantastic!!
First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)- Charley sees dead people. Yes, that is the overall premise of this series. Charley is a brilliant light that all dead people can see from far and wide. Unfortunately for Charley these dead people always want something. A letter to a family member, last message for a friend, find out who murdered them….
Charley comes from a family of cops so since the tender age of birth she has been used as a tool to help them solve murders. Both her dad and Ubie (Uncle Bob) take advantage of Charley’s gift. Charley has also formed her own PI company where her BFF and neighbor, Cookie, serves as the receptionist.
Book one is mostly an introduction to all of the characters and the parts they play in Charley’s life.
Denise- wicked step-mother
Garrett- Hot bounty hunter and pain in Charley’s rear
Ubie- Uncle Bob
Angel- Dead 16 year old gang banger that helps Charley investigate
Mr. Wong- dead guy that never moves from the corner of Charley’s apartment (how could I leave him out??)
And so on….until we get to the Big Bad. The Big Bad has been a presence in Charley’s life since birth. He was there when she entered into the world and has always been there when she is in danger. He is some dark figure that scares Charley even though he has saved her on many occasions. Charley assumes he is another dead person but events happen and lead Charley to the conclusion that he is not dead. He is really Reyes Farrow and is serving on death row for the supposed murder of his father. When Charley goes to visit Reyes she finds out he is in a coma and the plug will be pulled if she doesn’t find a reason to stop it.
Crazy love for Reyes here. What a complicated character. We are not really sure if he is good or bad or a combo of the two. We do know that Charley is his main focus. Why and what for…well that is still to be determined. The book ends with frantic events and Reyes walking out of prison without anyone knowing how. Oh and he calls her Dutch. Sigh….
“You know what’s disturbing?” Garret asked, closing his notebook as we walked up.
“Your addiction to little people porn?”
“Nobody has seen Father Federico in days,” he said without missing a beat. Apparently, it was a rhetorical question. I wished he’d stated that before I wasted one of my best lines on an answer. I hated being wrong.
“My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.”
I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?”
I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.”
Another warning!! Spoilers ahead!!!
Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #1)- Book one left off with Reyes on the loose and us not know much about him. Reyes visits Charley in his incorporeal form and tells her demons have found his body and he is being tortured. He informs her that he must let his physical body die that way demons and Satan will not be able to use it to find her. There is a big reveal as to who Reyes is and why he is stalking around Charley all the time. I found it to be pretty yummy and exciting; Charley found it to be a bit unbelievable. She was also unwilling to let Reyes give up his physical body. Against his expressed wishes she makes it her mission, well one of them, to find his body and save him.
Once again, there is a background mystery going on that Cookie and Charley must solve but all of my focus was on Reyes. We are still not sure which side he falls on. He protects Charley yet he threatens her. He states that if he has to kill her to save mankind, in the end he will do just that. But his devotion to her is so clear. And their chemistry is smoking hot. Like squirm in your chair hot.
There is a side plot with Charley’s dad that left me a little confused. He acted off the whole book and towards the end we find out why. He was part of a big problem for Charley. Charley’s reaction had me crying, big fat tears running down my face. Not only can Ms. Jones write the humor and sex but she can do a mean poignant moment too. The issue causes Gemma and Charley to reconcile what differences they had so there was something positive that came out of it.
Eventually Charley does find Reyes physical body and does something so bad and wrong that Reyes refuses to see her anymore. To say he is pissed at her would be an understatement. Charley has many unknown powers to figure out and until she does she is a danger to the world as a whole. Reyes is sent back to prison and now unable to protect her even in incorporeal form.
I have left out some of the major spoilers so there will still be some big surprises when you pick it up for the first time. I still want everyone to have the OMG look on their face like I did when I first read some of the details. I don’t think I lost that OMG look for several days while reading these books!
“Two men from the FBI are here,” Cookie said.
Crap. “Men in black are at the office?”
“Well, yes, but they’re actually in more of a navy.” ?Crapola. I so didn’t have time for men. In any color. “Okay, two questions.
Do they look mad, and are they hot?”
After a long, long pause, Cookie said, “One, not really. Two, no comment at this time. And three, you’re on speakerphone.”
After another long, long pause, I said, “Okie dokie then. Be there in a jiff.”
“If you’re not going to tell me where you are, if you’re not going to trust me to help you, then why are you here? Why bother?”
After the room reverberated with a soft growl, I felt him leave. I felt his essence drain from the room, the cold stillness that lingered in his wake. A split second before he vanished completely, he brushed past me, whispered in my ear.
“Because you’re the reason I breathe.”
Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)- Charley cannot go to sleep. Every time she nods off Reyes is there. And he is so very angry at her. It hurts her because she knows he does not want to be there. Running on 13+ days of no sleep much Charley hilarity follows.
Reyes escapes from prison and kidnaps Charley. He wants her to prove the man he murdered is still alive. Charley is all for doing that because then maybe she will be able to be around Reyes in normal physical form for a long time.
So many things happen in this book that I was breathless until the end. We find out that Reyes and Charley are polar opposites drawn to each other. They are unable to resist the force of the attraction. For her part, Charley really doens’t want to resist the attraction! Charley has been told that she will inadvertently cause the death of someone who will become her guardian. The guardian will watch over her and be the good to Reyes’ bad. She is given a countdown to when that will happen. We are just made to wait with bated breath to find out who that guardian is.
What made this book a little different is Charley shows growth. This is the first time we see her realize she only has herself to lean on. She focuses more inward on herself than outward on the people in her life. Cookie is the only person that accepts her for who and what she is, with no questions. This is a hard lesson for Charley to learn.
The end of this book is a betrayal on so many fronts. Reyes betrays Charley in a way that almost causes the death of someone close to her. Charley betrays Reyes in a way that did not make me happy. At all. I am just not sure how to feel about how this one ended. But I do know that I was stunned and left breathless. How will Ms. Jones fix this? Will she fix it? How do I even want her to fix it?
”We need to talk.”
“Does this have anything to do with the mustache I drew on you while you were sleeping the other night?”
“No. This has to do with drugs.”
“You’re on drugs?!?”
“No. You are.”
“I’m on drugs?!?”
At first, I could lie about my lack of sleep and she’d fall for it, but she started suspecting insomnia when I began seeing purple elephants in the air vents at the office. I knew I shouldn’t have asked her about them. I thought maybe she’d redecorated.