I’m not usually one for zombies, but I’ve made a few exceptions over the years and this was one of them because it sounded like my favorite fairy tale when I read the blurb. Beauty and the Zombie! Yeah, okay I know that doesn’t have quite the same ring as the original title. This is modern day and its NYC and he’s a cold-hearted Wall Street financier and the curse comes through a voodoo priestess, but that’s all semantics. It’s still the very hot and sexy version of a beautiful woman falling in love with a beast and then trying to help him find a way to beat out the curse.
Drake has spent eight long years of solitude living in the shadows because of the curse a voodoo priestess put on him after he did his usual ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ routine with her granddaughter. Eight years has turned him into a totally different man- literally. Besides learning to despise the man he once was and change, he now has to hide from the world because he is half-zombie. That is his body will suddenly change over and he looks like a dead guy walking. He has quietly remade himself into a reclusive book editor and is content if not happy with this lonesome life and only seeing his one friend who is a private investigator working between cases to track down Drake’s voodoo priestess.
Simone is a successful author who has hit a snag. She can’t seem to get past chapter two and her deadline is approaching. She confides in her publishing friend who dishes out a spot of ‘you need to get laid’ advice with the business card for a consulting editor. Simone has no intentions of taking either the advice or the business card. She has a terrible track record with men for one and she couldn’t possibly take help writing her steamy romance novel from a man. But out of desperation, she soon changes her mind and learns that not only was Drake’s suggestions helpful, but they spent hours messaging back and forth enjoying themselves. She takes the next step and asks him out for coffee only to get turned down.
Beck, Drake’s friend, hounds him about taking the chance that he won’t have a flair-up for a few days and just go out for coffee with the woman. So he does and its a wonderful experience that leaves them both fantasizing back in their apartments until they meet up for their next date. Everything is wonderful- the chats, the hot sex- and Drake isn’t able to say no to Simone even though he knows he should. Eventually the truth will drive her away anyway. However, it’s not just the truth, but his worst nightmare that puts things in jeopardy with Simone. The voodoo priestess discovers that he is seeing Simone putting Simone in the evil woman’s crosshairs.
As I said, the plot on this one was the zombie version of the old fairy tale. Not sure if that was the author’s intention or not. It was the steamy version for certain. The basic plot was decent and I enjoyed how it went down and I didn’t mind things getting hot and heavy. Drake and Simone along with their two close buds were characters I really enjoyed- not really deep, but still fun characters. The narration is third person and pops back and forth between the two which worked nicely. I enjoyed that edge of not knowing when Drake’s zombie issues would flair up and I just really wanted him to have a good time with Simone after all he had been through. He screwed up and he deserved some retribution, but the cost he paid was pretty steep for what he did. I was totally on his side after seeing him with a change of heart. Simone wasn’t my kinda gal and I really couldn’t relate to her much, but I still wanted her to have something nice with Drake.
However, for some reason I wasn’t turned on by most of the bed play. I’m well aware people fantasize- who doesn’t, but I didn’t get off on two really long scenes full of pages of details of these two separately enjoying themselves alone with their fantasies and that was right in the beginning. And then shortly after date number two, they went at it together for pages. I figure they have to be the fittest most sexually satisfied-or maybe not satisfied- people on the planet to pull all that off. I got to the point where I was like ‘get on with the story already’. I know some of you are ready to kick me about that because we all love our scorching scenes, but for me sexy times need to fit organically into the story and not pull me out and I don’t read straight erotica because I do love a good plot line.
My discontent was not enough to make me put the book down. I still wanted to see how things were going to work out and that side of the story didn’t disappoint. It was loaded with zombies and dangerous chase scenes, voodoo magic and deadly danger. I really liked how things came together in the end.
So all in all, it was a decent read that falls more into paranormal than horror. Definitely on the steamy side of the spectrum. And a good choice for those who want to dip their toes into the zombie stories without getting the stuffing scared out of them.
My thanks to Net Galley for providing the book for review purposes.
Review by Sophia Rose
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