I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Darynda Jones
Released: October 6th 2015
Series: Charley Davidson #8.5
Published by St. Martin's Press
“If you haven’t read this [Charley Davidson] series, then you’re missing out.”~ Under the Covers
Brighter than the Sun is in Reyes’ POV from the very beginning focusing on certain highlights of his life. His narrative story goes right along with the first few books of this series. I’ll have to warn you now, this is not a typical Charley Davidson book that is full of sarcasm, LOL moments, and mystery. BTTS is quite the opposite. It’s very dark and heartbreaking.
This novella tells us Reyes’ Story. It’s been known that Reyes is a tortured hero. Here we see it all down to the ugliest, saddest and tortured detail. It was all so heartbreaking; his experience with Earl Walker and how he broke Reyes physically and emotionally. The story touches on his love for his sister, his only friend and how they all survived the hardships together. Most importantly, he tells his story on how his relationship with Charley Davidson came to be and how her bright light saved him time and time again. Included is a very intimate sexy scene sure to make Reyes’ fans want more.
BTTS is my top pick novella for the year. Despite its short length, it had everything I expected and more. Reyes’ tortured past floored me. I cried for him and relieved he had Charley’s light to help him survive it all. Darynda gave her fans the pleasure of getting to know Reyes on a deeper level. She has outdone herself with this novella. If you haven’t read this series, then you’re missing out. =)
I’m curled in a corner of the basement, shivering like a little bitch and licking my wounds from the latest encounter, when I hear my sister crying at the door. I try to assure her I’m okay, but the edges of my vision darken and a beckoning light appears in the distance. I collapse and drift toward it. Weightless. Ethereal.
I always drift toward it.
Not literally. I’ve been locked in the basement by a psychopath. I don’t get out much. But mentally.
You should probably know that even though I’m twelve, the circumstances of my existence are not normal. The things that happen to me are not normal. The things in my head are not normal. And the light that I’m drifting toward, the warmth I feel from it, the . . . forgiveness for all my abnormalities, is as abnormal as I am.
I’m three the first time I see it, and in a very similar state. I follow it. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and drift toward the white-hot pinprick of light burning the back of my eyes. The closer I get, the brighter it becomes until, just when I think I’ll never see again . . .
. . . she appears.
This tiny being peeking out from between a lady’s legs. I don’t know what to think at first, besides I shouldn’t be looking between a lady’s legs. But she is dying, the lady, so I figure it’s okay. I wouldn’t look at her bad anyway. My head doesn’t always work right, but even at three, it knows not to look at a lady bad.
Anyway, she’s shaking. The lady. Not shivers like if she’s cold, but deep shakes like if something’s wrong. Her head is thrown back and her body is stiff. The nurses hold her down as a doctor pulls at the light. At the thing. The tiny being that was in the lady’s belly, and suddenly it all makes sense.
Not the light, but that whole “Where do babies come from?” thing.
It’s disturbing, but not so disturbing as the lady. One of the reasons my head doesn’t work right is because I feel what others feel. Could ever since I was a kid. A littler kid. I can feel other people when they’re mad or pissed or in pain. That’s how I know when to stay away from Earl.
When to run and hide. It doesn’t always work, but it’s damned sure worth a shot.
But right now, I feel the lady’s pain and it hurts and I almost leave if not for the light. I try to catch my breath once more. To be near it. Near her. Just a little longer.
She comes out in a whoosh of baby and liquid and a light so bright, I can hardly see—and I’m mesmerized. Then the pain stops and I can breathe normally again. The lady is still. A solid, constant note sounds in the room, and people gather around her and the baby. Everyone except the man holding the lady’s hand. He is doubled over. His shoulders shake, and I realize the people around the baby—most of them, anyway—are dead. They’re people from the past come to see the light. Ghosts. Whispers.
Their faces are full of wonder, but they are blocking my view, so I push them aside and drift closer. She is wailing like babies do. Then she sees the lady. Her mother. The woman standing beside the doctor, looking down at her. I’d never seen anything like the emotion in the mom’s expression, and I think how it must be love, because it’s soft and caring and tender.
I’m glad for the baby and sad at the same time. The mother touches her face. The baby’s. Tells her to be strong. Stronger than she was. Then she kisses the man’s bowed head, and I think about how I didn’t know ghosts could cry. Then she does the impossible: She steps into the baby’s light and is gone.
by Darynda Jones
Released: January 5th 2016
Series: Charley Davidson #9
Published by St. Martin's Press
In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
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