Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Don't Wake The Dead (The Wraith Files #1) by CC Wood

Original Cover


My name is Zoe Thorne and I'm just an ordinary woman. My life is mundane, and that's perfectly fine with me; I work a boring job, watch TV, read books, and sleep alone. There's nothing special about me.

Except that I can see ghosts.

After suffering years of rejection due to my freakish ability, I'm determined to hide my "gift" from others. That is until I meet Malachi Flemming and his peculiar yet amusing friends. Mal hosts a paranormal web show titled The Wraith Files and when he discovers my talent, he offers me a job. Well, offer may not be the right word.

He won't take no for an answer.

One night, we stumble across a spirit on the side of a deserted, country road. He seems lost and scared, convinced someone murdered him. Mal's interest is piqued and he insists on helping me investigate the accident. The deeper we dig, the clearer it becomes that the killer doesn't want us to discover the truth.

Desperate people will go to any lengths to keep their secrets buried. Sometimes it's best not to wake the dead unless you plan to join them.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2016.

Every single time CC Wood announces that she's writing paranormal romance I have that moment of telling myself that I don't read PNR, I don't enjoy it, no really it's a conversation I have with myself EVERY SINGLE TIME. Each time I find myself wondering what it's about, whether I will enjoy it, all this posturing has lead me to a conclusion, I may not enjoy paranormal romance, but I love Ms Wood's paranormal romance, I never feel like I'm drowning in ghosts and werewolves and vampires OH MY, despite the fanciful characters from the other world her works always have a realistic, tangible quality to them, I find myself easily getting lost in the story, slipping into readerspace and just revelling in her words. In Don't Wake The Dead we're introduced to Zoe Thorne, Zoe is your normal, everyday young woman, she's working a job she doesn't love, surrounding but a pretty non existent social life and her two best friends are a well meaning man eater Jonelle and a ghost Terri, yep you heard right, Zoe's current roommate is the deceased former inhabitant of her apartment, after a lifetime of hiding her gifts, Zoe is quick to dismiss ghosts and the paranormal existence, she learnt early on that disclosing her abilities only serves to alienate her, leaving her the town pariah.

"Well, golly gee, Mal, most people would think I was crazy if I started telling them that I can see ghosts. Oh, and talk to them."

When Zoe finds herself out of a job, and Malachi (Mal) Flemming comes knocking on her door with a sweet deal to film a webisode from her haunted apartment, it seems like a fairly easy way to make some quick cash, only she isn't prepared for all that will happen when Mal and his merry band of Blaine and Stony come to document the paranormal existence in her home.

"What is it with you and your obsession with my sex life?"
"One of us should have one and you're the only one with a pulse." 
Where I was expecting something predominantly focus on the existence of the otherworld, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the main focus was purely the story, while it did have paranormal elements Don't Wake The Dead is definitely a story that contemporary romance or romantic comedy readers will be able to sink their teeth into. Zoe and Mal have an electric chemistry, one that sizzles and crackles and truly bursts from the page, while Wood serves up the sexual tension in spades, she also delivers on the gut busting laughs, and the perfect comedic timing she has become known for, it's a hard task to set the tone for a story and to continue to deliver it throughout the story when it shifts in style from paranormal romance to suspense and drama to comedy. While together Mal and Zoe are exciting and fresh, and so darn intriguing that you can't look away, but individually they are genuine and funny, sassy and sexy, slow burn romance done exquisitely, add to that the other colourful characters like Jonelle and Terri, and Blaine and Stony and Wood has created the kind of ensemble where you hope each get their own story. From the first page I was intrigued, by the end of the first chapter I was utterly captivated, by the half way point I was so desperately invested that I couldn't decide whether I wanted the devour the pages or savor them and take my time. Intermixed with moments of sheer hilarity, and breathtaking suspense, were moments so beautifully tender and heartbreakingly real that left me desperate for more. At the end of yet another review for CC Woods work I stand by my former claim; PNR as a genre may not be for me, but Wood's take on PNR certainly is.

About CC Wood:

A native Texan, C.C. grew up either reading or playing the piano. Years later, she’s still not grown up and doing the same things. Since the voices in her head never shut up, C.C. decided to share their crazy stories and started writing books.

Now that she has a baby girl at home, C.C.’s non-writing time is usually spent cleaning up poopy diapers or feeding the poop machine. Sometimes she teaches piano, cooks, or spends time bugging her hubby and two beagles.

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