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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %

Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave Past the Light - Darynda Jones

My Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About


The fifth story of Ms. Jones’s wonderful Charley Davidson series opens just days after the conclusion of the fourth title, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. Due to the continuing storyline nature of this series, this review inevitably contains spoilers from the first four books. I strongly encourage new-to-the-series readers to start with the first book. So much happens between characters and in individual character development along the way, one would miss out on a lot by starting with this book.


The overall feel of Fifth Grave Past the Light is finally a bit lighter after a couple of pretty dark books, and because of this, I enjoyed the book a lot more. With that said, things don’t go smoothly for Charley, and once again either Charley, or those she loves, are placed in dangerous situations. This time around, Charley’s main case involves trying to capture a male adulterer. While this case falls apart pretty quickly after Charley’s BFF Cookie tries to help, there are aspects of the case that linger throughout the entire book. Meanwhile, Charley’s apartment is quickly filling up with creepy dead women, none of which will talk to her. Solving what happened to these women (and getting them out of her apartment) becomes the focal point of the book.


So much happens in Fifth Grave Past the Light, that it is difficult to write a review without letting spoilers slip. I want to chat about the different aspects and what it all means (so if you’ve read the book and want to chat, find me on twitter, please!) One of the positive things in the story is that Charley and her dad seem to be getting along a little better. They are not buddies, and she still hurts from his actions and betrayal, but she’s working out of her office again, she’s hanging out at the bar, and she’s even filling in for the bartender now and then. I’m glad to see the pair experience calmer waters.


There is a LOT more of Reyes this time around. If you are a fan of Reyes, I think you will be very happy with the events in Fifth Grave. The pair spends a lot of time together in intimate settings, and their chemistry is hotter than ever! Their verbal sparring and teasing creates a lot of fun for a couple that probably shouldn’t even be together (as reiterated by Charley’s ghostly friends, Rocket and Angel). Charley is becoming more comfortable with the idea of Reyes as a neighbor and lover, which reflect in her character in a positive way. She even thinks to herself while all curled up in bed with him:


“It was like he was created for me and me alone.”


And that is exactly what I am afraid of! I don’t know if I can trust Reyes, and I know I cannot trust his father’s intentions. I am still not one hundred percent on board with Reyes, although he made significant progress during the course of this book. SO here’s my thing… Right now, I don’t love Charley and Reyes as a couple. Separately – they are fabulous characters. I love who they are and what they represent. Their mutual lust is steamy and adds entertainment to the reading. However, together, I do not feel like they are a couple. They aren’t looking for a happily ever after. They share a strong attraction and possibly a friendship, but Reyes doesn’t love Charley. He’s obsessed with her. He wants to own and possess her. He is rude and an ass, but not out of love. With that said, I was floored at how the pair acted in public around one another – and that is a good thing. Just make sure you read this one all the way to the end… It’s a good one!


Once again, I was bummed by the lack of Garrett Swoops – but he was in this one more that the last. The mystery of what happened to him while in Hell is intriguing. We do find out more about how and why he was sent there, and Swoops own ideas of what he learned are ominous. I cannot figure out where his story line is headed and what his ultimate purpose will be, which does frustrate me.


In general, we discover more pieces of the puzzle, but they aren’t necessarily fitting together to make a picture just yet. Rocket makes a grand announcement about a death, and frankly I was really upset with how Charley treated Rocket and his sister. This was a side of Charley that I don’t like, and I would have like this issue resolved. Angel’s mom is also now in the picture, and I want to know why. There is also significant progress on the ongoing arson case. Wondering how Charley would deal with her suspicions over who was responsible was interesting. I enjoyed her internal struggles as she debated the best course of action and how it would impact those she cares about.


Finally, Charlie’s Uncle Bob’s boss (Captain of the police force) is taking up a huge interest in Charley and her ability to solve a lot of crimes. He is creepy with his lurking manner. He is letting Charley know she’s being watched, and I have to wonder why. For the first few books, Charley was being “stalked” by former high school classmate, Owen Vaughn, also a police officer, and I feel that storyline should have finished out before added another police officer watching over Charley.


There are just so many little nuggets and bits that make this story interesting and engrossing. Figuring out how each piece of the puzzle falls into place is one of the many reasons I adore this series. Ms. Jones’s humor is another. I laugh and snicker as I read Charley’s adventures. If you enjoyed the earlier books, then you will certainly want to read Fifth Grave Past the Light. All of the best attributes of the series are front and center, with some of the more negative ones left behind this time around. And with the way this ended, plus some significant open-ended questions dangling around Charley, I cannot wait to read book six!