Hello Lovelies! Today, I’ll be sharing my review for the first book in The Mortician’s Daughter series by C.C. Hunter. One Foot in the Grave is a wickedly thrilling paranormal romance story that had me flipping through the pages.
Published: Novermber 16, 2017
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense
Format: Paperback, 325 pages
Her dad’s job is with the dead . . . and he’s bringing his work home with him.
Once again, seventeen-year-old Riley Smith is the new kid in school and her dad’s career has her back to being dubbed a freak. Truth is, she’s a much bigger freak than her classmates think. The only company she keeps these days is the dead who follow Dad home from work. She can see them. She can speak to them. And Fate seems to think she can help them solve their last problems so that they can move on to the other side. Which is odd, because with the loss of her mother and her father’s alcoholism, she’s got enough problems of her own.
But nothing could prepare her for the next tormented young spirit who darkens Riley’s door. The young woman’s death wasn’t the accident everyone believes. Soon Riley finds herself face-to-face with the killer and her only protection comes in the form of another spirit, Hayden, a boy her age with a heart-melting smile and understanding eyes that make her feel safe. If she can escape becoming the killer’s next victim, Riley knows she’ll have to help Hayden move on too, but what if she can’t let him go?
Can I go to jail for this?
The question snakes through my mind as I make my way down Dead Oak Street. The sound of my tennis shoes smacking against the cracked sidewalk fills the cold, almost-dark night. I pull my hoodie closer and hold my purse to my side like a weapon.
A full moon makes its appearance early, hanging in the sky that’s still clinging to a spray of gold left over from the sunset. I chose this time purposely, hoping everyone would be in their houses eating dinner, doing homework… not out watching for strangers trying to slip something into their mailbox.
Getting caught isn’t an option. Never mind if it’s illegal—though it shouldn’t be, I’m doing them a favor—it would bring questions down on me that I’m not prepared to answer. That I’ll never be prepared to answer.
I spot an address on the street curb. My heart thumps and vibrates against my breastbone.
Three houses to go.
I keep moving and, staring down, remember the old song lyrics, Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Since my mom’s dead, I don’t have to worry. But what was the second chorus? Step on a line, break your father’s spine.
Maybe I should avoid lines. Dad has enough crap on his plate. Crap I wish I could help him with, but I don’t have a clue how to do that.
Taking a deep breath, telling myself this favor is almost done, I keep walking toward house number thirteen. Why did it have to be an unlucky number?
Homes on each side of the street line up like dollhouses and seem to be watching me. Through one, I see a TV airing the evening news. Through another, I spot a family of four having dinner. I wonder what it would be like to have that. To be part of a family. To be more than just “Dad and me.” The before-Mom-died memories are so few, and even those are vague. Considering I was four, I guess I’m lucky I have any at all.
Only one house to go.
I see the house. It’s dark as if no one’s home. The mailbox catches my eye. It’s leaning, looking tired and old. The metal door flap is hanging open. This might be my lucky day.
I reach into my purse and pull out the envelope. The tightness in my chest releases. I can do this.
I take the last few steps, avoiding cracks and lines. A dog barks from across the street. The barking rings like a warning, announcing a stranger is present. And I’m the stranger.
The yowling grows loud as if the animal is approaching. I accidently let the envelope slip from my fingers. I look over, hoping I’m not about to be mauled. The dog’s in the middle of the road, yelping, alerting the neighborhood. I stomp my foot, and the canine scurries back across the street.
Heart pounding, I kneel down, snatch up the letter, and slip it into the mailbox.
Done. Problem solved. I can go home now.
And so can you, Bessie.
I look up at the bowl of darkening sky. Right then I see a shooting star race across the night, leaving a trail of glitter in its wake. I smile. I know what it means. A rightness enters my chest.
Before I take my first step away from the mailbox, I hear something… someone.
“What are you doing?” The girl’s voice rings out.
The rightness is shattered.
I freeze and pray her words are for someone else. Then I see the dark shadow sitting on the edge of the porch, almost hidden behind the hedges. It’s from house number thirteen.
The air locks in my throat, a jolt of pin-prickling pain races under my skin.
I am so caught.
The figure pushes off the porch, walking toward me. I consider running, but my feet feel nailed to the sidewalk. Panic fills my empty stomach.
Even worse is that when she gets closer, I recognize her. Dark hair, light olive skin, dressed in black.
I don’t remember her name, but I have two classes with her. English and history. She keeps to herself. Not coming off as shy so much as… a loner. Maybe even someone with a chip on her shoulder.
“What are you doing?” she asks again.
Yup. I am so caught. So screwed. My mind races, seeking an answer she’ll believe. One that would completely avoid the truth. Not that she would believe the truth. Sometimes I still don’t believe it.
I gulp down the knot of panic in my throat. “I, uh… A piece of mail had fallen out of your mailbox.”
That sounded convincing, didn’t it? I pray she hadn’t seen the envelope in my hand before I’d dropped it.
A Wickedly Thrilling and Hauntingly Captivating Paranormal Romance
I absolutely enjoyed reading In Another Life and This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter. They’re both really fascinating and delightfully emotional contemporary stories that made me smile, laugh, swoon, cry, and feel. I haven’t read any of her paranormal romances before this, but I can honestly say that Hunter’s writing is utterly addictive and I am obssessed! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and just cannot get enough.
I love paranormal and supernatural stories, but haven’t read too many about ghosts. I’m usually into vampire books, but One Foot in the Grave is surprisingly really GOOD and I think I have a new favorite series. This book immediately had me hooked. It’s spooky, exciting, suspenseful, sometimes funny and also affecting. I loved the mystery part and reading about Riley helping the ghost, Abby, was absolutely thrilling. I was literally holding my breath sometimes and I could feel my heart beating so fast. The plot is definitely far from being dull and if I didn’t have to work and adult, I defintely would have finished this book in one sitting. I enjoyed the drama, the intrigue, the paranormal aspects, the romance, and the heartwarming moments. And even though I guessed right about part of the ending, I still liked the way the events played out and it made me even more excited for the next book (which I’m close to finishing as I’m doing this review).
I really love the characters and Riley is just a fantastic heroine. My heart ached for her, but I was also really amazed by her strength and determination. She has such a big heart and willing to do the right thing even though it’s not always easy. Kelsey is awesome and I loved her fiesty personality. She’s also an amazing friend to Riley. Hayden has my heart now and forever and I’m totally rooting for him. He’s so charming and sweet and really cares about Riley. My prediction about him turned out to be correct and I’m honestly so happy about that.
I liked the romance. Riley and Hayden are super adorable together. It’s a bit of a forbidden romance given Hayden’s situation, but… well, I can’t say too much and spoil it for you. They do have really amazing and swoony chemistry and I loved all their moments together. I’m seriously looking forward to see what happens next in their relationship.
Hunter’s writing style and storytelling is truly amazing. I love the way I’m easily captivated by her stories and feel emotionally connected to her characters. I love being able to experience every wonderful and heartbreaking FEELS. This book is such an intriguing and engaging story and I had so much fun.
One Foot in the Grace by by C.C. Hunter had me pleasantly engrossed until the very last page. I think it’s amazingly compelling, satisfyingly suspenseful, and emotionally touching. I enjoyed the writing, the mystery, the family drama, the humor, the light fluffy moments, the romance, and all the wonderful feels. I honestly can’t recommend this enough and I’m stopping my review here cause I’m dying to finish book 2 already.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
C. C. Hunter is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty-five books, including her wildly popular Shadow Falls and Shadow Falls: After Dark series. In addition to winning numerous awards and rave reviews for her novels, C.C. is also a photojournalist, motivational speaker, and writing coach. In February 2018, Wednesday Books will publish her contemporary young adult and hardcover debut, This Heart of Mine. And the first book of her new paranormal young adult series, The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave will release on October 31st 2017. C. C. currently resides in Texas with her husband, junkyard dog, Lady, and whatever wild creatures that meander out from woods surrounding home.
C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels. www.christie-craig.com
C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take some time to get back with you, but she will firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you read this book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day!