ARC Review – Three Heartbeats Away by C.C. Hunter


Happy release day to Three Heartbeats Away, the third book in The Mortician’s Daughter series by C.C. Hunter. This book made my heart ache so much but I LOVED every moment. It’s sooo GOOD and I’m so thrilled this book is finally out so you can all binge this amazing paranormal romance thriller. divider3



Published: June 18, 2019

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense

Format: Paperback 274




The dead carry their secrets with them…At least until they end up at Riley Smith’s door. Her latest spectral visitor is a murdered bride with a need for revenge, and not necessarily for the person who killed her. Never mind that killer is about to strike again. Riley’s determined to help, but is missing Hayden, the hot, ghostly boy who’s always had her back.Living, breathing Hayden is awake, which means his spirit isn’t around to flirt with Riley anymore. Worse yet, the “real” Hayden doesn’t remember her. Their connection had been so strong. Did his feelings for Riley just disappear into the ether?As Riley gets closer to finding the bride’s killer, other secrets are revealed: secrets that changes everything Riley thought she knew about her parents. But before she can completely unravel the mystery of her past, Riley will need to escape the murderer that threatens her future.


“If you aren’t going to talk, just leave. All that blood is ruining my appetite.” I plop the quart of ice cream on the table.

My spoon, glazed with a thin coat of ice, drops to the tile floor with a frozen clink. The sharp sound vibrates through the kitchen and frays a few more of my nerves. And I don’t have very many left.

I look up at the dead bride who’s been standing silently in front of me for five minutes.

“It is kind of a lot, isn’t it?” Her tone rings sarcastic as she glares down at the front of her gown.

My gaze follows hers to where the knife protrudes out of her chest, and I choke down a toe-curling scream. I should be used to seeing crap like this, but I’m not.

The chill that comes with the dead has officially turned my blood to slush. While I can still move, I pop up from the chair, recap the quart of Rocky Road, and shove it back into the freezer—which, by the way, is warmer than the kitchen.

For some reason, this ghost is colder than the rest. I’ve been helping the dead pass over for a year and eight months, but I’m still not spirit-savvy enough to know what that means.

Last week, she showed up claiming she has info about my mom, who died when I was four, but the dead bride will only talk if I promise to help her. Problem is, she won’t tell me what kind of help she needs until I give my word. I’m guessing it has to do with whoever stuck that ten-inch knife in her heart, but then again, her killer might already be in jail. I can hope, right? Finding murderers is way above my pay grade. Especially considering I don’t get paid.

“What do you need help with?” I ask. Again.

“So that boy in the hospital broke your heart, huh?” She smiles as if my pain makes her giddy.“Isn’t that your fourth quart of ice cream in two days?”

What is she? The ice cream police? “That isn’t what we need to be talking about,” I say, when what I want to say is, Doesn’t look as if your love life turned out so well, either. But I’m not a smartass.

Well, I am. I’m sort of a closet smartass.

But she’s right about the boy. He broke my heart. When I met Hayden, I thought he was a ghost, but it turned out he was only in a coma. Which explained why his spirit always felt warmer than the others. The “real” Hayden woke up in the hospital two days ago and doesn’t remember me. How could he forget? How when we spent hours bonding? How when he saved my life twice and I’m pretty sure I had a hand in saving his? Isn’t that memorable?

Bridezilla moves closer. Ice forms on my lips.

“Was that other girl who showed up his girlfriend?”

I refuse to answer. Hayden never told me about his girlfriend, Brandy. Which is why I’m pissed at him. Yeah, I found out he’d dated her, but because he never mentioned her—ever—I just assumed it wasn’t serious. I just assumed when he woke up, we’d be together. That he’d love me like he said he did.

The spirit’s silver-blond hair, hanging in loose curls, sweeps over the knife, and the tips of her hair soak up blood, becoming heavier.

She props a hand on her hip with attitude, and with the knife poking out of her chest, she comes off like a real badass. And while I might be a closet smartass, I don’t have a badass bone in my body. But I fake it pretty good sometimes.

She makes a hissing sound.“I need your promise you’ll help me.”

“I don’t make promises before I know what they include. So either start talking or start walking.”I spot Pumpkin, my orange tabby, hiding and shivering behind the garbage can. Ghosts aren’t his thing.

To escape the freezer-burn feeling, I move to pick the spoon up off the floor and drop it in the sink. The wooden block displaying ten of our sharpest knives steals my attention, and the image of the knife in the bride’s chest fills my head.

I wouldn’t be so quick to send her packing if I wasn’t pretty sure she was blowing smoke about having Mom info. She undoubtedly heard me talking about all my unanswered Mom questions.

Questions I’m hoping to get answers to today when Kelsey and I go on a road trip to a certain artist’s gallery where one of my Mom’s paintings is on exhibit. I’d found six paintings by that same artist—signed only as Sam—in our attic. My mom had collected his work.

“Promise you’ll do what I say or I’ll take everything I know about your mom back to my grave.” Obviously, the spirit thinks she needs to blackmail me into helping her. She doesn’t. Helping the dead is what I do. Not all by choice, mind you. I didn’t ask for this unpaid gig.

My next breath sends ice crystals into the air.

Shivering, I turn around and pull my arms into the sleeves of my navy sweater.“Who did that to you?” I gaze at the knife.“Is that what this is about?”

Her lips, a dead blue color, turn downward. “You’re wrong, you know.”

“Wrong about what?” My teeth chatter.

“Everything you believe about your mom. Everything!”



mythoughtsThe perfect conclusion to this hauntingly beautiful, enthralling and suspenseful paranormal romance thriller.


I have nothing but love and admiration for this series and I will read anything C.C. Hunter writes!

My heart is aching, my eyes are swollen from crying, and I’m still overwhelmed with so many different emotions that I feel breathless, but amazingly exhilarated. The Mortician’s Daughter series by C.C. Hunter has a special place in my heart and I’m so sad it’s over, but also really super happy about how everything played out. Three Heartbeats Away is definitely the perfect conclusion to this hauntingly beautiful, enthralling and suspenseful paranormal romance thriller and I really LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series!

This stunning and fun trilogy had me enamored from the moment I met Riley and I absolutely enjoyed being part of her journey. From the high and the lows, the happy and the sad, the good and the bad, the twists and turns, and everything else in between… I honestly LOVED it all. This series is just so amazing and addictive. It’s satisfyingly infectious, incredibly enticing, and wonderfully poignant. I don’t think my obsession with this will ever be cured because I still really want MORE. It may have shattered and broke my heart, but it also made me feel so many beautiful emotions. It was torture for sure… an absolutely delicious torture. So, if you’ve read One Foot in the Grave and Two Feet Under, then you CANNOT miss Three Heartbeats Away cause Hunter did not hold anything back and she gave me everything I want and love in a story.

There are plenty of moments that ripped my heart and made me cry. I hurt so damn bad for the characters and everything they’re dealing with, but my heart ached the most for Riley. She’s struggling with so many issues in her life that I was really amazed she’s able to keep it together the way she did. If I could I would give her the biggest hug…. definitely more than 20 seconds. Actually, I would hug all the characters cause I felt so much for them. Sometimes, I still feel weird saying I care about fictional people, but I really care about these characters and wanted to see them happy.

There are also many funny and adorable scenes that lightened my mood, made me smile, and even laugh. Riley and Kelsey’s friendship is definitely goals and I loved their bond. The chemistry between Riley and Hayden is palpable, realistic, and swoony. As much as I didn’t like some of it, I really did enjoy how Riley and Hayden’s relationship developed and I thought it was really sweet. The murder mystery part and Riley trying to help the bride ghost, Shane, was really exciting and I enjoyed trying to solve the case. There’s also family drama and conflict which were interesting to read about and had so much feels. Sorry, not sorry for using “feels” a lot because this book is just full of them.

I truly had a fantastic time reading this book, but, if I’m being honest, I felt like I was literally holding on to my heart the entire time. I really wish I could say more, but I don’t want to ruin all the surprises, twists, revelations, swoons and thrills. Just be prepared for heartache and the FEELS… oh and have a tissue box ready. You’re going to need it.

Three Heartbeats Away is exceptionally well-written, wonderfully affecting and absolutely riveting. I loved the plot, the world-building, the characters, the mystery, the drama, the humor, the suspense and the adorable romance. While this book is undeniably thrilling and fun, I really love that it’s also a story about family, friendship, bravery, perseverance, forgiveness, acceptance, hope and love. The Mortician’s Daughter series completely had me hooked and emotionally wrecked… but in the best way. I’m totally having the worst book hangover right now cause I just want more.

If you’re in the mood for an irresistibly intriguing paranormal romance story with gorgeous writing, lovable characters, amazing thrills, and so much heart, then you need to pick up this series ASAP. All the books are out now so what are you waiting for?

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.





ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE –  This book immediately had me hooked. It’s spooky, exciting, suspenseful, sometimes funny and also affecting. 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. Hunter’s writing style and storytelling is truly amazing. I really love the way I’m easily captivated by her stories and feel emotionally connected to her characters.



twofeetunderTwo Feet Under – It’s unbearably emotional and distressing on so many levels, but I loved every single moment. It’s even more addictive than One Foot in the Grave and I just couldn’t stop reading. Whether it was good or bad, I wanted to know… no I needed to know what would happen next. It’s darker, edgier, sadder and everything is just way MORE than the first book. More dangerous, more secrets, more lies, more ghosts, more suspense, more twists and surprises, more romance and more FEELS… I absolutely LOVED this sequel and C.C. Hunter just became my new favorite author after reading this. It’s just that GOOD.



CC Hunter_Author Photo.jpg

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.

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take some time to get back with you, but she will




Have you read this book/ series?  What did you think? What are some of your favorite paranormal romance stories? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you give this series a chance, enjoy the story, and fall in love with the characters just as much as I did.




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