by Ann M. Noser
Series: Under The Blood Moon #1
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Quiet college sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters. Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young father determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims
How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser intrigued me from the title to the synopsis. A tragic accident, a book of shadows and a young, awkward woman who tries to right a wrong made for a captivating tale. I expected a book filled with paranormal woo-woo and humor, but this tale also offered character growth, and an interesting mystery. Noser weaved in fleshed-out characters and life lessons.
The tale begins when we meet Emma Roberts, a shy sometimes-awkward college sophomore who dresses like a tomboy and blushes when speaking to the opposite sex. She is studious and her roommate is outgoing, a girlie girl who is more interested in boys than textbooks. When she drags Emma along to a frat-party, she meets Mike a fellow sophomore. When a tragic accident occurs, and Mike ends up dead, Emma is blamed. When her roommates’ friend leaves a Book of Shadows behind in their room, Emma decides to bring back the dead. The tale that unfolds is filled with romance, mystery, and life lessons. I found myself lost within the pages of How to Date Dead Guys and quickly consumed this.
The characters are all unique, and the departed we soon learn have unfinished business. Noser’s spin on their return was clever. Emily loves literature and math in fact, books and math make more sense to her then people. It was fun witnessing her personal growth as she befriended these dead guys. She is a natural with the Book of Shadows, yet the reader cannot help feeling uneasy about its power. All of the dead guys’ stories were interesting, and their personalities very different. I ended up caring about each of them. Secondary “living” characters weaved into the tale adding to the mystery and suspense. A local police officer suspects Emma knows more then she is letting on. Her appearance at past victims homes only reinforces his suspicion.
How to Date Dead Guys has a strong storyline from the witchcraft under the Blood Moon, to the overall mystery involving drowning victims. While romantic feelings develop on Emma’s part, this tale focuses on helping the dead guys and the mystery surrounding their deaths. Through it all we see Emma grow, mend fences and find herself. An overall arc develops and the ending hints of things to come. The case regarding our dead guys wraps up in this tale and will satisfy readers. I am anxious to see where Noser takes Emma next.
If you are looking for a paranormal tale that offers a mystery and character growth, you will be delighted with How to Date Dead Guys. Fleshed out characters, suspense, humor and connections made this a blast read.