File Size: 200 KB
Publisher: Ellora's Cave (July 8, 2011)
Book blurb: In the Pacific Northwest, where life hurries to keep pace with technology, a re-animated bride named Josie struggles to escape her creator and to find her identity in the half-erased circuitry of her mind and body. Assassin Bane Connor just wants to get the girl to the Zombie Underground and receive his payoff—a mental reset that will erase his memories as well as his guilt. But an attack by a rival faction derails his rescue, and the wide-eyed female whose circuitry requires a husband tears at his hardened heart and ignites desire like he’s never known. Acting as Josie’s spouse-substitute is tougher than Bane expected. The newborn stein needs touch to live, and wanting her is a complication he doesn’t need. To make matters worse, she sees into the darkest recesses of his mind. The last thing a killer wants is for his lover to read his thoughts, but if Josie can love him the way he’s programmed, perhaps Bane can find a way to heal his past.
My review: Let me get this out of the way: I never thought I'd like a novella featuring reanimated people falling for each other. After reading Lust After Death, Daisy Harris has convinced me zombie love is a good thing when done well. Bought back to be the "Beloved" of a crazed scientist named Adam, Josie is kept locked away in his mansion to act out the part of his bride. Enter assassin Bane Connor, gun in hand, ready for his latest job. He works for the Zombie Underground, an organization which rescues reanimated beings called "steins," reprograms and then lets them back into society to have "normal" lives. Bane, himself a stein, chances a look at a bathing Josie and can't keep his eyes away. But he's not really a stalker, he's there to rescue her. He just didn't plan on the feelings he suddenly develops for her interfering with his mission.
Besides battling his increasing attraction to Josie, Bane also has to deal with Synaviv, an organization intent on creating and keeping zombies in their current state. The fight scene with Bane and Josie and these bad guys had some interesting action and yet I thought it warranted more to make the conflict between the two groups palpable. There was plenty of sexy scenes between the two lead steins, especially since Josie had been programmed by Adam to need touch-to-touch with another. I liked Bane more than Josie. I felt his character was well defined and sympathetic. As a zombie newb, I had questions swirling around my head head as I read concerning Josie and steins in general. I did not find all of my answers, but since this is a series, they may be addressed in another volume.
Overall, for an erotic fantasy with a touch of sci-fi, Lust After Death was a quick, satisfying and fun read.
Rating: I liked it.
Favorite excerpt: "Those curved lips pinched into a hard line, and Josie had a wild urge to kiss them softer. "But you can do a lot of things, anything you want. But I have to take you to my people. They're called the Zombie Underground, and they help people like you. They'll clear the programming Adam installed and . . ."
"Why would I want that?" Josie eased her hand closer to her body, away from his long, teasing fingers.
His eyebrows shot up. "You like being someone's slave, having men put you under to force you to do things?" His voice shook with some hidden emotion, and Josie sensed the need to speak carefully.
"You don't have to order me to do things."
A breeze blew from the water, rustling the trees overheard, and a bird cawed and flopped its wings above.
He didn't meet her eyes. "Frank, my boss, can help you function better, fix any hidden problems. You could live with others like you, or out among humans.""
Cover comment: This photo captures the strangeness of the steins, especially with Bane's face and Josie's eyes. Creepy cool.
Book source: From author/publisher for my honest review during a book tour.