Review: Grave Expectations

Grave Expectations Grave Expectations by Lina Gardiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What just happened here? Did all the characters including me experience amnesia? The last book left off with Britt exhibiting an awesome yet deadly power. In addition, three vampires are saved and turned back into humans. Figuring the story would start where the last one left off, the expectation is for Jess finding her missing brother, Regent. Nope. Instead, Jess is depressed and moping in bed because Britt is not coming home and spending the nights with her. Britt is wandering the city and avoiding Jess. Britt is experiencing guilt as well as frustration. He feels guilty for returning back from the dead and not recognizing Jess. He is also frustrated because he is missing a lot of his memories of how he came back to life.

Here is my issue with the book. Zeke plays a big part of the last book. In addition, there is quite a bit revealed about Zeke and how he played a part in the vampire world. I am definitely expecting to have Zeke feature back in this story. What I am not expecting is for Jess to behave in ways as if she never spoke to Zeke. It is as if both Jess and Britt have forgotten this mysterious saviour. The first three books were tightly written stories with events building upon each other to bring a bigger picture into clarity. This book is a hodgepodge of plots and subplots shoved together. The smooth cohesive writing I am used to from Ms. Gardiner is missing in this book. Zeke does appear again and it is crammed in an awkward way. It feels contrived in order to tie loose ends and conclude the story.

The story is still told in a wonderful manner. The actions and descriptions of locations are all well done. The main characters including the secondary supporting ones are nicely done. I love Jane the mousy vampire. She helps to show a different and softer side to Jess. Malcolm Fisk is an amusing charlatan. He is portrayed as a "big bad" but in actuality, he comes across as a small petty conman. He is not evil. He is just greedy. There really is not a bad villain in this tale, unlike the previous three books. Instead, there are annoying secret church warriors and a psychotic vampire. The antagonists in this story are not well developed and not a challenge for either Jess or Britt. Perhaps this is what makes the book's plot appear fragmented. Still, I enjoyed the fast pace and the conclusion to this series. Recommended for paranormal romance lovers who want their happily ever after.

*provided by NetGalley

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