Title: The Dead Romantics
Author(s): Ashley Poston
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Format: Physical Read
Would I Recommend? Yes!
Some writers take their stories and put them into a book. Others, have ghostwriters share the stories instead. Is one better than the other? No, but it makes for an interesting tale.
Florence Day is a ghostwriter for a notable romance author. She has a book contract she needs to finish and the deadline has past…by a lot! Should be easy enough, she has written several other books with ease. WRONG! After a horrible break-up, Florence has decided that love is dead. How is a romance writer supposed to write romance if they no longer believe in it? Great question. If you have the answer, Florence would love to hear it. Her current plan is to meet her new editor and ask for another extension.
When she walks into the new editor’s office, she was not expecting this gorgeous man to be behind the desk. To say this flusters her a bit is an understatement. Unfortunately, the deadline extension is denied and Florence has three days to finish the book.
As the deadline day creeps closer, Florence receives some unsettling news; her father has passed away. If that isn’t bad, she has to return to the town that runs her out for being a little different. Anxiety, sadness, and stress are at an all-time high, but she heads home to the funeral home. Oh, yeah, did I mention that the family owns a funeral home, and her father was the mortician?
In addition to her family running a funeral home, Florence (and by extension, her family) is hiding a secret; Florence and her father can see/speak/listen to ghosts as they attempt to resolve their unfinished business. Guess who shows up recently dead…her editor, and she has to help him with his unfinished business (which they have no idea what it is); she has to plan a funeral, navigate her emotions, and deal with her family. To say her hands are full is an understatement, but things must be done, including her final book.
This book…oh, this book. If you are the oldest child, then you will likely relate to Florence. Her personality is stressed; wanting to take care of everything, feels responsible for everything, has so many things on her plate, and forgets to take care of herself. Sound familiar? No, just me? Okay, Florence has a lot to process and handle, but figuring out what to start with is a bit of an obstacle. Instead of tackling one thing at a time, naturally, she tries to do it all at once by herself (sort of) her dead editor is there too.
I enjoyed that this book was a little unconventional. I was able to connect with the characters or at least empathize with them. If you haven’t figured it out yet, when I read a book, I like a well thought out character that I can connect to or empathize with. I felt many of the things Florence is experiencing and was enthralled by this relationship.
The one downside for me was that I was able to predict 80% of the ending and story progression. There were still parts that I was not expecting, but generally speaking I knew the story.
Romance books and tropes go hand-in-hand. This book takes on enemies to lovers (this is a really loose enemy to lovers since technically they are not enemies, Florence just has a major deadline, and he is not making it easy), proximity relationship, and human/non-human relationship. It is a bit odd but it works.
Speaking of romance… how do you fall in love with a ghost and make it romantic? Without spoiling anything you let attraction take its course and get really good at dirty talk. The spice in this look is a solid level three. While there is not necessarily any sex that occurs, there is sexual tension, explicit comments, and some other details that take place. I would say it is still a safe public read if you are comfortable with discussions of sex and sexual behaviors.
Shifting gears a bit, let’s look at the emotional side of the story. This book had me in my feelings at times. Sometimes it was happy feels; others, it was sad feels. There were moments when Florence was self-criticizing that I could feel her defeat. It was the vulnerability of both characters that drew me in. What can I say? I think vulnerability is attractive, even if I am horrible at it. It has been a while since I felt connected to a character the way I did with Florence, and in a way, it was kind of like a strange therapy session.
I want to share a few quotes that gave me those feelings and made me fall in love with the characters, relationship, and story. I suppose these can be small spoilers, so skip ahead to the final review to avoid them.
“He hoped I asked for help because asking was not a weakness-but a strength. He hoped that I would ask more often, because I would be surprised by who would come into my life if I let them.”The Dead Romantics, Ashley Poston, pg. 285
Because people always left. If they had a choice – they left. And Ben wanted to stay.The Dead Romantics, Ashley Poston, pg. 276
This vulnerability made me love where Ashley Poston was going with this story. Gus and Florence’s chemistry was evident from the start, yet you, as the reader, can see their relationship morph into something different. Not only that, but you can also see the character’s own personal growth.
Do I think this is a good book?
Yes, yes, I do! I loved this unique concept. I could connect with the main character on various levels (oldest child, death of a father, and the stress/pressure of my personality).
Was it weird that the main character fell in love with a ghost?
Not really. There were moments when I forgot he was a ghost, but I also predicted one of the plot twists, so I wasn’t too disappointed in their relationship. The only awkward encounter I felt was when there was a large sexual tension moment between the two characters (once you read it, you will get what I’m saying).
Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?
Yes! Yes, I would. For people who like paranormal romances, something a little different, and/or a relationship that you will keep thinking about, then this is for you.
The Dead Romantics was a book I did not realize I would like as much as I did. Initially, I was a little skeptical, but I did not want to finish once I started reading it. While I did find it SUPER predictable, it was a book that made me happy to be able to sit down and physically read again.