First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson Book 1) by Darynda Jones

Emoji Review by Rebecca Dixon

I just finished reading โ€˜First Grave on the Right,โ€™ Book 1 of the Charlie Davidson series by Darynda Jones and it was FANTASTIC ๐Ÿฅณ! (FYI, Iโ€™m not affiliated with the author, not in the book biz, reading is just a HOBBY, and Iโ€™m just a regular reader that is SUPER PASSIONATE ๐Ÿ’ž about spreading the word about GREAT ๐Ÿคฉ books!) There are NO spoilers!

So!! The most glaringly ๐Ÿ‘€ OBVIOUS thing that I HAVE to say isโ€ฆ HOW THE HECK HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜†?! For those of you who have been following my silly ๐Ÿคช โ€˜emojiโ€™ reviews, you already know that I love a HUGE RANGE of diverse books that fall under the Romance Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy umbrella โ˜‚! But my ROOTS really are in Urban Fantasy ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป. Iโ€™m SO drawn to a modern writing style (in the first โ˜๏ธperson,) that takes place in โ€˜our modern ๐Ÿš— worldโ€™ (so I can โ€˜pretendโ€™ it really happens in our real world ๐Ÿ˜…,) with a kickbutt ๐Ÿคบ FMC (love ๐Ÿ’— the SASS!,) โ€ฆ ANDโ€ฆ a K!LLER ALPHA MALE that is SMOKIN ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Iโ€™m a bit different than a lot of UF lovers in that I am a ROMANCE ๐Ÿ’˜ girl at HEART ๐Ÿ’. I just Love ๐Ÿ’— Love ๐Ÿ’—Love ๐Ÿ’— a drool-worthy ๐Ÿคค romance plotline and thatโ€™s how I fell into similar genres to UFโ€ฆ steamy ๐Ÿฅต PRNs and alluring ๐Ÿ˜ Romance Fantasies! But my heart still loves a great UFโ€ฆ and man, this is a FANTASTIC ๐Ÿคฉ one that really combines UF with a GREAT ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป slow-burn PRN vibe ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป!

OK!! Let me get straight ๐ŸŽฏ to it! The story ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป! So we have this chickโ€ฆ who is FREAKING FUNNY ๐Ÿ˜‚โ€ฆ like she probably has a joke in almost every paragraph in the book, she is that FUNNY ๐Ÿ˜…! Anyhoo (yes, she does say that ๐Ÿ˜†,) she sees DEAD PEOPLE โ˜ ๏ธ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ปโ€ฆ and has 3.7 jobs (yep Iโ€™m quoting the book ๐Ÿ˜…)โ€ฆ sheโ€™s a Private Investigator ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ , a part-time Bartender ๐Ÿบ, on the payroll for the local Police ๐Ÿ‘ฎ department, and the .7 is the GRIM REAPER ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿชฆ โ› โ€ฆ since like, she doesnโ€™t get paid for that (her words ๐Ÿ˜†!!) Sheโ€™s QUICKLY thrown into a murder ๐Ÿฉธ case and has the EXTREMELY advantageous knack for actually talking ๐Ÿ—ฃ to the victims (who donโ€™t always know their dead ๐Ÿ˜…) to help solve the case. Enter in a freaking HOT ๐Ÿฅต, sort of invisible ๐Ÿ˜†, smoke ๐Ÿ’จ kinda guy that is DANGEROUS ๐Ÿฅท(& did I say HOT ๐Ÿฅต as all get out?!)โ€ฆ and is her personal savior ๐Ÿ˜‡โ€ฆ PLUS sort of her worst nightmare ๐Ÿ˜ฑ โ€ฆ WRAPPED UP ๐ŸŽ with maybe a bit of a SEXY times ๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ”ฅโ€ฆ and this story HOOKED ๐Ÿช me and FAST ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ!

I just have to say that this story is sooooo UNIQUE, ORIGINAL, and yeahโ€ฆ I think I said it alreadyโ€ฆ FUNNY ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. The FMC has this QUIRKY personality that makes all of her interactions with the dead really giggle ๐Ÿคญ worthy! I was chuckling ๐Ÿ˜† my way through this ENTIRE book ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป. I sent screen shot after screen shot to my girlfriends while I LEGIT cackled ๐Ÿคญ at the jokes! Even the beginning of every chapter had a funny quote that made me laugh out loud ๐Ÿ˜…. For example, โ€œI may not look like much, but Iโ€™m an expert at pretending to be a ninja ๐Ÿฅทโ€ ORโ€ฆ like โ€œDo not meddle in the affairs of dragons ๐Ÿ‰, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.โ€ Likeโ€ฆ really funny, silly stuff! So yeah, LOVED the FMC!! Sheโ€™s got thick skin (considering her profession ๐Ÿคช) and a sense humor for days! ๐Ÿฅณ

But what really, REALLY captured my romance-loving-heart, was the MMC!! SWOON ๐Ÿฅต๐Ÿฅต๐Ÿฅต. This is actually the strangest book in this regard for me ๐Ÿ˜†!! Iโ€™ve read 100โ€™s of PRNs, UFs, Romance Fantasiesโ€ฆ and I donโ€™t think Iโ€™ve ever been OBSESSED ๐Ÿ˜ about a MMC that Iโ€™ve hardly met ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜†! This guy who SWOOPS all up in there and outโ€ฆ has actual pretty little book time when itโ€™s all said and done (super slow-burn)โ€ฆ but even with this little stage time, he makes a HUGE impact. LIKE HUGE ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป! Manโ€ฆ I think I was drooling ๐Ÿคค at a certain reveal of a strong forearm ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿปโ€ฆ I kid you not! There is an ART to capturing the OBSESSION of a reader with so little dialogue with the MMC and this author sure does it ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป! I was literally page-turning on pins and needles ๐Ÿชก , just eagerly WAITING for his next BIG swoop in moment! Because mannnnโ€ฆ HOT ๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT ๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT ๐Ÿ”ฅ stuff! And likeโ€ฆ Iโ€™m CRAZY ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜ about this guy! SO FREAKING AWESOME ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป of a MMC!! I cannot wait to get into Book 2 for MORE!! ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ

But what about the plot?!? Itโ€™s actually SUPER COOL ๐Ÿ˜Ž. The parallel mysteries of the murder plotline alongside the romantic plotline, pretty much had me page-turning (when I wasnโ€™t chuckling ๐Ÿคญ & msging my friends with jokes from the book, that is!) Iโ€™ve just read the first book (literally just finished and had to write this straight away!,) but I can tell this is a super SOLID ๐Ÿฅ‡series. Likeโ€ฆ this really should be a household name for UF like a Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, or a Night Huntress! This totally has Kate & Curran, Mercy & Adam, and Cat & Bones vibes ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป! Seriously, Iโ€™m gonna be saying โ€œCharlie & Reyesโ€ all over FB anytime I rec a fantastic UF with a kickbutt ๐Ÿคบ power couple!

So really, a big BONUS ๐Ÿ’ฐ in my book is that not only does it feel like a flagship UF, but for my steam ๐Ÿ”ฅ- loving ๐Ÿ’—-heartโค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ, it really feels like it has some good PRN vibes with the heat between our quirky girl and our smoldering, โ€˜BURN ๐Ÿ”ฅTHE WORLD DOWN FOR HIS GIRLโ€™ guy! Again, this is DEFINITELY a series that Iโ€™m going to recommend in the same sentence as one of the UF Best-of-the-Bests ๐Ÿ†! And hands down, if your reading lots of dark PRNs lately, this is a fantastic palette cleanser ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป! The comic relief is soooo refreshing ๐ŸŒฌโ€ฆ but then you are STILL going to get that PRN hit ๐Ÿฅต ! OH and the END!!!!!!!!!!! OMG ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ this series is SERIOUSLY going into some pretty COOL ๐Ÿ˜Ž places! I can tell that itโ€™s going to be like an onion ๐Ÿง… and every book is going to peel away a layer of adventure! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

So if you love a book with COMEDY, a quirky FMC that is FREAKING FUNNY ๐Ÿ˜‚, a mysterious HOT ๐Ÿฅต ALPHA male that we know hardly anything about but are somehow in love ๐Ÿฅฐ with him ALL THE MORE for it ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป, and a super UNIQUE story that is going down a really COOL ๐Ÿ˜Ž path, give this book a shot! The first book is free on KU and you never know, it may be the book that REAPS a fangirl (fanboy) out of you!