I really do love the Charley Davidson series. These books are funny and action packed. They're sexy with great characters. And the world-building just gets more and more interesting with every book.
I'll admit, I had a little trouble reconnecting at the start of this book. Third Grave ended with a major betrayal by Charley's father and while there were emotional repercussions, I felt like we skipped over something. A couple of weeks have passed and there seemed to be no real consequences for Charley getting arrested. It was like her dad's actions were for nothing.
Also, there was a schism between Charley and Reyes that didn't really make sense to me. It's so clear how they feel about each other, so why the distance? It felt forced.
BUT it got better. As with all Charley Davidson books, there are two layers to the book. One is the PI case that Charley needs to solve. The other deals with the larger story arc of Reyes and the demons who want to get their hands on Charley and her heavenly portal. (tee hee) Both threads are well done.
The case in this book involves a woman who has been stalked and harassed her entire life. She hires Charley to find out who is doing it. (There is cool twist on this at the end!)
The "bigger picture" part of the story is even better. We get a closer look at the demons that are coming after Charley. And we learn more about the higher powers that schemed to throw Charley and Reyes into each other's path. Lord have mercy, we also get more exquisitely terrible/ wonderful sexual tension between these two. For the first time, all of their interactions are in the flesh. No more incorporeal interactions. It gives things a fresh (hot) layer in their relationship. I wish there was just a little less angst there. Even when there's progress, there is also regression. But Reyes is so hot, I want to spread him on a cracker and eat him whole.
Where was I?
Charley is changing, both emotionally and physically. I feel like her trademark humor is becoming more of a crutch to deal with the horror she's lived through. And her powers are growing. The people around her are changing too. These books have such a great cast of characters and I love that they are not stagnant. I also love that everything seems to happen for a reason. Even if it's not evident right away.
There are many questions answered and just as many new ones posed. (Like that whole spiel about the key of darkness and the locket of light. Darynda needs to explain that one, stat.) I was really satisfied with the ending this time around, but still... Fifth Grave Past the Light can't get here soon enough.
Rating: B *ARC provided by St. Martin's Press