I read the Restorer on my kindle but loved it so much I decided I needed the hard copy as well. I ordered it through paperbackswap.com and waited quite a while. The lady who sent it to me also sent me The Kingdom and The Prophet!! So, she made my year and I hope karma works and something wonderful happens to her soon. I delved into The Kingdom without any wait time. These books are a little bit paranormal romance-y without a ton of smexing and urban fantasy-ish.
The Kingdom begins a couple of months after The Restorer. Amelia needs some time away from Charleston, and a certain haunted detective, so she takes a job restoring a cemetery in Asher Falls. The creepiness starts right away, the town is in major decline, the people are not what they seem and Amelia feels some evil something in the background. There are two cemeteries, the one she is going to restore and one that was flooded and now underneath a lake called Bell Lake. Why is it named that? Because it used to be you would bury bodies with a bell pull so in case you made a mistake and bury someone who isn’t really dead, they could ring the bell and be dug back up. So now, at night, when the mists rise from the lake, you can sometimes hear bells ringing. Eeek!
The characters are new and creepy. There is a rich, old family with a wheelchair bound patriarch. A hot, sexy playboy love interest, some witchy-like women and a love crazed teenager amongst others. The job itself is shrouded in a little mystery. The monetary donation to hire her was anonymous and Amelia feels like she is picked for this particular job for a reason, but she is just unsure why. The characters are reticent and have a sneaky vibe. The local police chief has a chip on his shoulder and makes Amelia feel anything but safe. Her contact in Asher Falls places her in the home of a man who is out of town, right next to Bell Lake, yet the house used to be a church and is on hallowed ground. Oh yea, that also means the old graveyard is in her backyard.
Thane, the sexy playboy love interest, who is not personally haunted, keeps the readers and Amelia’s mind from Devlin. Amelia tries to do research on the graveyard and the mystery of the town but is thwarted here and there by the various characters. She finds a mysterious, well-tended but unmarked grave hidden behind the graveyard that she feels a bizarre attraction to, but no one will talk about…
Stevens writes beautifully and she still does her breadcrumb trick of dribbling out information to keep me riveted. The action becomes break neck at the end with a storm and evil and ghosts and all sorts of pandemonium. We do end up finding out some answers about Amelia and why she can see ghosts. And the ending was perfectly sexy, making me so excited to crack open The Prophet!
There are a couple of things that weren’t perfect for me. The title, the kingdom felt forced into the first few chapters. Everything, a graveyard, the town, whatever is someone’s kingdom. Ok…we get it. Also, the love interest thing, there are a few repetitions between Thane and Devlin, even though they are very different characters. Also, Amelia seems to drift along like seaweed in the tide, stepping into trouble here and there. She is either really young or just socially inept. And at the end, a little too do-goodish. She tries to help someone who really doesn’t deserve her attention (trying not to spoil anything here!). Anyway, these things are fairly minor, I just hope they don’t compound as the series progresses, because I have been totally loving it so far! I give this book 4.5 stars.