Cover Image: Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet

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Member Reviews

One of my most favorite genres - queer paranormal/romantic suspense - is supremely well represented here.  I loved the character development and the story and was engaged with this novel from start to finish.  I didn't know who the villain (villains) were until the very end!  Ms. Burke does a tremendous job building this world without overwhelming her readers.  The suspense plot feels organic to the development of the relationship between the two principal characters, and their slow burn love affair is delicious.  I could go for a slightly hotter love story - but the inclusion of a demisexual character proves her pacing/characterization is spot on & really, everything -  the vampires, the witches, the wolves - about this story works.  

A terrific debut of a new series that I will be - hopefully - enjoying over the next year.  Good stuff!
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Ghosts, Witches and Vampires? Oh My! What a fun read! Engaging story with laughs and poignant moments wrapped up in an intriguing murder mystery. Some excellent unexpected surprise twists and a suitable happy ending for a couple getting their second chance, plus some interesting secondary characters. I'm ready for the next book!
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*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

I love a solid crime story with nice paranormal elements, the cherry on the top it is when there’s a  sizzilin hot, mesmerizing love story included. Jenn Burke’s Not Dead Yet has all and so much more.

I don’t lie when I say this was one of the books I was most looking for for a while and when I was able to read it I squealed like a child in a candy story (I did it also when the cover was revealed or any teaser lines on Twitter shared, but well, who can blame me. ;)).

The book had the most effectful opening  – and this is crucial for a mystery romance. The reader is with Wes right there, from the start – through his eyes, told in Wes’ POV, we follow the events and these aren’t easy to endure. The feelings Wes has are so palpable and valid. But on the other hand you’re curious, you’re as confused and want to know what’s that is what Wes has spotted.

From the blurb I knew this was a second chances, lovers reunited romance and I awaited the meet up of the two guys eagerly. It isn’t a casual or in any cases a normal reunion, both guys haven’t seen each other for over 3 decades! And with Wes being a non-ghost and Hudson also changed – I won’t reveal in which way – things are becoming pretty interesting. 😉

Jenn Burke did a great way in fleshing out Hudson. As mentioned above we see him through Wes’ eyes and granted, he might be glamour him up a bit but who can blame him? 😀 Hudson is a appealing fifty-five year old silver fox with a fit appearance, silvery strands in the hair, deep lines in his face as well as mesmerizing (but trizvled) eyes.

Hudson isn’t the guy Wes knows from over 30 years ago and in ways it is a surprise for Wes, but is it really, after so long not seeing each other? I was hooked to read more about Hudson, I sucked up every piece I could get, every part that could solve the puzzle Hudson was, but also Wes, though our narrator, was someone I had to decode as reader.

I can wholeheartedly say I was over the moon the way Jenn Burke wrote the intimate and sweet scenes between Hudson and Wes. In the way of how she displayed Wes and how Hudson is the only one for Wes, the only guy he can be himself with, the one he feels complete with, who he grants any physical contact – and is the only one allowed to. Wes’ demisexuality was very pleasantly displayed in this book and the way how Hudson is a pillar for Wes, one solid column Wes can lean on, but has to overcome a lot of obstactles – mostly his own regret and accepting his new self – is simply breathtaking. Without spoilering anything it’s only natural that Hudson, who is trying to protect those he loves, isn’t willing to risk any harm of his beloved ones, even if this means he has to be alone and isolated from everything.

Hudson comes across as cold-hearted and not caring in the beginning of the book but he has several reasons and the one why Hudson and Wes break up is maybe sad but also understandable.

It’s these small things that make this book so amazing, these characters who are so human – and in many ways not 😉 – who aren’t flawless, who are full of own regrets, self-doubts, anger or sadness.

The minor characters, the supportive characters are just marvelous and in ways this book is about found family.

For a long time Lexi, Wes’ best friend, is his only family – in more than one way, but later, when they meet Evan, the small group grows and they’re a bunch of people who are giving each other support and have each other’s backs – quite literally. 🙂
Next to the lovers reunited and second chance romances, found family in books is a reason to instant-buy a book. For me. ❤ No wonder this book stole a part of my heart with these amazing, charmingly unique minor characters. ❤
Lexi is such a force and I loved her right from the start. Who isn’t bewitched (;)) by a bad-ass lesbian witch who kicks ass like nobody else. :3
And Evan, my troubled soul, my sweet baby. The one character I wanted to wrap into a blanket, hug him tight – and ZOMG, how did I let out a delighted squeal when Wes offered all this, the amazing support he gives Evan. ❤
No wonder he’s almost instantly adopted by Wes and also Hudson has his special feelings – first born out of obligations – towards him. And I can say my heart melts evertime I remember these scenes with all the guys together. ❤ (And cackle up when I remember a specific hilarious scene. :D) I really can’t wait to see more domestic scenes with all of them. ❤

This book was page flipping good, I had hard times to say: “just one more chapter” when I read it through the night and my alarm went off early. XD But is it worth it? It most definitely is. This book should be devoured in one go – and afterwards enjoyed piece by piece for a second time. It’s just simply divine and I was hooked form page one.

I can’t tell how many times I cackled up, how many times I laughed out loud reading the funny scenes. Let me say there’s kind of substance abuse but there is no harm (so no content or trigger warning), in fact the scene is hilarious and kinda sweet and you get a new insight of Hudson – and I’ve to say it’s pretty eye opening. 😀

I guess I could go on and on and talk endlessly about this book but let me assure you that you have to get this book if you:

– love second chances romances where the lovers reunite, after shockingly three decades!
– have a heart for troubled sexy silver foxes with a secret
– adore the healthy dose of paranormal elements but can endure the downsides of these “gifts” for those who have to deal with it
– want a great representation of a demisexual, grey-ace character where the intimate scenes are so tender and sweet and perfect
– long for stories with found family, a small bunch of people sharing same thoughts and have each other’s backs
– can’t get enough of a solid crime case with turns and twists

Then, this book is yours.
Without any doub this book deserves the 5 out of 5 stars and I can’t stress out how much I enjoyed this book.
Is it sweet and tender? Yes.
Is it spiked with heavy topics, with loss and grief, regret and self-doubts? Hell yes.
But does it makes you happy when you finished it? Absolutely. ❤ And is it a perfect start for a book series, because right after reading you are screaming: “I want more”? Then yes, a thousand time yes, it is!

But, dear reader, don’t be sad, you’ve only to wait until June, when Give Up The Ghost is out. (warning: the blurb for this contains spoilers about the events of this book).
One of my top reads for 2019. ❤ Hope it will become one of yours too.

Review originally posted on my blog with added content on Mikku-chan / A world full of words

My Twitter aesthetics:
https://twitter.com/Mikkuchan07/status/1081248460949590017?s=19
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Wes and Hudson 

A wonderful mystery paranormal fantasy story, full with emotions and beautiful personalities.
Witt, grump, jests, sweetness and much more... I love second-chance romance and this one was good.

Written in a captivating way. The environments were exquisite. The plot original.

A widely written story with a lot going on. Wes and Hudson were excellent put down, there characters wonderful developed. 

Ghosts, vampires, powers, witches, twilight, palpable tension, surprising mystery... and sweet love... all together makes this an absolute fascinating story.
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This fresh and original book is one of the most different, powerful, intense, slowing burning, fascinating, fast paced, action packed, adrenaline soaked, awesome, mind blowing, engrossing, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat biting your nails, dark, more twists and turns than a roller coaster, and totally unexpected thrillers that I've read in quite a while. Filled with mystery, madness, magic, mayhem, this fantastic walk on the wild side had me hooked from beginning to end. Be sure to clear your calendar, and postpone any plans because, once you start reading this marvelous book, you won't be able to put it down!
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4.25 Stars

I loved Wes, he was funny, quirky and very down-to-earth. His story was so intriguing and I can't wait to discover more about him as the series advances. I liked Hudson, but I don't think we really got to know him all that much, which, considering the book is told on Wes's POV is understandable. His hot and cold routine regarding Wes was a bit offputting, though. He had his reasons, perhaps not great ones, and it made me want to punch him several times, but I ended warming up to him. The chemistry between Wes and Hudson was undeniable, especially after Hudson stopped behaving like a robot, and it was nice to see them reconnect after being apart for so long.

The case they were working on was intriguing. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the big reveal and I frankly had no clue who was behind it all until the end. And now I'm all anxious because I want to find out how what happened to Wes will impact the next book (books) in the series. Was that vague enough? LOL

Overall, this was a captivating story, perhaps the romance needed a bit more work, but the intricate plot, the writing, Wes and Evan and the rest of the cast really made this an enjoyable read. This was my first book by Jenn Burke, but it will certainly won't be the last! 

Highly recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
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[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

I highly enjoyed Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke. I was hooked by the synopsis alone and it was just as great as I thought it would be.

Wes Cooper died and was brought back to life leaving him never changing and with the ability to become a ghost and walk through this world and the next. He's a thief of sorts and when he finds himself witness to a murder he turns to the help off his ex who he hasn't seen in thirty years who happens to be a cop. They work together to find the killer but discover there's a lot more going on and most of it paranormal. Hudson isn't the same man Wes fell in love with and has a secret that will change Wes' world.

Not Dead Yet was just plain fun. The banter between Wes and his best friend Lexi and even his sarcastic banter with Hudson was fantastic. The angst between Hudson and Wes was steamy and their connection was believable. With a story line that kept me engaged, I cared about the characters and was anxious when things weren't turning out so great for them.

I think Not Dead Yet by Jenna Burke is perfect for fans of authors like Darynda Jones and Charlaine Harris. I'm also super excited it's the first of a series because I can't wait to spend more time with Wes and Hudson.

4.5/5 🌟
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This is the first book that I read from this author and I would say that this book made a good impression. The sex and intimacy was well timed and intertwined within the story. The twist at the end was definitely unexpected for me and the process that it took for the characters to get there was very intriguing. This is a good supernatural mystery book to read. It has good explanations for Wes' powers, events of the case, and the history of the main characters. It felt like I was watching an actual movie, but with a new twist to the "going ghost" power dynamic. The character dynamic between Wes and Hudson was enjoyable with their heated and intimate banter. Hudson's insensitivity to others was irritating at times, but his character gradually grows and develops into something more sensitive. He accuses Wes of never changing (physically and mentally) and soon realizes that not only did Wes not change, Hudson's mindset didn't change either. With Wes' power and Hudson's wit, they navigate the intricacies of the murder case and realize how much they need each other. Old wounds are open and by the end of this tale, new paths are realized
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I would rate this 4.25 stars.

An immortal, Wes Cooper is technically dead, but able to travel between this world and the otherplane. Lexi Aster is his best friend and a witch; it was her great grandmother's spell to resurrect Wes after he was killed. He's not a ghost since he has a living body, but he can make himself disappear, so that resurrection went a bit wonky. When he witnesses a murder, he is frozen and doesn't act in time. His guilt motivates him to try and help with the investigation. Except for the first time, the killer actually sees Wes while he's invisible. Now his ex from 33 years ago, Detective Hudson Rojas, gets assigned the case and Wes' life gets complicated.

The author takes a huge risk giving the POV to an amoral character who is not terribly mature and so self-absorbed that he has spent no time getting to know or understand the magic that allows him his life. Over the course of the book, it becomes obvious that Wes isn't a bad guy, that he cares for his friends. Knowing the time period and how he dies explains why he is the way he is, but he is so much more as he starts to care more for others and things outside of himself. Hudson has his own growth that needs to happen for them to get their second chance. As with most of the books I have been reading lately, most of their issues come down to lack of communication, but timing in life is everything. In the end, these guys are sweet together. Wes reads as demisexual, although that word isn't used. The final love scene was hot and funny at the same time--quite an accomplishment and it helps to make the whole thing real.

The lovers reunited element works well in the story. Lexi and Evan (to avoid spoilers, I'll say he's Hudson's friend) are fleshed out enough to care about what happens to them, but I did want a little more. The mystery and the murders are interesting with enough action to keep the suspense going. If witches, vampires, secret societies and ancient artifacts sound exciting, this is the book for you. I'd be happy to read more in this world.
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This is the first book in The Not Dead Yet Series. A thrilling and suspenseful book the writing was great. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters engrossing. The characters were developed and thought out. Wes Cooper and Hudson Rojas are the MC’s of this book. I liked Wes right off who’s point of view the story is told from. But I never connected with Hudson he was so hot and cold throughout the book. He could even be cruel and yet didn’t show any remorse for it. And I think that’s why I had a problem with that character, maybe if I had his POV as well as Wes’s that might’ve helped. I would’ve liked more info and/or background on these two, some holes are filled in throughout the story, but I would’ve liked more. Having said that I thought that this was an incredibly written book and I can’t wait for the next book. There were vampires, witches, murder, police, a special ghost, kidnapping, surprises and so much more in this book. I can highly recommend this book as a good read. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.
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For some reason, I’ve been gravitating towards paranormal romances lately, most often ones featuring characters involved in law enforcement, which was the immediate appeal of Jenn Burke’s Not Dead Yet.  It’s the first in a new series in which one of the protagonists is, as the title suggests, Not Dead.  Although he’s Not Alive either, which is certainly a unique twist and not something I’ve come across before.  Not Dead Yet is a hugely enjoyable read featuring two well-rounded principals, an intriguing mystery, and a slow-burn romance; I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked it up, but it turned out to be a winner and I’m definitely on board for the rest of the series.

In 1933, Wes Cooper was shot and killed by his lover, Michael.  But Michael’s sister was a witch and, unable to accept what her brother had done, cast a spell to bring Wes back to life – but not only did it resurrect him, it made him immortal, something that’s changed his life in lots of small ways as well as the one  big one.  Wes will never age physically and because of this, he never – well, almost never – embarks upon close friendships or relationships, knowing there’s only so long he can use the excuse of having good genes to explain away his unchanging appearance.  He’s had to move around and change his identity every ten years or so in order to stop people wondering about him, and his only real friends have been the generations of witches from the family who brought him back from the dead.  Even so, he’s flesh and blood; he lives in the world as we know it, but he also retains a link to the otherplane, the place where the dead go before moving on, and where some of them linger, usually in hopes of concluding unfinished business.

Wes uses his ability to slip between the planes of existence to earn a living, sneaking into people’s private spaces as a ghost to recover items for interested parties – heirlooms they want back, contracts they shouldn’t have signed and even information they can use for blackmail.  He’s treading a fine line; technically he’s committing theft, although he prefers to think of it as ‘retrieval’, but because of the nature of what he does, he has a very strictly defined set of business practices designed to protect him and his identity; clients come to him via a sophisticated set of referrals and anonymous messages, and he never meets directly with any of them.  And their targets are usually shady types, people who’ve done things that are not-so-nice, making them dangerous to be around.

When Wes is in the otherplane, he isn’t able to see clearly into the living world, seeing instead a series of shapes and shadowy images that don’t allow him to pick out any details, which is why he’s slow to realise he’s witnessing the final stages of a murder.  He’s on a job at the home of a famous actress, realises too late what’s going on and is rooted to the spot by fear and indecision.  The murderer has a shadow like nothing Wes has ever seen – dark grey, with jagged edges and surrounded by an aura of danger – all of it signalling this is something he does not want to mess with.

Still, he feels guilty and ashamed that he did nothing to help the victim, and this eventually compels him to try to help bring the killer to justice.  But where to start?  Going to the police will reveal his presence at the murder scene – but maybe there’s a way to approach them through… unofficial channels.  In the 1980s, Wes dated a cop, Hudson Rojas, for five years, and okay, they split up a bit acrimoniously – mostly because of Hudson’s unwillingness to put his relationship before his job – but he’s one of the few people Wes ever told about his abilities and if he’s still around, perhaps he’d be willing to use Wes’ information in the investigation.

After thirty-three years, their reunion is – unsurprisingly – an awkward one.  At fifty-eight, Hudson is still gorgeous, a fit, hot, silver-fox, but he’s grown up in a way that Wes still hasn’t, for all that Wes is over a hundred years old.  Hudson listens carefully to Wes’ story, but makes it clear he’s not interested in catching up or making small talk; his dismissive attitude irritates Wes, but even so, Wes agrees to help by accompanying (as a ghost) Hudson as he interviews suspects, looking for anyone whose silhouette matches that of the killer. As they work together, Wes and Hudson have to navigate the tricky waters of their shared past and deal with all the baggage that still lies between them, and… let’s just say that there are some big surprises in store.

The world-building in Not Dead Yet is skilfully done, with the story existing in a world that is recognisably our own but which also incorporates a parallel paranormal universe. Ms. Burke does a great job of defining the capabilities of the various supernatural characters she introduces, setting clear restrictions and boundaries, such as the fact that a witch can never cast a spell for personal benefit, or the limitations on Wes’ ability to shift between planes and from place to place.  The mystery is really intriguing and kept me guessing right up until the final chapters, and there are some great twists, turns and revelations along the way.

The relationship between Wes and Hudson is extremely well developed, and they’re very strongly characterised as individuals, too.  Wes sometimes comes off as rather immature – in spite of his actual age – which is something that is brought home to him when he first meets Hudson again, and which he struggles with throughout the story.  The author does a great job in showing how Wes’ social isolation – firstly as a kid growing up in a hostile environment and then as something imposed on him by his immortality – has led to his habit of self-interest and looking after number one, and then in showing his character growth as he at last acknowledges these traits and pushes through his fears in the attempt to do better.

Hudson is equally strongly defined, a dedicated cop who has been around the block (and then some) a few times, but who has never forgotten Wes over the years, and their rekindling relationship is a delicious slow-burn.  It’s never explicitly stated that Wes is demisexual, but from references to the infrequency with which he experiences sexual attraction and the way he experiences it – usually only when he’s emotionally invested – and the fact he’s only been sexually attracted to two men in his long lifetime (Michael and Hudson) would seem to indicate that to be the case.  And I loved that Hudson knows how attraction works for Wes and is mindful of that as they resume a physical relationship.

There’s a great secondary cast, too, notably Wes’ best friend Lexi (the great-granddaughter of the witch who brought him back from the dead) and Evan, a ‘baby’ (recently turned) vampire, both of whom I hope to see more of in future books.

Not Dead Yet is a really entertaining read, and one I’m definitely recommending.  I was excited to find such a unique premise (in Wes’ not-dead-ness)  and all in all, it’s a thrilling, funny, insightful and sexy read, one I devoured in a couple of sittings. The main plotline is wrapped up by the end although there are some intriguing threads left for the remainder of the series; and while Wes and Hudson have found each other again, I suspect there’s more to come for them as a couple.  I’m really looking forward to the next instalment, Give Up the Ghost, which is due out this summer.

Grade - A- (DIK) - 4.5 stars
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This was ridiculously fun!. Ghosts (with an interesting twist) vampires, witches and a
creeptastic mystery that had the MC's in near constant jeopardy kept me totally engrossed right until the end of this new PNR series by Burke.

Add in a second chance M/M romance and supporting characters that leap off the page and I just found myself a new favorite series. I can’t wait to read book #2 – Give Up the Ghost when it comes out later this year.
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I really enjoyed this one,I loved Wes and Hudson.
I liked the second chance,and the banter.
The Obivious love and connection.
The storyline is good and for me surprising.
I liked the humor from Wes and that he actualy stays the same
and at the same time grows in his self with the help from new
and old friends.
Loved the slow burn and that the working together was at the forefront.
limited seks and steam,but the love is there.

It is well written and I hope to read the others in this new serie by Jenn Burke

arc is provided by novel take trough netgalley carinapress
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Jenn Burker did a great job with this book and this is the first book I've read from this author. I love a second chance and paranormal romances. Wes is a ghost who died seventy years ago and Hudson is a cop who he was in love with at the time. They broke and after Wes witnesses a murder he called Hudson to help him. Wes discovers Hudson secret (he's a vampire) by accident and they realized that should never have broken up. The book has mystery, romance, a newbie vampire, it's funny, and love the interaction between Wes and Hudson from start to finish. I read this book in one sitting and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
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❤️mm romance
💛fresh take on paranormal
💚unique world-building
💙murder and mystery (and fun too!) 
💜second chance romance (and yet it was a slow burn)

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the blurb, so I was most pleasantly surprised. Love Jenn Burke’s unique take on ghosts, because there is nothing more annoying than derivative PNR. In terms of world building, there is a lot to pack in but at no point did it feel like info dump. The second chance romance was a slow build and all the more poignant and satisfying for it. Looking forward to future adventures featuring Wes and Hudson!
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3.5 stars.

Not Dead Yet is a solid paranormal, romantic suspense novel by Jenn Burke. I'm excited to see what happens next.

I made a triumphant noise.
Glancing at me, Hudson warned, "Don't say it."
"I--"
"I'm serious, Wes. Don't."
"--told you so."

Wes does item recovery and ends up seeing something he shouldn't during his business hours. Panicked, he turns to his ex-boyfriend and cop, Hudson. But there are secrets Wes doesn't know, and then there's the old feelings rising to the surface.

I liked Wes. He was fun and dynamic and HILARIOUS, and his backstory was very intriguing. It took me a while to warm up to Hudson though because--I'll be honest--he's a bit of an ass in the beginning. The frenemy vibe was electric, however, and then there's this extra twist that rocked the story in a good way, and I love how the story never really stops doing that. There's a bad guy to track down, secrets to uncover, and an attraction to brew. And it's a slow brew, too, which I enjoyed. 

The age gap thing was handled spectacularly too. Such a different spin on everything, and I loved it!

My only complaint was that it took me a long time to get through this one. I put it down an awful lot, and I lost a bit of interest towards the end. But I'm also a mood reader so take this part as you will.

Overall, I'm excited to see what's next for this group of wonderful characters.
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🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3

An electrifying ride into a paranormal world with characters you’ll love!

I have no words! I didn’t want it to end!! This author was new to me and Oh my word, absolutely amazing, thrilling, suspenseful, humorous, and so much more!!!

From the opening scene, I was riveted! From the first page, the story explodes into suspense, intrigue and charisma for the main character, Wesley and the unique predicament he finds himself in. The story continues its spins and turns, thrills and spills, all the way up until the last word. A riveting ride and my new favourite paranormal series!

The story follows not-quite Ghost, Wesley and his ex-boyfriend and police officer (with a secret), Hudson. These two characters are, in themselves, amazing but I feel this book focused on a ‘family’ instead of just the two mains and as Wes dubs them “Family of freaks”, I couldn’t be more enamoured with them and look forward to many more stories of this uniquely wonderful family and their thrilling investigative adventure.

******** POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW ********

 
Wes and Hudson are wonderful but the other members of the family are just as awesome. Sassy witch/best-friend Lexi and baby Vamp, Evan are the perfect additional characters that I feel are just as important as the main characters. This family of paranormals play off each other so well and Wes especially has some great humour that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at! Jenn was able to intertwine each character’s backstory into the story seamlessly and I was especially saddened by Evan’s story and thankful that he found Wes and Hudson (by the way Hudson’s a vampire, what!?! First crazy surprise for me too!).

As the story progresses it seems to be Wes against the paranormal world of vampires, faux witches and an unknown monster hell bend to capturing Wes and his unique abilities. Jenn kept me guessing at every turn and I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t have time to think about the who and was just taken along for the ride. An amazing read and I can’t recommend this book enough!

Thanks for reading!
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m/m
A delightful read. After a slow start Not Dead Yet picked up steam and bowled me over. Wes is adorable and Hudson is a lovable grumpy bear. The supporting cast is terrific and I can’t wait to see where the author takes us next.
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An amazing book! I loved everything in this book: the plot, the characters, the humour and the style of writing.
It kept me hooked till the last page and it was never slow paced or boring.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Carina Press and Netgalley for this ARC
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The plot had layers. The characters had layers. The LAYERS had freaking layers. God, it was so satisfying. I can’t wait for the rest of the series.
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