Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Zombies
Paperback $. (388 pages, ENTANGLED SELECT)
You know your life has hit rock bottom when you’re living off cooked rats and showering once every few months—if you’re lucky. But for Jackson Hart things are about to get a whole lot worse. When her best friend, Tye, disappears hunting for food, kick-ass Jackson’s ‘head south to safety’ plan looks like it’s dead before it’s even begun. But then she meets ex-mechanic Luke Granger, who takes her to his bunker, feeds her with non-rat based food, and offers her protection against the zombie hordes—not that she needs it. She knows how to use a machete and isn’t afraid to.
Jackson was tempted to stay in the city with her rescuer. Food, shampoo and the possibility of finally getting laid, what more could she ask for? But the flesh eaters are getting smarter and the bunker is compromised, so Jackson and Luke have no choice but to make the journey south.
Luke and Jackson team up to find other humans in a road-trip romance for the ages. They travel for thousands of miles with zombies shadowing their every move. They must utilize every resource at their disposal…and then some. On the way, they discover that even if flesh eating zombies are knocking down their door, there’s always time for sex and even love.
Author Site: website
All the best kinds of tensions rolled into one great story. (4 stars)
Can there still be romance after zombies overrun the world? If you want the answer to be yes then don't hesitate to grab a copy of WAKING UP DEAD. I've been dying (no pun intended) for this book to come out and since I first saw Shortt share the cover months ago. Sometimes you just know a book is going to be your thing and if you like your romance novels to have heroines who aren't shrinking violets in the face of life-or-death danger as much as I do this book is for you.
Jackson could be any girl. She's been through hell and in the two years since the end of the world began she's become the girl no one wants to be, yet hopes they could if they had to. She's a fighter. When she and her traveling companion get separated and she crosses paths with Luke she's tearing through town without her pants. I wish I could say I'd be as much of a warrior in my undies while running from zombies. Luke's had it a lot easier holed up in someone's bunker but they've both discovered that something new is happening with the zombies. Their only chance is to head South in search of a rumored stronghold of survivors. Along the way they face more horrors and find that maybe the best part about the old world isn't gone for good.
If you hate summer because you need your weekly dose of The Walking Dead you will love the constant tension and fear that Jackson and Luke must survive in. I absolutely loved that she was the more experienced of the two when it came to dealing with the zombies. It's a great change of pace from the Alpha-male-saves-the-day-like-a-bulldozer stuff. That Luke was never threatened by it made him especially cool in my eyes. That Shortt addresses the idea that they might be interested in one another because they have no other option is important and she does it in an organic way that makes it good. The sexual tension is great and the added tension of the setting makes this a delicious read on so many levels.
The only thing holding me back from a full five stars was that it didn't end anywhere near when I expected it to. I don't want to spoil anything but there's a lot more story than I anticipated—and it's GOOD—but it also puts Jackson into a place where she's a little tough to like for a while. If you ever want to bonk a character in the noggin for being stupid about something you'll get what bugged me when you read it. By no means a deal breaker, just hit one of my peeves as a reader.
From start to finish this is one heck of an adventure with a great romance element that is sure to delight urban fantasy and horror fans who also dig romances. Love paranormal romances but in need of something a bit meatier? I definitely recommend this one if you enjoy Lisa Kessler or Devon Monk's work. That this is just the first in a series delights me to no end, enjoy!
Notes: ARC received via publisher.