Thursday 6 April 2023

Book Review | The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston | prettylittlewriter

‘Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.

When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.

Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.

Romance is most certainly dead... but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.’

This book was the loveliest celebration of life and of death wrapped in one.


Our lovely MC Florence has her fair share of heartbreak in this novel, from losing her father, to her vile ex who stole her life and memories, and then to top it off, her new editor who had potential to be something more.


After the shit meeting Florence has with her new editor regarding the half-finished manuscript, she goes on a night out with her best friend Rose, and she ends up bumping into her ex who destroyed her belief in romance, and then her new editor Benji ends up in front of her too! Just when you think she’s going to perhaps find her love for romance again after a little smooch with Benji, she gets an earth shattering call from her mum.


Upon returning to her hometown after her Father’s death, Florence has some figuring out to do, mainly in the way of what the hell she’s going to do about this half completed manuscript she needs to finish for Anne Nichols, the author she is ghost writing for. As planning her Father’s funeral gets underway (he has some very specific instructions for it, including Elvis!) editor Benji rocks up to cause even more chaos.


Ghost Benji isn’t sure why he’s still around, and what unfinished business he may have, and Florence believes it’s to help her finish the manuscript, but as she has no motivation for completing it at the present moment, Benji is just there to help her through this incredibly difficult time, and he becomes a source of comfort for Florence quite quickly.


I love that both Florence and her Father had the gift of being able to see and communicate with ghosts, it was a really special bond between them, but I must admit I was waiting for her Father to also pop up at some point as a ghost to offer her some Fatherly advice.


I managed to guess the twist to this story quite early on, as I picked up on something that best friend Rose, DIDN’T say, along with a couple of other hints from Poston about it, which I really enjoyed seeing play out. The only thing that upset me a little was how late on in the novel that this happens, as I would have liked more scenes from ‘after’ between Florence and Ben.


The relationship between Florence & Ben was the sweetest development. With Ben being a ghost, it was quite heart-breaking watching them both start to fall for each other, when they knew they couldn’t ever really be together, even if Ben managed to stick around as a ghost (although it didn’t stop them from having a couple of very sexy encounters; Ben certainly has a way with words!). Although they knew they couldn’t be together properly, they were both there for each other in the best ways they could be, especially Ben for Florence, as he became a beacon of light for her whilst she was wading through the depths of despair surrounding her Father’s death.


Florence’s ex Lee was the most infuriating character ever. I HATED him for destroying so much of her life, including her belief that she would ever find love again. So seeing his novel based on her life being published almost led me to throwing the book across the room a few times! I really wanted karma to come along and bite him in the ass.


Seeing Florence come back together with her remaining family was lovely, her relationship with her sister albeit complicated, was filled with so much love, that it was nice to see them find their way back to each other. The dynamics of the family were very different, with them also basically living and breathing death due to running a funeral home, it was nice to see them celebrating life in different ways, including dancing around the morgue to her Father’s favourite CD. It was a breath of fresh air.


There was a lot of love within the story, not just between Florence and Ben and her family, but also from friends around her. Although she had been away from her hometown for many years, the relationships she had with certain people in the town, including Dana and their partner John, were still very much in play, with some lovely interactions between them.

I also love that the Mayor was a dog! This was a very cute addition to the story.


There were quite a few pop culture name drops within the story (other authors mainly) and also my fav Taylor Swift, which I also really enjoyed.


This review is probably very scatty, I’m struggling to cohesively put one together as I just have so many random thoughts about it, but overall I really did love it and would highly recommend it to anyone that loves a rom-com with a difference. The only reason I’m not rating this 5/5 stars is I just wish the resolution of the story happened sooner, so we had a few more interactions between Florence & Ben afterwards.


4/5 stars

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