Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne

Not Quite Dead
By:  Lyla Payne
Published:  April 1, 2014
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Source:  Author
Purchase At:  Amazon Barnes and Noble  & Kobo

GR's Summary:

A broken engagement sends Graciela Harper crawling back to Heron Creek with her tail between her legs, but finds the sleepy little town too changed to set her life right. Not even her budding drinking problem can obscure her Gramps’s failing health, or erase the mental picture of her first love happily married to her childhood best friend. To top it all off, she’s having a heck of time convincing the town’s dashing young mayor of her unfit-for-dating status.

When the ghost of 18th century lady pirate Anne Bonny starts insisting on a near daily audience, Graciela has to confront something else she never expected—being certifiably nuts at twenty-five years old.

Her brand new "I don't give a crap" attitude makes it easy to dismiss the mysterious threats that seem to be tied to her search for more information on the long dead pirate, but when her family becomes a target, Gracie knows she needs to find out why the ghost insists on being a constant, reeking companion. 

If Graciela can put aside her prejudice against people without a pulse, she may discover that Anne Bonny’s problems are intricately linked with her own. The past harbors answers could help the cantankerous spirit find closure, but she is, after all, already dead. If Graciela doesn’t move fast, she might find herself doing the haunting, instead of the other way around.

My Thoughts:

Not Quite Dead, by Lyla Payne was quite a reading treat!  I loved this story, and did not want to put it down!  I've had the pleasure of reading Ms. Payne's Whitman University Series, which I absolutely adored, but this story was something completely unique and different from that series.  Graciela Harper (Gracie), has always desired a life of adventure.  When she catches her fiancee cheating on her, she breaks off the engagement, and decides to go to the place that she thinks of as home.  Since childhood, Gracie use to spend every summer with her grandparents, cousin Amelia, and two best friends Will and Melanie (Mel) in South Carolina.  She misses Heron Creek, and her beloved grandfather.  When she hears that his health is failing him, she decides to return home and take care of Gramps.  While there her life takes on interesting turn, when she gets visited by the ghost of 
18th century lady pirate Anne Bonny.  Anne has unfinished business, and is determined to get Gracie to uncover the clues to an intriguing mystery.  Along the way Gracie gets threatening notes telling her to stay away from the town's archives, or else...  

Gracie gets reacquainted with her first love Will, who is now married to Mel, and things are a bit awkward at first between the three of them.  She also meets the gorgeous, charming, and charismatic mayor, Beauregard Drayton, Beau, who sparks a fun, carefree, and flirty Gracie.  Not Quite Dead, had beautifully crafted characters.  I loved how Gracie was strong, determined, loyal, and had an adventurous spirit.  Gramps was one of my favorite characters.  He loved Gracie so much, and the relationship that they shared was very special.  Gramps loved teasing, and embarrassing Gracie, as well as giving her advice, and spending quality time.  He reminded me on my own grandfather.  They would watch baseball games together, eat ice cream late at night while watching television, ands have a good time.  Gramps pushed Gracie to stop feeling sorry for herself, and to take control of her life.  I also enjoyed Will and Mel.  They were really good friends to Gracie, and Gramps.  Mel was very insecure and jealous at first which frustrated me, but then she got over it.  Will was a good guy, and still looked out for Gracie and Gramps.

There was a little bit of romance woven in the story between Gracie and Beau.  It didn't overshadow the rest of the story, but was the perfect addition to an already amazing story.  The mystery behind Anne Boony captured me from the very first time she appeared.  I was hooked, and wanted to unravel the clues behind why Anne was so determined to get Gracie's help.  I couldn't wait to see where the clues led, and little by little, the plot thickened, and had me glued to the pages.  This wasn't a cheesy ghost story.  It was top-notch!  I've been dealing with a bit of a reading slump, and Not Quite Dead pulled me completely out of it!

My Rating:

If you are looking for a fantastic story, look no further!  Not Quite Dead had great characters, an alluring plot full of mystery, just the right amount of romance, and a great message!  Be yourself!  Don't try to be someone else, to make others happy.  Follow your own destiny, and have an adventure!  I give, Not Quite Dead, by Lyla Payne, 5 Glorious, Mysterious, Heart-Warming, Addictive Stars!!!!

My Favorite Quote:

"The circumstances of her life have turned over and over in my mind during my recent bevy of sleepless hours, and I've considered what it means to embrace who we truly are, even when other people don't like it.  Don't understand it.  To do what out hearts desire, even when it's not what the world expects--that maybe the mistakes that most people make is thinking that our lives are made to please anyone other than ourselves."  (eARC, Loc. 2533)


About Lyla Payne:

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked.  In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.     


  1. Sounds like a fun read!

  2. "18th century lady pirate" Now that is an awesome element to add to a story!! I love that! I also love the sound of the main character! This definitely sounds like really good read to get lost in!

    Wonderful review, Lindy!! :D

  3. This sounds fantastic, and something I would like..I mean small-town-romance and an 18th century lady pirate! Awesome review and so glad you enjoyed it.

  4. I love the idea of a lady pirate ghost story and a gal who has to get her life back together. Thanks for sharing about it. Going on the wish list!

    1. You're Welcome Sophia :) I hope you get to read it soon!

  5. I was expecting a second chance at love but it's not is it. I like books that stand out as different. Thanks.

  6. This book sounds great and very different-- like Val said, my first thought was a second chance at love kind of thing but I am even more intrigued now that it seems to be more than that. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    1. Thanks Teresa! I can't even tell you how awesome this book was! It was amazing, and I hope you read it!!!

  7. I love the whole idea behind this book, and I'm intrigued in finding out more about the characters and how it's written. The combination of: 18th Century, pirate, woman, with a clearly deep background behind her in her life, and all the things she's trying to sort out and keep together, and adding in the romance to the story- it all sounds like such a rich story, and definitely different. And the cover is gorgeous- it draws my attention right away. I think no matter what's inside, I would look into it anyway just because of the cover a title. (The title's awesome too). This looks like a great, very different read. I love, love, love the review- very helpful, and the excerpt really helped me grasp how some of the story's romance is, and it's written absolutely beautifully.

  8. Loved the review and I look forward to reading. Thank you for the giveaway.


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