Evaine, a struggling New York theater student, enters an unsanctioned drug trial to pay bills. She wakes up in a derelict hospital, chained to a bed with no memory of who she is, or how she got there. A band of pale skinned men, led by the gorgeous Luca, burst in, whisking her away to the safety of Haven House.
At Haven House, Evaine is introduced to The Family and told that due to the drug trials she has become a Deader, a reanimated Undead.
Luca is hell-bent on stopping the experimentations, and killing those responsible. He has no time for a Newborn who is struggling to control her rages, hunger, and powers. Nor does he have time to deal with the feelings she’s awakening within him.
Evaine and Luca find their connection intensifying when suddenly, she remembers not only who she is, but also her fiancé, Tristan; who is still looking for her. Now Evaine is torn between her first love and her new heart’s desire.
By running back to Tristan she puts everyone in danger, and Luca suspects Evaine is the key to the experiments when a rogue faction of Deaders, called Feeders, attempt to kidnap her. Can everyone must band together to keep Evaine off the cutting table of those she escaped from? Or will second death tear her away from everyone, for good?
Evaine sat bolt upright in bed. She wasn’t where she should be. Something wasn’t right. The walls were a pretty yellow and the floor was clean and shiny linoleum. But her studio wasn’t yellow and linoleum; her studio had tan walls and crappy brown, threadbare floors. And she definitely did not have bright florescent overhead lights as there were here. Panic began to rise within her when her eyes rested upon a sleeping figure in a chair a few feet away. He had a blanket draped over him. His handsome face looked untroubled and free. She tried to stand but felt a tug in her arm, an IV stuck in her wrist. Needles, she hated needles. Without thinking she pulled the needle out and jumped from the bed, throwing it to the floor. An alarm sounded and the clear fluid leaked onto the linoleum. Luca leaped out of his chair in an instant, switched off the machines, and grabbed her by the arms.
“Are you all right?” It was more of a demand than a question.
“I don’t like needles.”
He looked at the fluid pooling on the floor and held up her wrist where her IV had been. “Not smart.”
“Yeah, well, like I said, needles aren’t really my thing.” She pulled herself from his grasp and backed toward the wall. All the peace she had seen on his face was gone. All instinct to go to him gone as well. Now she only wanted to be as far away from him as possible. She narrowed her eyes. “What are you doing in here?”
“You’ve been asleep for several days. We weren’t sure if you were ever going to wake up again.”
“Well if you didn’t think I was going to wake up, I ask again, what are you doing here?” She knew her voice sounded harsh, but he’d acted pretty crappy. He’d left for days and then made some heroic entrance to save everyone. She wasn’t impressed.
“Nate wanted me to stay in case you woke up.”
“I see.” Irritation seeped into her words. “Another errand, I suppose. One more chore you have to do?”
“Sort of, yes.”
She huffed and crossed her arms. “Well, why you? I mean you seem pretty busy of late.”
“Because I told them about our strange connection.”
“I don’t follow.”
“Come on. Don’t tell me you don’t feel it when we touch.”
“You mean the electricity thing?”
“That and the mind reading and dream thing.”
“So that isn’t normal then?”
“No, it isn’t normal at all. Of course with you there seem to be several things we’ve never seen before, and that’s only one of them. Anyway, I told them and they thought that maybe I might be able to get you to come around. And I have been trying, for days, but you haven’t heard me.”
“Just doing your job. That’s the only reason you were here checking up on me?” Suddenly she wanted to get this over with. Get it all out in the open once and for all, so that she could tell Ronan that Luca’s only feelings for her were ones of irritation. She wanted to look away, but she defied the impulse and continued to glare at him instead.
He was silent for a long time, as if struggling with something. She tuned into his feelings. He was tired, scared, excited. Finally he broke down, and she felt him resign. “I was worried about you. You had a seizure after you passed out and I was concerned, so I stayed.” Luca ran his hands over his face and then back through his hair. He sighed. “There’s something about you. I’m drawn to you in a way that I don’t want to be. You make me feel in ways that I haven’t for a long time. I never thought these emotions would be awakened in me again, but now they have, whether I like it or not. I feel protective of you, possessive even. As though you were meant to be mine.” He took a step closer to her and then another. Her body responded to his close proximity. Her mouth grew dry, and she tried to swallow.
He lifted his hand slowly and pushed the hair back from her face. The intensity of his gaze burned into her. Something stirred within her. A fire in her belly that made her head swim and her thighs go weak. Luca’s pupils contracted and then narrowed to slits. He caressed her cheek and brought his lips within inches of her. He bent his face to her hair and smelled it, inhaling deeply, and then skimmed down her neck. The fire within her burned. Before she could think about what she was doing or what it all meant, she turned her head and pushed herself forward till her lips met his. He tangled his hand in her long mane in an instant. His other arm wrapped around her, lifting her off the ground and pushing her into the wall. She pressed into him harder, her body exploding at his touch. She gripped the back of his head with all of their strength. He pulled her tight to him. She couldn’t think straight. All of her pain, her fear, her frustration, and her passion poured from her core into him. His emotions swam in her head. All of his pent-up loneliness and sadness melted away. Giving in to his want, his need to be with her and to have her as his own. She took everything he gave. He turned and fell on top of her on the mattress.
She wanted nothing more than to rip his clothes off. The weight of his body hovered over her as he kissed her head, her nose, her neck, her cheeks, her lips. He moved his hands along the thin fabric of her shirt, making parts of her wake up and beg to be touched. The muscles of his back tensed as she raked his skin with her nails through his shirt. He let out a moan and grabbed her hip bones. He was everywhere, and she only wanted more of him.
Night Owl Review
Score: 5.00 / 5 – Reviewer Top Pick
I am a huge fan of zombies, after all I watch “Walking Dead” (who doesn’t?). If you are wondering if a good paranormal/urban fantasy story with a zombie as the lead character can be a good story? The answer is hell, yeah! Evaine is one kick-ass, sexy zombie who finds fellow sexy kick-ass zombies. And what good story is complete without a good love triangle? When you meet Luca you think they are a good couple, then you meet Tristan. “Dead Awakenings” is one of the better written zombie stories I have read. Ms. Ganiere has just become a must-have author, as in “I must have her next book”!
Jeni’s Bookshelf – 5 Stars
“Ganiere gives a whole new meaning to the word undead. It’s rare that I would choose a “zombie” book after seeing so many not-so-great movies involving them. Normally their characters are boring & lack what I crave, especially those whose main characters are zombies. However this book WOWed me in several instances!”
TnT Reviews – 5 Stars
I absolutely loved this book. I’m hereby singing its praises and shouting from the rooftops. It was a great adventure and totally different than anything I’ve read in awhile.
Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books With A Bite
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