Expected Release Date: September 30, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Imprint: Ever After
Author’s Website: FACEBOOK | TWITTER
My Source for This Book: Gift from the publisher
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: No HEA
Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers
Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him…even though he wants her dead.When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn’t know about the zombie bite on her back. It’s only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone’s safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.
What Worked For Me:
- Maybe I’m weird (okay, I know I’m weird, but that’s a different topic entirely), but there’s something so sexy to me about the whole “captive” thing. I don’t know, maybe it’s part of the Enemies To Lovers trope that I find appealing, or maybe it’s just seeing this kick-ass heroine giving power over to the hero in order to stay with her sister. Either way, I really enjoyed that Sheri subjected herself to being a willing captive in exchange for being allowed to stay in the compound.
- Even though this was a novella, and therefore was rather limited in the number of scenes, I appreciated the amount of action — after all, this is a zombie story, and it was great not only getting to see Sheri “in her element” so to speak, but also get more development into the post-apocalyptic world that they were now living in.
- Though I was a bit blindsided by the spanking, I can’t deny that the one love scene was hot. *fans self*
- I loved the back story of both Sheri and Aleksy. I was pleasantly surprised by the horror of Alex’s story especially, and loved the devotion to her sister that Sheri’s story elaborated on.
- As an avid reader, the idea of a modern (or post-modern, perhaps) take of Scheherazade and her storytelling was really appealing, and I adored that it was a common love for stories that really brought Alex and Sheri together.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- The only real problem that I had with this novella is the decided lack of HEA, and I was actually pretty torn on this point to be honest. While we don’t get to see if the rest of the compound accepts Sheri into their ranks, and we don’t get to see if Aleksy and Sheri actually get any sort of meaningful future together, what we do get is an ending that fits in well with the grim, gritty, uncertainty that is their reality in this zombie-infested world. So while on one hand, I ended the story feeling that there should have been more — some sort of closure given instead of leaving it so open-ended, on the other hand, I could appreciate that the ending fit well with the vibe of the rest of the story. In the end, though, the American Romantic in me that demands a HEA in order to be satisfied was pretty disappointed, and therefore it counts as a negative point.
- A decidedly minor issue, but I’m not big on spanking unless I know going into a story that there will be light kink. It was a very small part of the one love scene, and I know many of my readers will read it because of that, but it was worth mentioning anyway.
Combining the classic tale of Scheherazade with zombie horror was a brilliant move, appealing to both the zombie lover and the bibliophile in me like nothing else could have. Perhaps a library isn’t one of the first places one might go during a zombie apocalypse, but I loved that it was high on the priority list for Sheri (and in some ways, Alex) to gather books along with other, more immediately needed supplies.
The flashbacks, rather than being distracting as I usually find them to be, blended in perfectly with the story to develop both Sheri and Alex’s characters, and though there’s only one love scene, the tension between Alex and Sheri is there from the very start.
My only one real issue with this story was the lack of Happily Ever After, though admittedly, the somewhat uncertain ending fit in with the bleak and uncertain atmosphere of the world that these characters lived in.
Recommended for fans of enemies to lovers, protagonists with tragic pasts, and thrilling zombie action.