5 STAR READ: The Dead Romantics Review

Summary (from the publisher):

image001Florence 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.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts:

I am typically not a paranormal romance or ghost book person. Frankly, even with its ghostly inspiration and synopsis, I wouldn’t even necessarily call The Dead Romantics a paranormal romance. Although it definitely borrows from contemporary romance themes (and yes, at the end of the day, could be called a contemporary romance), The Dead Romantics was a perfect contemporary novel. And yes, there is some romance, but it was so cleverly done & I LOVED how it connected back to the title. I’ve read Ashley Poston’s YA series, Once Upon a Con, (sidenote that there is a nod to The Princess & the Fangirl in The Dead Romantics), and I want so much more from her in the contemporary/contemporary romance space. I’m so happy that this book is getting even more deserved attention as Good Morning America’s Book Club pick for July! 

Honestly, I did not know much going into this one other than knowing it had a ghostwriter as a protagonist and I recommend going into this one knowing as little as possible. It made it even so much more interesting not knowing what to expect from the plot — I found myself guessing & anticipating if there would really be a real romance arc to the story. If you’re unlike me and need to know the basic premise of a book before jumping in, The Dead Romantics follows the ghostwriter of acclaimed romance writer Ann Nichols, Florence, who is struggling to write the romantic ending of Ann’s upcoming book after experiencing her own devastating heartbreak. Her new (immensely attractive) editor refuses to give her an extended deadline and Florence’s writing block continues when she experiences a devastating personal loss and must return home to her small South Carolina town, where her family runs a funeral home. This same town sent Florence running to NYC after graduation, after being bullied as a teen for being able to see ghosts… 

The Dead Romantics was such a grand slam book for me because it uncovered so many themes and relationship dynamics. There is so much to this book and I loved it all, including Florence’s career as a ghostwriter , commentary on the publishing business, her past relationship with a fellow writer, complicated relationship with her sister and brother, her family’s business as funeral home owners, returning to the town where she was bullied, and of course, her ability to see and speak with ghosts. There are many themes surrounding grief and death, given Florence’s loss and her family’s funeral business, but it was somehow also light and heartwarming at the same time. 

This book is just so unique – the only comparison I can really think of is Amy E. Reichert’s contemporary romance, The Kindred Spirits Supper Club, for its own ghost premise. I love, love LOVED Ben, and what can I say, I totally pictured him as Adam Driver – ever since The Love Hypothesis, I do whatever I can to picture  the love interest as Adam Driver. I did not know what to expect from Ben and Florence’s relationship, and I loved how they helped one another process their feelings about books & writing. 

If you are any kind of romance fan (and also like books about writing and publishing), you need The Dead Romantics in your life. This is definitely a book I plan on rereading in the future and is for sure a favorite of 2022!!

I was provided with a review copy from the publisher in exchange for review. By no means did receiving this review copy affect my thoughts and opinions. 

Is The Dead Romantics on your TBR? Have you read it? What did you think? Have you read any other books by Ashley Poston? Share in the comments! 

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