Blog Tour: Morbid and Sultry Tales of Genevieve Clare by J.B. Hartnett - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
My name is Genevieve Clare, professional mourner, destined to spend my days donning a black suit and throwing myself on top of caskets for money. Sometimes I mixed it up and threw myself on top of a willing warm body instead. Finding the right warm body though, that was a different story.
The Morbid and Sultry Tales of Genevieve Clare was not what I expected. I expect more of a fun funny lighthearted tale of Genevieve being a professional mourner. I expected her to find a guy and fall in love and that would be the story. I expected hijinks and just a fun read. That is not really what this story is, but it was a good read regardless. I found it sadder than I expected and I really just felt bad for Genevieve.
This story starts off when Genevieve loses her dad, mom, and grandmother all in the same accident. That is pretty much her entire family. In one fell swoop she is alone. Well kind of alone. Her crush growing up has come back and is staying with her, helping her with anything she needs. He is helping her try and move on from this devastating loss. Losing her family like that really shakes Genevieve up and she is not even sure what she wants to do with her life now. She has some money her family left her so she doesn't need to work if she doesn't want to, but it is hard. I get that. It would have been devastating for me to lose everyone like that. She does have Ahren, her crush, and they grow closer until more tragedy strikes. Genevieve just cannot deal with it so she pushes him away.
Cut to 10 years later. 10 years. That is a long time. Genevieve is a professional mourner and Ahren has come back to try and make it work with Genevieve again. He has been missing her the past 10 years and is finally in the frame of mind that enough is enough. They love each other and should be with each other. That is all great, but Genevieve hasn't really moved on from the death of her family. She is still really messed up from that and I kept reading the story thinking man she really needs to go talk to someone about this. It is obvious she has not been able to start living again on her own. Sure her bff Rocky tries to get her out of the house and doing things, but she is not really living. It has been 10 years and she is still mourning their death by being a professional mourner. That is a long time to just be shut off from life and coasting. It is like as long as she keeps up her mourning business she won't have to really say goodbye to the family she lost. The entire time I was just waiting for her to get help in one form or another, but it never really happens. She does work through her issues with Ahren, but it still seemed like she would have had better luck actually talking to a professional about all of this. It was really sad for me watching Genevieve.
The story includes some of the older clients of Genevieve that she grows close to. She gets to know them and becomes friends with them and it really just continues the sadness of losing someone you care about. Genevieve just really has kept herself in this almost constant mourning state it seems for the past 10 years. It is a bit crazy, but not in a happy fun way.
Overall this was a good read. Sadder than I expected, but still enjoyable.
Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2
I approached Bryce Oskin, with caution, and when I reached his side, he demanded, “Who the fuck are you?”
Charm and disarm. Charm and disarm.
“I’m Genevieve Clare, Mr. Oskin,” I said with a grin. “I believe you hired me to come to your funeral? Mind if I join you?” I brought my own bag of goodies and opened a white baker’s box from Brewster’s.
“You some kind of spooky chick?” he asked, his eyes squinting as he studied me.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was… sweet on me already. “Kinda, yeah. If by spooky you mean I get paid to go to funerals, give people a nudge, and check for a heartbeat. Oh, and I live at Eden Hills. Then yeah, I’m spooky.” I grabbed a plastic fork and took a bite of amazing cake. It was always amazing, but today it seemed more amazing than usual.
“There,” I nodded toward the folder I’d set down on a little table to his side. “I just need you to sign on the dotted line. And the bag there is from Ruby. But I’m taking over the goody-bag duties, so tell me what you like and I’ll get it for you.” I licked my lips and did it seductively because I knew this was a man who appreciated a woman. Also known as a dirty old man. “Want a bite?”
“You gonna tell that Nazi Nurse Ratchet on me?” He jerked his head toward Cheryl.
“Are you gonna drop dead from half a slice of cake?” I countered.
“Then I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship, Mr. Oskin. I visit once a week, unless I have a funeral, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday. I always bring cake for my clients. If there’s something you don’t like, just tell me. But I usually bring a selection.”
“You do this every week?” he asked, disbelief in his voice.
“What do you mean?”
“You eat like that every week? When you see other clients?” His eyes slid up and down the length of my body.
“I have a high metabolism.” I smiled. It really was a miracle I wasn’t as big as a house. But my sweet tooth was limited to sharing with clients. I had to give myself some sort of boundaries.
He grabbed the plastic fork I’d handed him and stabbed the slice of Meyer lemon cake with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. His eyes closed, and when they opened, he said, “God bless you.” After a few more bites, he asked, “So, you’re gonna open up my box and poke me before they burn me, right?”
“Yes, sir, I’ll make sure you’re good and dead.”
“Spooky chick.” His tone was gruff, but his lip tipped up in the corner.
I saw it with pride. Disarmament, accomplished.
Bryce Oskin had ordered the Shake N Bake. I had permission from most of the mortuaries and crematories to open the casket and check the body. I mean, you could just tell when someone was dead. By the time I had my turn with the deceased, they were most likely already embalmed. But some of them chose not to be, or if they were, they hired me to come to their place of death and make damn sure there was no chance in hell they were coming back to life.
A while back, there was a highly publicized case in Southern California. A woman had been pronounced dead and taken to the hospital morgue. But when they opened the fridge for her to be transported to the funeral home, they saw obvious signs of a struggle. She’d been put in there alive.
I’d never been afraid of death, and, after my family died and the man I loved almost had, I embraced death in my own strange way. I made it my life’s work, I guess. While it took a lot to creep me out, that story gave me the heebie-jeebies something fierce. It was all over the news. Every staff member from the hospital to the morgue was investigated then sued or fired or both. And, of course, old people sitting in the common room of a rest home from the wee a.m. hours to beddy-bye time, saw that story six times in one day, minimum. I ended up receiving so many requests to make sure they weren’t breathing, I added the Shake N Bake to my website.
About the Author:
Julie is a Southern California native, a fan of a really good story (preferably romance with a happily ever after), really good pie (preferably pumpkin) and copious amounts of coffee (preferably Folgers).
She has always enjoyed writing and at one time thought she could be a singer songwriter...the 'writer' part is the one that stuck.
Julie is obsessed with pi...the equation(and the food). She's allergic to cats and cantaloupe and hates mushrooms...so if you ever want to give her a gift, those are out for sure.She currently lives with her own romance hero husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.
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