“You must be Ann Nichols’s assistant,” he greeted without missing a beat. He stood and came around the desk to offer his hand. He was… enormous. So tall I felt like I’d suddenly been transported into a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” where he was a very hunky beanstalk that I really, really wanted to climb— 

No. No, Florence. Bad girl, I scolded myself. You do not want to climb him like a tree, because he’s your new editor and therefore very, incredibly. Stupendously unclimbable.

The Dead Romantics is a fresh, humorous, feel-good romance that you will not be able to put down. 

Florence 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.

Oh boy, is this book fabulous! I just ate up every word in this story, and all I wanted to do was sit down and read it all over again. The Dead Romantics follows Florence Day, a romance ghost writer who can no longer write romantic stories because she no longer believes in HEAs. The story starts with Florence having a no-good, rotten day, her new (and very hunky) editor won’t give her another extension for her book, and she receives a call from her mother telling her that her father died of a heart attack. Florence finds herself returning home to help her family with the funeral. Things become weird when Florence opens the front door at her family’s funeral house to find her new editor standing in front of her; the only problem is that he is a ghost. Oh, did I forget to mention that Florence can see and talk to ghosts. Such a fun twist to a romance story. 

The Dead Romantics has a delightful and unique story, and it kind of reminds me of a more romantic version of The Mediator series by Meg Cabot (one of my favourite book series as a teen). This book has a wonderful blend of paranormal, family, death, romance, friendship, and humour. You wouldn’t think all those elements would work together, but Ashley weaves them all together and creates this story that captivates and entertains you. There are definitely moments in this book that will tug at your heartstrings. The heartwarming relationship Florence has with her father had me smiling and close to tears at times.

 The characters in this book are so well-crafted. The Day family is super quirky and just so much fun. I loved that relationship that they had with each other but also death. The Day runs a local funeral home and is constantly surrounded by death. I love the attitude towards death; they aren’t this up-tight grim family. They embrace life and celebrate death. They make cheesy jokes about death and have family outings to graveyards. I loved Florence; she has one wicked sense of humour. She is one of those characters that you just fall in love with. She is relatable and real, and I could connect with her as she struggles to figure out her life.

Now let’s get to the gushy romance-y stuff! As you can imagine, with a unique story, the romance that plays out in this book will not end up being your typical love story. Florence and Ben’s first meeting did not go well. The sparks were there, but Florence was not happy that Ben wouldn’t give her an extension, and harsh words (and a cactus, LOL) were exchanged. The bulk of the interactions between these two is when Ben is a ghost. Florence thinks Ben’s unfinished business is her finishing the book; Ben thinks he is still around because he is meant to show Florence that romance isn’t dead. The moments between these two are sweet, heart-racing, and swoon-tactic. Because they couldn’t have a physical relationship, Ashley used their conservations as a way to build that chemistry and sexual tension. And boy, some of their conversations got a little spicey. Some moments might remind you of the Ghost movie (don’t worry, there is no pottery scene in this book). 

If you are looking for a different romance story with lots of fun, I would highly recommend reading The Dead Romantics. 

Thank you, Berkley Publishing Group for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.