Romance and zombies collide in the riveting sequel to Love in the Time of the Dead.
Four years into the Dead outbreak that ended the world, Vanessa Summers has been so burned by love, she swears she will never trust a man again. But Sean Daniels, guard leader of Dead Run River, isn’t just any man. When past lovers return to the colony, things get complicated. Desperate to rid herself of the heartache, Vanessa signs up for a supply run that will test her mettle as a guard in training. Sean volunteers to lead her team, and his hungry looks say it’s more personal than professional.
Danger comes from all sides as they scavenge Dead-infested cities, and as her attraction for Sean deepens, Vanessa finds her head and heart at war with each other. He clouds her judgment, and the slightest misstep could spell disaster outside of the safety of colony gates.
A race back to Dead Run River could save a teammate’s life, but trouble has been brewing back home. Laney Landry, the woman who broke Sean’s heart, is in trouble, and Vanessa must decide whether to take back the Denver colony beside the man she’s falling in love with, or bow out of an attraction that terrifies her.
*I received a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings on this book.*
Love at the End of Days takes place one year after the events of Love in the Time of the Dead. The sequel builds on what is hinted at in the epilogue of the first book. Laney and Mitchell arrive back at the Dead Run River compound and throw Vanessa and Sean’s lives into a fantastic collision course. Vanessa has spent the last year pining for Mitchell, just as Sean has for Laney. Ever since Laney and Mitchell decided they wanted to be with each other and left the compound, Sean and Vanessa have both made major changes in their lives, but neither has been able to go of “the one that got away.”
Vanessa decides to enter guard training. She was scared out of her mind when that dead attacked in the first book while she was on gardens duty, and her inability to react in any way has haunted her since. She resents the fact that Laney took care of business and took the dead down—despite the fact that Laney’s actions saved Vanessa, her brother Nelson, and their friend Eloise. Sean has gone from leading his own compound to managing the guards and all the security measures at this compound. His responsibilities consist primarily of doing supply runs and being on guard duty, as well as setting the guard schedule once a week.
When Vanessa and Sean see Mitchell and Laney, respectively, they both have similar reactions: profound sadness at the loss of what could have been and the realization that they are both being pathetic for still grieving that loss. What draws them together is recognition of the same pain in each other. When they get a chance to go on a supply run, they both jump on board knowing it would be a good way to escape their present torment and, in Vanessa’s case, prove herself as a guard.
We came to know Sean through the events of Love in the Time of the Dead. He was running his own compound in Denver before he was betrayed and the compound was overrun with deads. He escaped to Dead Run River with his daughter (Adrianna), Mitchell, Laney, and Guist. We know that Sean lost his wife to deads because he couldn’t protect her. He comes to the realization early on in this book that he lost her because he didn’t teach her to protect herself. He wants a girl more like Laney, who can protect not only herself, but also protect Adrianna when he can’t. That was a winning point for me; no one wants to watch a character make the same mistakes over and over again only to be rewarded for them later, so I was happy to see he was making a change.
Vanessa is almost an antagonist to Laney’s protagonist in the first book, so knowing that we were going to be following her for a large part of Love at the End of Days was not overly appealing to me. Thankfully, she quickly becomes a sympathetic character when she realizes that while it still hurts to see them she knows that she and Mitchell never really had anything and she starts to warm up to Laney, albeit a bit grudgingly. What I did love best about her was her smart mouth and quick wit. She spent a large part of the first story in stressful situations with a bunch of guys and never let any of it phase her. She didn’t break down in front of them, and she could give as good a ribbing as she was getting from everyone else.
When I started reading and discovered that the people who were rejected from the happily ever after in the first book were going to come together in this book, I thought it was a little too convenient. I didn’t want it to feel forced, but it really didn’t end up feeling that way at all. It was the pain of their rejection, the ability to understand that about the other person and the realization that neither one was like Mitchell or Laney that brought them together. They were both put into some stressful and suspenseful situations together, each one thinking the other had died or was in danger of dying multiple times and knowing deep down that neither could live without the other was a real treat to read. The progress felt natural and the payoff was great.
Fans of The Walking Dead, Resident Evil and other zombie apocalypse shows and movies will love this. You get action, suspense and a little romance all wrapped together in a neat package. When I was reading I couldn’t put it down, and when I wasn’t reading my mind kept drifting back to that world to think about the characters. This was a truly enjoyable read—my ranking of Love at the End of Days: four out of five stars!
Jessica is a married mother of two children and a yellow lab. She spends every spare moment she can reading any paranormal or historical romance or urban fantasy she can get her hands on. In real life she tests weather apps for mobile devices and daydreams of being a writer herself one day.