Love and DecayDisclaimer: I have not had my Walking Dead cherry popped yet. I know, crazy inn’it?! I am not one for TV. It’s a even a fact that David and I stopped having cable in 2006; all I watched back then was the cooking channel–he might not seem hot to you but I have a strange and inexplicable crush on Emeril Lagasse. I also watched music videos because I also had a crush on Adam Lazzara the lead singer of Taking Back Sunday. So my TV watching experience since that time is limited to Netflix. Then a few years ago I began watching English subbed Korean TV, moving me further and further from what is popular here. When I do watch Netflix, I watch True Crime TV about serial killers, murders and missing persons or I will watch crime TV like NCIS, Law & Order and Hannibal. I like it when people die I guess. Gruesome much? Long story short, I have missed all the zombie TV shows and movies since the original 80’s ones. OH! We saw World War Z, which gave me nightmares. “Scary Faces, Scary Faces!”

I picked this book up on an Amazon book crawl for free novellas and wasn’t sure if I would read it. I often pick up books unsure if the mood will strike me. It’s a thing. I might have a hoarding issue. Obsessive compulsive disorder; more than likely. I know I have an impulse control issue and we talk about it a lot in therapy. I picked up this book and I was on the shrug and move on mentality but then I surprised myself because when my Galaxy died (that is the e-reader that all my ARCs and review copies get uploaded to) Love & Decay is the first book I searched out to read and right from the start I couldn’t put it down.

Reagan and Haley are two kickass zombie effer-uppers in a world ravaged by the undead. They have survived the last two years kicking the cans, twigs and berries of the odds and creeper’s and crawler’s ends and giving the bird to those creatures who prefer fast food to dining in. When they find a department store with all the amenities of the days before those when things went to kitten crap the two girls let it go to their heads. Reagan might have even spent a little too much time at the make-up counter, but a girl needs her eyeliner. Down to their last few bullets, trapped in what would have been a pre-zombie world dream, they are screwed and their only way out is an emergency door that is sealed shut no matter how hard Reagan kicks the everliving crap out of it. Her prayers are answered and the door open-sesames to men with guns on them and instead of the hungry, hungry bogeymen now they have a two man army before them; not a good thing since girls are not any safer with men than they are with the undead. Rape and death are constant threat and nothing says dead like a gun pointed at your head, right?

This is a novella and I really like that Rachel Higginson has actually named her novellas episodes rather than ‘books’ because it gives it that serial feeling that I think a story like this one needs. The guys that find Reagan and Haley are brothers and as the boys find out more and more about the girls they become more and more convinced that Reagan and Haley need protection rather than to be sent out on their way as they might have done for others who came across their path. For the most part these guys are rough and tumble and they know how to handle themselves. Hendrix who takes a shine to Reagan from the start, yet remains enigmatic while growing more and more protective of her, will quickly win your heart.

“Where are you supposed to stay?” He ground out as we worked our way down the wall, leaning back and painstakingly walk our way down the elevator shaft.

I shot him a nasty look, but he couldn’t see me because of all the darkness. “Hendrix are you kidding me?”

“By me Reagan. Always, by me,” he answered, ignoring my sarcasm.

If I have any pet peeve it is that Rachel Higginson does the unforgivable! The boys are all named after iconic musicians and Vaughan and Reagan are talking about which boy and which musician, they come to Hendrix and Reagan says:

I laughed at that. Stevie Ray Vaughn was an iconic guitarist and Hendrix suddenly made sense as well. “Jimmy?” I asked just to be sure, nodding my head at Hendrix’s back.

NO! You can’t do that to him! How could you get Jimi Hendrix’s name spelled wrong. Jimi Hendrix? He’s a Rock God! You make me weep a Purple Haze of tears, Rachel Higginson! Take it back and make it right! You go and write his name 100 times and then you write me a 500 word essay about his impact on the world of rock and roll.

This novella is fantastical! Becarefulness when you are purchasing these books because all the covers are the same and this book is Love & Decay, Episode #1. There is Love & Decay, Volume #1 as well. I was very confused when I went to purchase the next novella and there was all this and all that and then saw that the volumes had episodes #1-6 and #7-12. If you like this book you should look at H.L. Wampler‘s The Last Alive and Haven by Laury Falter.

Hey, Rachel… can I have a Hendrix? I’ll trade you a Jello cup, some low calorie gatorade, one half eaten brownie and two spoons that have been chewed up in the garbage disposal. You might not be able to find goods like this for sometime. You should take food where you can find it and you have 4 other guys. Why do you need Hendrix?

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Volume 1Love & Decay: Volume #1:

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

A vaccination gone oh so wrong and a huge portion of the world’s population was turned into Zombies. Reagan Willow is forced out of her home when her parents become casualties of the horrid Zombie Apocalypse. With the help of her best friend Haley, they’ve become somewhat of experts on surviving the dangers of a world thrust into chaos and decay.

Reagan and Haley are on a vague mission to find somewhere safe to live out the remainders of their terrifying life when they stumble upon the Parkers, a pack of brothers that seem to have the survival thing down in a much more efficient and successful way than Reagan could ever have imagined. They are also protecting their eight year old sister, Page, and will do anything to keep her safe.

The brothers decide that Reagan and Haley need help with being kept safe as well, and as a group they set off to find the Zombie-free utopia Reagan is dreaming of.

Zombies are a daily problem, constantly threatening the lives of their group, but they’re not the only peril on the journey ahead. Militia groups of power hungry men are also a constant concern. And settlements of paranoid, suspicious people turn out to be just as hazardous.

Danger looms over every inch of the way, but Reagan, Haley and the Parkers are determined to get to their goal and remain together. Soon the Parkers become more to Reagan than just traveling companions and more than friendship starts to develop between her and Hendrix, the second oldest brother.

But at the end of the world, nothing can be as simple as life and death. Now, Reagan is going to have to schedule falling in love between hunting and surviving. Hopefully she can last long enough to find out if true love can still exist when everything else has started to fall apart.

Love and Decay, Volume One, is a compilation of the first six episodes in a twelve episode season. It is a Dystopian Romance Novella Series about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

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Reader, writer, gamer, nerd, and kpop lover; Ms. Ali Cat lives deep in her own imagination within the grand city limits of San Diego, CA. A proponent of afternoon naps, kitten cuddles, and hashtags, she will be voting: #COFFEFFORPOSITIVECHANGE in the next presidential election.
Feeling Peckish – Love & Decay by Rachel Higginson

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