Loving the Lowcountry- Review of Lyla Payne’s Not Quite Dead (A Lowcountry Ghost Story)

I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s obviously not like her Whitman University books, but that’s okay! 


We meet 25 year-old Graciela Harper, Gracie, and know that things aren’t going so well for her. She’s decided to become an alcoholic, and is off to a really good start. I know alcoholism is no laughing matter, but you are looking at it from her point of view. She’s a mess. Life has handed her more than a few lemons….it dropped her off in a grove, stole her sugar, and laughed in her face. She had a very messy breakup with her fiance, her grandfather’s health is failing, and she moves back to where she grew up as child to take care of him. It’s easy to see that she needs just as much taking care of as he does. 

After she makes quite the impression on her first morning back in Heron Creek, she seems quite content to bury her head under the covers in her old bedroom while drinking her sorrows away. The town she grew up in has changed and it hasn’t changed. Still haunting her memories and the town are her former best friend Mel, and her first love, and now Mel’s husband, Will. She’s also lost the cousin who was like a sister to her, Millie, due to a event several years earlier.. As children, the four were inseparable, but now nothing is as it was. To top off the awkwardness of seeing Mel and Will, Gracie is now seeing a ghost. Anne Bonny, 18th century pirate, is now showing up and having Gracie rethink her drinking plans. She doesn’t know if the ghost is real, but Anne definitely wants something from Gracie. Thrown into the mix are a handsome mayor who won’t take no for an answer, a grumpy new boss who may just be out to get Gracie, and an ailing grandfather she’s not ready to lose. 

I like ghost stories, and I like romances. This story reminded me a lot of Heather Graham books I’ve read, but it’s still fresh and entertaining. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding Anne Bonny, and why it was Gracie that was able to see her. I enjoyed the budding romance between Mayor Beau and Gracie. I enjoyed the fact that sometimes, you really can go home. Have I said enjoyed enough yet? I laughed, I cried, and I might have crushes on Will and Beau, and maybe even Gramps. Not Quite Dead was a quick read, and I’m so happy I picked it up. 

I hope you make a trip to Heron Creek soon. Author Lyla Payne says she writing book 2 as we speak. Can’t wait!

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