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Half Past Dead: The Undying Heart / Simon Says (The Blades of the Rose, #0.5; Guardians of the Dark, #1)
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Half Past Dead: The Undying Heart / Simon Says

(The Blades of the Rose 0.5)

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  71 reviews
There are good guys, there are bad boys, and then there are men with a danger all their own—these are the ones who take you places you never imagined…and will never forget.

“The Undying Heart” by Zoe Archer

Samuel Reed had no idea magic existed, until it almost destroyed him. Thirsting for vengeance against the enemy who made him something less than human, Sam returns to Eng
Paperback, 289 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Brava
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3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  474 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Review of The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer

Taking a step back, I finally got my hands on the prequel to the amazing The Blades of the Rose series. First, reading the prequel is not needed in order to read the BOTR books, this was really just a taste of the BOTR series and ZA’s style of writing.

Sam Reed is out for revenge, after being turned to the undead by a fellow officer, it’s taken three years for Sam to get his chance, and when he meets his old childhood friend Cassandra Fielding his pla
When you think about zombies, you most likely visualize an animated brain eating corpse. This book highlights a very different kind of zombie, probably more frightening than any zombie we know, a zombie capable of intelligence and able to think and learn.

Half Past Dead is really two stories. The first, Half Past Dead is the prequel to Zoe Archer’s Blades of the Rose series. The second story Simon Says is by Bianca D’Arc.

Half Past Dead 2/5 stars

Half Past Dead is a historical romance. It sets up
Mandi Schreiner
Oct 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
“The Undying Heart” by Zoe Archer

Zombies are SEXY!!

Now, don’t go screaming and running off in all directions. Hear me out first!

The hero in this story is a zombie. That’s right – the big “Z” word. I don’t know what it is about zombies that freaks everyone out. Is it the fact that you can chop off body parts and they still live? They have no blood or breath? They are dead…..but not. In most books I have read, the zombies are the bad guys and in this book, zombies are definitely evil, but Sam Reed
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it
I didn't read the whole book. I just read the second story, Simon Says by Bianca D'arc. I was reading another book and came across an excerpt from a book that starts out on Long Island. Since I don't know if I've ever read a book that took place where I live, I checked her her. It said the excerpt was from a book that was going to be released in March of 20101 and that this story was the prequel, but somehow I doubt it and I can't figure out now where I read that.

In any case, Mariana Daniels is
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Free Kindle download. This book is actually two books in one — The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer, and Simon Says by Bianca D'Arc.

I'm not sure zombie heroes work for me in romance — as antagonists, yes; as protagonists, maybe only if sex with a human heroine isn't involved. Granted, it worked better than I thought it would, mainly because the authors made sure to stress that the undead heroes' bodies could heal until they were whole again, so that the heroines weren't making love to decomposing ani
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Two stories about the walking dead!
Carolyn F.

The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer. I'm not sure how a zombie can have an orgasm but those kinds of thoughts just ruin fiction or so I've been told. It was okay. Lots of fighting for a girl that really isn't trained which seems like a crime to me since she's part of some fight the evil kind of group. Lots of sex scenes if that floats your boat. To me it was a little much. And speaking of a little much, this was a llloooonnnnggg short story. 3- stars

Simon Says by Bianca D'Arc. A modern day
Oct 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Two books, two authors I've read before, and yet combined they only achieved 3 stars.

Zoe Archer's Prequel to the Blades of the Rose was a bit entertaining, having already read the first 2 books in that series, I know that each book focuses on different Blades and Sources of Magic, this one was Cass Fielding and Zombies. If I'd read this one first I probably wouldn't have bothered with the series just cause the writing didn't totally capture my interest.

In Bianca D'Arc's Simon Says, first in the
Jan Lewis, Author Sidekick
Feb 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: yellow
The 3 stars is for the historical PNR novella "The Undying Heart" by Zoe Archer. It was a quick, compelling read. I thought Cassie and Sam's relationship was very sweet. I like the world the author created and would like to read more about it.
My only real complaint is that there were some words and phrases that I felt were too modern. They pulled me out of the story a bit, but I was able to get right back into it.

I didn't finish the Bianca d'Arc novella, because it didn't appeal to me. What I re
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
The Undying Heart is my first and last zombie romance. Admitting that I'm ignorant on zombie physiology, I still don't understand how a man, er creature, could be cold, have no pulse or respiration on one page and a hot, fully equipped lover on the next. It will remain a mystery since the author offered no explanation. I'm actually glad there was no rotting flesh involved, but I'm done with my short foray into zombie romance.
I good little story, would have liked more details and less weird human-zombie detailed sex but what can I say the remaining story kept me reading!
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not Your Usual Zombie Romance Anthology

Of course, since I know of the existence of exactly one other zombie romance anthology Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance that isn't saying much, but at least Hungry for Your Love contains the large number of zombie romance short stories you'd likely be expecting. In contrast Half Past Dead contains only a pair of novella prequels to a pair of later zombie romance novel series.

The first and by far the most intriguing is Zoe Archer's "The U
Fire Raven
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I only read the Bianca D'Arc half of the book, because that was the story I bought the book for. Not bad for a short story. I have to say I had read book 2 or the first full story of the Guardians of the dark before I went looking for Half Past Dead. With that said, this wasn't too short for a prequel or too sparsely filled out.
this was fun, and quick. i liked the characters, though yeah the zombie thing was a bit... much. eh.
Heather C (Darkly Reading)
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Undying Heart by Zoe Archer:
Sam, once an officer in the British Army, has returned to England to track down the man who has destroyed his existence - Colonel Broadwell. Little does Sam know that someone else is also hunting Broadwell, Cassandra, his best friend's younger sister. But Cassandra is no longer a little girl and has been charged with tracking Broadwell for the Blades of the Rose - an organization focused on keeping powerful magic or Sources, out of the hands of evil men like Broadwell
Lizabeth Tucker
A small collection of two zombie romances, not something that would normally appeal to me, but Zoe Archer's names was enough to have me buy it. A good decision as both stories were very good, although there is a caveat with D'Arc's story. I would give the collection a 3.75 out of 4.

"The Undying Heart" by Zoe Archer. Cassandra Fielding, relatively new member of the Blades of the Rose, has been keeping Colonel Kenneth Broadwell under observation. A member of the arrogant Heirs of Albion, Broadwell
Virginia Campbell
"Half Past Dead" is quite an appropriate title for this paranormal romance anthology from authors Zoe Archer and Bianca D'Arc. In each of the stories the zombified hero is not really human, but not really dead. Both "men" retain enough of their humanity to not only be heroic, but romantic as well. Actually, they are intensely erotic. Who knew? Zoe Archer's story, "The Undying Heart", is the prequel for her "Blades of the Rose" series, and it takes place in the Post-Civil War Era. Samuel Reed ser ...more
Linda C
An Undying Heart - Cassandra Fielding is on her second assignment for the Blades, following a thief when she runs into Sam Reed, also pursuing Broadwell for vengeance. Broadwell killed him and many of his fellow soldiers and turned them into zombies whom he controlled to do despicable things. Sam managed to break from Broadwell's control and is now out to eliminate Broadwell. Cassie wants to notify the Blades that she has located Broadwell and learned of his next plot to use the stolen magical S ...more
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat Jones
Apr 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
The premises for both of the prequels, because this is a pair of prequels not an actual book, are good. However, if romance, basically very graphic sex, isn't your thing, this isn't for you. I loved the concepts, but the constant horniness in the first prequel was a turn off. That some chick went down on a zombie to prove she's in love with him despite his new zombie status really brings nothing to the story and instead makes me feel like it's basically the equivalent of some virgin child writin ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: zombies
The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer (part of Half Past Dead)

You wouldn't think so when reading the description, but this is a historical zombie story, which is very entertaining and nicely written. The story does lag a bit in the beginning, which is mostly because there's lots of explaining to do to understand the story. But I can tell you once it gets going it's going strong. The action and romance are nicely balanced and the story does it's job of kicking of a series: I want to read more!

Simon Sa
Michele Lee
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Someone must have told these women that zombies can't be romance heroes because they pulled out all the stops to prove that theory wrong. Half Past Dead is a pair of novellas. The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer, a historical paranormal tale of Cassandra Fielding and Samuel Reed. Cassandra is a Blade of the Rose, a member of a mysterious guardian sect trying desperately to prevent magic from being used for nefarious purposes. Samuel is a victim of an evil man, killed on the battlefield by his comman ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Put your viking helmet on
Spread that mayonnaise on the lawn
Don'tcha know it's zombie stomping day...

So since there are only 2 stories in here, it's going to be either really good, or meh. It's really good. The reason I picked up this book was due to the Zoe Archer story - it's the first of the Blades of the Rose series. Took me a while to locate a copy as, for reasons I don't understand, local book stores have the main part of the series, but not the introductory short.

So anyway, H number 1 is a
Someone must have told these women that zombies can't be romance heroes because they pulled out all the stops to prove that theory wrong. Half Past Dead is a pair of novellas. The first is The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer, a historical paranormal tale of Cassandra Fielding and Samuel Reed. Cassandra is a Blade of the Rose, a member of a mysterious guardian sect trying desperately to prevent magic from being used for nefarious purposes. Samuel is a victim of an evil man, killed on the battlefield ...more
Angie (Mind Malfunction)
I was looking for a 'Z' author for a challenge and came up with Zoe Archer's The Undying Heart. I was half way through when I realized I've read this story before. Ooops. Well, I didn't review it the first time, so here goes. The Undying Heart is a short story in the Half Past Dead anthology. This story takes place in the 1800's and is a historical paranormal romance. I don't like historical romances but I do like paranormal and urban fantasy, so this came out as a 2/5 for me. (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it
This book has 2 novellas about zombies/undead folk. I didn't realize this when I got it- I just wanted it because Zoe archer wrote a Blades of the Rose story here!

Zoe's story was good- especially for the short format but I could have done with less love scenes, more blades stuff. She managed to pack a little adventure and it was fun to read about another blade battling an evil heir... Not necessary to be fan of series to read this, but I'd only recommend it to series fans anyhow.

The second stor
Barbara ★
The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer ★★★★★
I'm not one for zombies but zombie Sam Reed isn't your average zombie. He has morals and hates the man who turned him with a passion. On his mission of vengeance, he reconnects with his childhood friend, Cassandra Fielding who is now an agent of the Blade of the Rose, an organization dedicated to destroying the Heirs of Albion, a group of people who abuse magic, turn people into zombies and kill people. The romance is sweet and the action is intense and dange
****Partial Review****

Review for Zoe Archer novella only.

If this story is a representative example of Archer's writing, I'm not impressed. The writing wasn't bad, just utilitarian, and at times overly dramatic. Archer definitely learned the "no vapid verbs" rule in high school English. No one in this story gets mad, they get enraged. They don't turn around, they spin. They don't mount a horse, they vault. And in the middle, literally in the middle, of an intense fighting sequence, the two protag
This book is made of 2 zombie-related paranormal romances that are heavy on violent action. The first story is historical about a spunky heroine in a secret society that combats the misuse of magical artifacts. She meets her childhood crush whom she presumed dead from a war, but he's actually a very well functioning undead person, out for revenge against the man who killed him and made him a zombie. That man used and possesses a zombie-making magical artifact, so their targets are one in the sam ...more
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Zoe Archer novella is a good read for anyone already familiar with the Blades of the Rose series; the story is one that fits for the short format, and it follows the same general lines as the rest of the stories. Meanwhile, the Bianca D'Arc novella was good enough to make me want to seek out the novels in her Guardians of the Dark series - I love the idea of mixing paranormal with traditional military adventure romance. The only complaint I have with it is that it was paced very strangely; t ...more
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Zoë Archer is a RITA award-nominated romance author whose stories are about smart, capable heroines and the heroes who love them. She is the author of the acclaimed Blades of the Rose series, as well as the Hellraiser, and Nemesis Unlimited series, among others. She also writes Regency-set romances as Eva Leigh. Visit her on the Web at

Other books in the series

The Blades of the Rose (4 books)
  • Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1)
  • Scoundrel (The Blades of the Rose, #2)
  • Rebel (The Blades of the Rose, #3)
  • Stranger (The Blades of the Rose, #4)