Author: A.J. Rose
Publisher: The Grim Writer Press
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in a Series
Purchased by Reviewer
Blurb: No one asked Mitch Seeker if he wanted to be a grim reaper. He didn’t sign up for the rumors, the lack of friends, or the erratic schedule. He doesn’t want to go through life watching people die. Especially not a man he loves. Mitch’s solution is simple—don’t fall in love. He’ll never have to explain why he doesn’t age or why he’s around death so often. Most of all, he will never be a widower.
But when his head is turned by world-class skier Nate Koehn, Mitch believes he may have the answer. If the soul attached to Nate is any indication, Mitch has found himself another reaper, in which case, his undeniable feelings don’t have to be suppressed. However, the spectral tag-a-long is only the beginning of Nate’s burdens. After a catastrophic loss, Nate is no stranger to grief and the hole it leaves behind.
The question they both must answer is loud and clear: is the pain of losing love worse than the pain of never having loved at all?
Review: Reaping Havoc is the first book in the Reaping Havoc series.
Mitch Seeker was born into a family of grim reapers. At twenty-four, Mitch’s time to step into the family duty has come, just like all the men in his family before him have, back for generations. Destined to lead souls towards their door to the afterlife for the next couple of centuries, Mitch has decided he would rather remain alone than watch any man he loved age and die while he stayed strong and youthful. Growing up as part of the town’s “strange” family has given Mitch plenty of experience in being alone. One night whilst at a job shepherding a soul to her door, Mitch catches sight of a gorgeous newcomer to town and even though their carpark conversation was brief, he can’t get the stranger out of his head, or the soul of a girl the stranger had in tow. As far as Mitch knew, only other reapers could tether a soul to them.
Nate Koehn arrived into the mid-sized ski resort town of Caperville running from a family tragedy and his controlling parents in a bid to live his life as he chose to, not as his parents decided he should. A talented skier, Nate is hoping to secure a job at the resort as a ski instructor once the season starts. A chance encounter at night in the carpark of the local food market has left him intrigued by the man who managed to catch his attention so quickly. Despite warnings from his friend and neighbour, police officer Wes Cooley, Nate is determined to get to know Mitch.
As their friendship grows and they become closer, Mitch tries to guard his heart, but finds himself falling no matter how hard he tries not to. Then there’s also the mystery of the soul tethered to Nate. There are strict rules governing reapers. The biggest one being keeping the secret of what they are, so it’s not like Mitch can just come out and ask Nate about her. But Nate also being a reaper would mean that maybe Mitch doesn’t have to spend the centuries of his life alone, after all.
The whole premise of this story was interesting and, for the most part, well realised, and the world building was good. There were some plot holes – it took Mitch far too long to figure out who soul girl was – and I would have liked to have seen some things, such as Nate’s friendship with Wes, more developed. There were a few times where I thought the author got a little heavy handed, such as the explanation of the mythology behind how the Seeker family came to be reapers, some of which didn’t make sense to me, and Mitch’s over the top reaction used as a plot device to create conflict. While those few little niggles did pull me out of the story from time to time, none were so much that I couldn’t gloss over them for the sake of enjoying the characters and Mitch and Nate’s story, and I did enjoy their story very much. I genuinely loved both MCs, along with some of the more prominent secondary characters, and I was totally invested in Mitch and Nate as a couple, and their HEA. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series.