Book Review: Reaping Havoc, by AJ Rose

Reaping Havoc, by AJ Rose
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Paranormal; M/M Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5

Buy Link: Amazon / ARe

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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?

My Review:

AJ Rose is an insta-buy author for me. She says, “I have a book coming out” and I put it on my calendar with bright colors and sparkly stickers, and then obsessively hit refresh until it becomes available for download.

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(Tangent: I went to download Reaping Havoc the day it was released… except there was a glitch, and I couldn’t, and I pretty much spent the entire day in a horrible, tragic mood because I wanted the book now and pouted because I couldn’t read it right away. Yes, not getting a new AJ Rose book can reduce me to the emotional maturity of a six year old, she’s that good of an author!)

Reaping Havoc is exactly what I’d expect in an AJ Rose novel: fantastic characterizations, hilarious dialogue, sexy relationships, and fascinating plot turns. In a word, it’s excellent.

Mitch lives mostly-unnoticed in his small town, a normal-looking guy who just so happens to collect the souls of those about to die and guide them into the light…  when he’s not working at his dad’s bookstore, that is.

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But then he meets Nate, which is about on par with getting struck by a bolt of lightning. (Actually, their first meeting involves someone being struck by a bolt of lightning. I suspect this is metaphorical.) Something in Mitch immediately suspects that Nate is the one, but the logical part of him isn’t willing to risk a relationship with a mortal.

I think the relationship here was extremely well done. Both men are struggling with burdens they don’t want, and they’re able to bond so quickly because they accept the other for who they want to be, not for who others want them to be.

“I’ve never met anyone like you, Mitch. You have this quiet wallflower thing going on, but the words that come out of your mouth are astonishing.”

“I’ll try to keep a lid on that,” Mitch teased.

Nate grew serious. “Please don’t. I like it.”

And while Nate and his story are fascinating, in the end it’s Mitch who I adore to pieces. Watching him struggle between his heart and his head was fantastic. He has to make a choice: does he continue to love Nate, who he will out-live by hundreds of years… or does he ignore a chance at love, however brief, in order to save himself from eventual heartbreak?

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AJ handled the entire plot extremely well. There are a few dark moments, which isn’t surprising in a novel that revolves so strongly around death, but there’s also a lot of humor and sexy moments and a really fantastic, fun story.

(And possibly we’ll be getting a sequel? Lemme break out the glitter and stickers!)

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