This is the first book in the Grim Reality Series by Boone Brux. This was my first exposure to the author, but now I will be checking out her back list. I liked the idea of a single mom being a Grim Reaper, especially with the setting of Alaska as the backdrop. The premise just intrigued me, so I signed up to give it a go. I am glad that I did.
The story opens with Lisa Carron on the one year anniversary of her husband's death. We are introduced to Lisa as she reflects on the changes in her life and attitude in the past year. After a phone call with her mother and daughter, Lisa is headed to Vella, her best friend and hairstylist, to get her hair done for the first time in a long time. On the way, she stops in the local convenience store for her cold caffeine fix. While she is there, the store is held up by a robber. One of the clerks, in a show of bravery or stupidity, pulls his own gun on the robber and shoots him. Lisa's Mother Mode kicks in, and she races over to check his pulse, yelling for someone to call 9-1-1. But as she puts her fingers to his neck to check for a pulse, things start to get weird.
The ghost of the robber attaches himself to her. Another bystander, who had tried to warn Lisa not to touch the body, now instructs her to hold on to the ghost and proceeds to give Lisa a quick lesson in what it means to be a Grim Reaper and helps Lisa get the soul off to its destination. When she realizes that he has been saying her name all along and knows all about her, Lisa is a quite a bit freaked out. But this is just the tip of the iceburg to come.
First let me start by saying that some of the best dialogue in the book happen between Lisa and Vella. Their relationship was a blast to read. I also liked the relationship between Lisa and her daughter Bronte. There is also the relationship between Lisa and her dead husband, Jeff; clearly defined by his absence in the book. There is also the new relationship Lisa is creating with her trainer, mentor and partner - Nate. I honestly don't see him as a love interest, and that is okay. Lisa is a recent widow who is still very much dealing with the aftermath of her husband's sudden death. As a matter of fact, I believe that Jeff's sudden death is a part of a larger story arc that will be further developed in coming books. I think my biggest complaint is that the story ended too soon. I would have happily kept reading. I am giving this book 3 stars on Goodreads and hope that the next book is in the works.