Monday, September 7, 2015

4 Star Book Review | The Reaper’s Kiss by Abigail Baker‏ | Giveaway

THE REAPER'S KISS (Deathmark #1)
by Abigail Baker
Published: August 24th, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon
Drop-dead gorgeous…and fatal.

Ollie Dormier's tattoos are deadly. She is a Scrivener—an employee for Death—and her skull tattoos mark her clients for their demise. She does her job, and she stays out of trouble. But when her hands start to burn hot and fierce, and her control goes leaping out the window, all hell breaks loose. Ollie is showing the early signs of being a Master...demonstrating power that is forbidden.

That power is exactly what Reaper Brent Hume is counting on. A hot, scruffy rebel, who does marvelous and terrifying things to Ollie's insides. Now he needs Ollie's help—and her skills—to overthrow the evil and corrupt Head Reaper. That is, if he can figure out a way to keep this hot-handed girl cool...and keep his hands off.

Cover Review:

The cover to The Reaper's Kiss really shows a good depiction of Ollie. The model has the dreads in her hair and we are even shown Ollie's Deathmark, which is shown on her arm. I really like this cover.

Book Review:

Olivia "Ollie" Iris Dormier is a Scrivener, an agent of Death who marks humans for death. She's a tattooist who Marks those that ask for skull tattoos. Once the Deathmark is complete it signals to that human's Grim Reaper that it's time for him/her to ferry that soul to the other side. But when Ollie starts showing signs of being a Master Scrivener, Head Reaper Marin sends one of his Eidolon Reaper Chad - a Reaper of Reapers and Scriveners - to catch her in the act. 

Marin is a tyrannical leader, punishing those of his people who do anything he doesn't like to banishment in Erebus - or Hell. But there's a rebellion working against him, and when Chad forces Ollie to place her Deathmark on her best friend Eve, it's the last straw. With the help of Brent, a "lumbersexual" Reaper who is part of the rebellion, Ollie takes the fight straight to Marin.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. The Reaper's Kiss is really imaginative. Who knew that Reaper's got high on sugar? Even the small things make this story interesting. I loved the whole rebellion and the fight against the Head Reaper. No one like a tyrannical leader who only cares about himself. The history about the Scrivener Purge was interesting and lets us know why Marin has it out for Ollie. All of the supporting characters has a lot of life and uniqueness to them. 

Then there's Brent. He's a Eidolon Reaper who used to be second-in-command to Marin, but he joined the rebellion. He's one of the strongest Reapers in Styx and he has a secret that could endanger Ollie's life. But that doesn't stop them from falling in love with each other. While I felt that there could have been a bit more romance to solidify their relationship a bit more, everything that they've faced together and survived still brings their strong bond together. I loved Brent and Ollie so much. 


I gave The Reaper's Kiss a 4 STAR rating. I loved this unique take on the business of Death. "Death doesn't like bartering." We see this very clearly as the story goes along. I loved seeing Ollie become a leader in her own right and stand up for what's best not only for herself but also the people of Styx. I would have liked a bit more romancy-like moments between Ollie and Brent, but their strong connection is still brought forth in a way that makes sense. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, especially after that awesome ending.

After raiding Lethe, the underground lair of the Head Reaper, Brent and I convened around a piping hot radiator in my livingroom. The temptation to sit on it and warm my buns was there, but I resisted. What was impossible to resist was standing side by side with Brent without touching. And the more we sought warmth, the closer we became. Too soon we were all but hugging in effort to regain our body heat.

Had he suggested removing our clothes, I would not have partaken. I would have liked to know what the rebel Brent Hume was like in the bedroom, but not right before Lethe, in Lethe, or after Lethe, and certainly not standing over a radiator, shivering ourselves silly.

My clicking teeth slowed as the radiator, and Brent’s body heat, melted a layer of ice on my clothing. “Did you... you get the Reaper’s name?”

He pulled down the collar of his shirt to expose a white notecard inside a plastic bag—the prize from Lethe. A name was scribbled on it, but from what I could see the writing had bled. Brent noticed a second after me.

“Mother fucker,” he groused. “The ink got wet.”

“Of course it did.” It was too much energy to roll my eyes. For now, I needed heat. Lots and lots of heat.

He held the baggie up to the overhead light. “I see a name. Baird.”

“Is that a last name or first? Is it a male or female? Who is it?” My shivering worsened my panic, which in turn worsened my shivering. “We did this all for nothing, didn’t we? Didn’t we?”

“Good Hades, calm down, Scrivener.” He turned from me when I tried to get a peek at the name through the soggy baggie. Not one to take such an obvious cue to give him space, I went for it, using my own shivering to launch into the air. Quick as he was, he underestimated my determination. The baggie was in my hands before my feet touched the floor. Being short and swift was a fine offense against tall and slow.

“Hey!” he barked.

“It says Baird. It’s a last name.” I ducked when he reach around my shoulders, thwarting his effort to retrieve the baggy. “But I can’t read the first name. No knowing if it is a guy or gal.”

“Give it back.” Brent refused to continue reaching for the prize, as if little ol’ Olivia outplaying him was a front to his ego.

“I don’t know a Baird,” I said.

“Neither do I. This means I can’t just look the Reaper up and distract him or her like I had planned.”

“So I was right?” I dropped my arms to my sides as we faced each other, Brent looking as bewildered and broken as I felt.

“Seems so.”

I sighed to keep from breaking into tears. My shoulders and head felt heavy. The couch seemed a great place to throw myself down and let my emotions pour out. I would’ve found out, if Brent did rush at me and grab the baggie. There was only a small glimpse of his wicked smile before we found ourselves entangled, both vying for the prize. A moment after, I found out what it would be like to collapse onto the couch, only with the Eidolon, too, falling over top of me. The springs of the IKEA beast cringed from our weight.

Thoughts of Eve and the name Baird flitted away in exchange for one very real thing hovering above me.

I grew tense but hopeful when his eyes turned to my lips. I knew what that meant. Every woman did. However selfish and grossly out of place it was, I was okay with one kiss, more curious than frightened to discover what it is like to kiss an Eidolon who could drain my life. Perhaps my motivation was to ridicule Fate by kissing the lips of Death himself. Or maybe I was cold, tired, and downright horny.

Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

Abigail Baker shares her home with a Siamese cat endearingly named “The Other Cat” and two rescued mutts with mundane human names that people think are cute. In addition to writing about rebellious heroines, she enjoys hiking, discovering craft beers, baking the perfect vanilla bean cupcake, and rock climbing (going as far as scaling 800 vertical feet to the summit of Devil’s Tower National Monument in 2013).

Abigail won first place in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s 2010 Colorado Gold Writing Contest for Romance for THE BLOODSUCKER and first place in RWA’s Golden Network’s 2011 Golden Pen in Paranormal Romance for TATTOO OF YOUR NAME ACROSS MY SOUL (now THE REAPER’S KISS, Deathmark Book One). She regularly blogs about life observances, lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and can be easily found hiking any of Colorado’s best trails.

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