Liberty, Oakwood, Book 1
Death’s big business. For Laney Larson, it’s a full time job.
The latest in a long line of Reapers, Laney hits Liberty, Oakwood expecting the usual ‘reap and run’ type of job. However the small town holds far more secrets than she expects, including a sexy cop who blind-sides her reaper instincts big-time.
Liberty. It used to be a nice town until the things that go bump in the night moved in.
Detective Troy Regan moved to Liberty to claw back a little of his soul after working homicide in the big city. But the sleepy little down has problems of the paranormal kind and it’s police department have gone from calls about lost cats to Boggarts in the basement. Then the seriously nasty stuff moved in.
Sparks fly when a sexy Reaper meets a hot as hell Cop…
Troy’s not sure exactly what flavour of paranormal Laney is, but he doesn’t care. She’s tiny, delicate and gorgeous. When he finds a Lycan looming over her in an alley, all his protective instincts flare up. He needs to get her home, keep her safe…in his bed.
But is she the answer he’s been looking for to fill the empty spot in his heart, or the most dangerous creature he’s ever met?
Read an Excerpt
© 2014 Mina Carter
Death is inevitable. For most, that means worrying about the how, and more importantly, the when. It’s an obsession the marketing industry has latched onto like a leech, and from one person to the next, ranges from the absent worry about leaving loved ones behind to narcissistic panic at leaving this mortal coil.
For some of us though, death is a job. I would say it’s a nine to five, daily grind, but it’s more of a 24/7/365 deal.
Let me introduce myself.
I’m Laney Larson, and I’m a Reaper. Yeah, you heard me right. I said Reaper. As in the big, bad dude with the robes and scythe—looks like he needed a few extra squares in his life? That guy.
Well, not quite.
It’s more accurate to say that I’m his great—god-knows-how–many—great grand-daughter. Hard to tell since no one has seen his Grimness since the middle ages, but every single Reaper carries a piece of him, their Grimm, within. It’s what gives us our abilities and lets us see things that others can’t. Without a Grimm, a Reaper is a standard human with an interesting family tree. Nothing more, nothing less. With a Grimm? Yeah, even I don’t know everything we’re capable of.
I don’t want to think about what we can do. Not with how many of us there are.
It’s a bit like the Santa deal, but instead of presents, there are lots of souls to be reaped daily all over the world. I have no clue how the big dude in red manages it—yeah, he’s real too. And the Easter Bunny? Don’t get me started on that asshole. Reapers spread the load.
It’s like a franchise. You don’t buy into it, you’re born into it. There are Reaper families everywhere, but not all of us get the call and receive a Grimm. When my grandfather died, it skipped over my mom and two older brothers to pick me.
My eldest bro had been so convinced that he’d be the one, he’d gone out and bought himself a costume. Head to toe armored bike leathers in Reaper black, with a death’s head helmet. Idiot can’t even ride a bike. He thought it looked cool though, so he was well pissed when the Grimm passed him over and picked me. You can imagine how awkward Thanksgiving was in our house that year. He’s still not talking to me ten years later. Twat.
So yeah, back to the point. I got the family Grimm—which, by the way, is a cantankerous bastard at the best of times—and I’ve been reaping souls ever since. It’s an interesting job, especially since my promotion less than a week into it.
You see, there are different types of Reaper. My grand-pop dealt with the “Naturals.” Those are the nice and easy reaps, those who die all peaceful of old age in their sleep, or in their garages, or gardens while cutting the grass. The ones who are expecting a visit from the big old GR himself so they’re not surprised to find they’re dead.
In fact, I remember Pop saying that the most exciting reap most months tended to be the old boys who snuffed it while on the job. According to Pop, trying to convince a soul that it’s not still having sex can be difficult. And icky. I don’t want to see no soul’s junk. Ever. Thank God, I’ve never had to deal with one of those.
Nope, after a couple of days on naturals, there was an opening, and I moved on to violent deaths. Gunshots, car accidents, beatings. You name it, I get to wade in and take the souls out. Some fight, but I prefer those to the victims. The pain in their auras, and the relief to see me because they know that their ordeals are over, tears at my heart. Especially the kids.
I’ve put more than a few email requests into head office to be the Reaper who takes their abusers down. Reaping is painless for the reapee. Is that even a word? Huh, I made one up. Go me.
Where was I, oh yeah, we train long and hard to make sure the souls don’t suffer. But since Reapers don’t go to heaven or hell, we’re out of that loop. There’s nothing to stop me from holding up somewhere quiet and taking a couple of days to strip a soul from its body. And believe me, given the right situation, I can be real inventive.