5 Stars, AJ Rose, Genre Romance, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lynn, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Reaping Havoc by AJ Rose

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Title: Reaping Havoc

Author: AJ Rose

Publisher: The Grim Writer Press

Pages/Word Count: 282 Pages

At a Glance: The concept of this story is amazing. I loved the author’s take on the grim reaper mythology.

Reviewed By: Lynn

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?

Dividers

Review: After reading a couple books from this author, I realize they’re becoming an auto buy for me. As I’m always looking for new authors to read, I’m looking for fresh story ideas too. This one was everything I was searching for.

The concept of this story is amazing. Mitch is a grim reaper. He collects the souls of those who have just died, and makes sure they get to where they’re going in the afterlife. I loved the author’s take on the grim reaper mythology. Instead of just one, there are thousands all over the world, kind of like a police force for souls. They get their assignments via email, where and when it’ll happen, and off they go. And then we have Nate, the new guy in town looking to start fresh after a devastating tragedy that has turned his life upside down. Life and death are about to get very interesting for these two gentlemen.

I loved getting both Mitch and Nate’s perspectives throughout the entire story. We see Mitch struggling with his pre-ordained destiny, and the realization that he may have to live his long life alone because of what he is, which has him resenting everything about it. Nate, still reeling from the death of his twin sister, is trying to move on with his life and make it on his own. I adored both of these characters. Any story that involves grim reapers is bound to be a little gory—there’s a lot of death and sadness—but with these two, their comic relief and off color humor made it a little lighter.

I really liked getting the visual and insight of what happens after Mitch collects the souls of the recently departed. It was fascinating to me. I just have a picture in my head of human balloons trailing behind him—kinda funny and sad all at the same time. The author’s mad writing skills definitely shine through.

I’m really trying not to give away spoilers here. I’ve seen some reviews that just blurt out everything about the story. To me that’s just wrong. The only thing I’ll say here, without giving it all away, is this: souls linger when they have unfinished business to attend to. Mitch notices a tagalong soul with Nate. This leads Mitch into thinking Nate is a fellow reaper. When the truth comes to light, it’s at times funny and endearing, but also sad and heartbreaking. But like I said before, there is a lot of humor throughout the book. It definitely balances out the death and sadness, so kudos to the author for bringing some light to the darkness.

I can’t go any further without mentioning one particular secondary character. He really made the story and without him, something would have been missing—Mitch’s father Charles. I really enjoyed his conversations with his son. Without saying the words, the respect Mitch has for his father just oozed off the page. I loved seeing that. He was full of experience and enlightened us with the backstory of how his family and others came to be reapers. For me, he was truly a memorable character.

Have I mentioned that I read this book in one sitting? Well, I did. And yes, it was that good. But let me tell you something. I’ve never had so many emotions going in so many directions at the end of a book like I did with this one. During the course of reading, I watched these two characters struggle and overcome so many obstacles. At this point, I am so invested in what happens to them that I’m on the edge of my seat. Just when you think it’s going to end one way, it loops back around and ends totally different. I literally felt like I was beat up after I read the ending. For those who like a happily ever after—oh, you definitely get one. But be prepared to go on a heart flopping ride before you get there, and it’s oh-so worth it.

What I loved most about this book was the originality of the storyline. I really enjoyed the author’s take on heaven and hell, soul collecting, and what maybe happens after death. I hadn’t read anything like this before, so to me, it was fresh, new and exciting to read. The author’s writing, as always, is smooth and seamless.

I really can’t say enough about how much I loved this book. I consider it a must read. If not for the storyline, then for those two adorable characters. Highly recommended.

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You can buy Reaping Havoc here:

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4.5 Stars, AJ Rose, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jules, Self-Published

Review: The Anatomy of Perception by AJ Rose

Title: The Anatomy of Perception

Author: AJ Rose

Publisher: The Grim Writer Press

Pages/Word Count: 378 Pages

At a Glance: The Anatomy of Perception is another intense, complex, fabulous story from AJ Rose.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: In the beginning, there was wreckage. Dane Perry’s mother was dead, and the father who always said he’d amount to nothing blamed him. Dane swore he’d become something. He would be someone.

In the middle, there was escape. Rebuilding his life from the ashes of his mother’s memory, Dane found success as a respected surgeon, and love in the form of Craig Dahl, a talented artist who became his everything. But there was also darkness, lies, and a crumbling foundation just waiting for the ground to shift.

In the end, there was a spectacular fall, illusions shattered, and for Dane, nothing more to lose. He was broken, damaged, and left with fierce demons. But from the bottom, the only way left is up. Dane renewed friendships and salvaged his career. The only thing he cannot replace is Craig. But Dane has a plan. Brick by brick, his foundation is rebuilt, and all he needs is for Craig to listen one last time.

In the beginning again, there’s hope and tatters of love. Can Dane repair the damage with Craig? Can he rescue the only thing he amounted to that ever truly mattered?

Content Warning: This book contains vivid descriptions of symptoms of PTSD and events that can cause anxiety. Reader discretion advised.

Dividers

Review: Dane Perry may have made something of himself – graduating med school and becoming a promising surgical resident – but underneath it all, he’s a mess. The really cool part about reading this book, though, is that when we first meet Dane, he’s already well on his way to getting his life back together. I love how AJ Rose begins her new novel The Anatomy of Perception. The start of this book means everything…Is it the beginning of the rest of their lives? Or, just one more thing that Dane is going to have to survive?

The chapters alternate between ‘Present Day’ and dates in the past, beginning with when Dane first sees Craig. This can be tricky to pull off, but Rose handles it beautifully. There was one section toward the end where I wondered if there was a timing discrepancy, but it wasn’t enough to distract me from the story; I was way too invested and riveted at that point to worry about it. I have to admit that the Present Day chapters were my favorite. They were like a balm, a little ray of hope in between the other chapters, where things were basically falling apart for our guys.

I grew to love Dane so much as the book progressed. He was so strong, even when it seemed he couldn’t be anymore, when the pressure and the lies finally broke him. The man he becomes, though, is amazing. It’s clear that he is NOT going to give up on getting Craig back. Seeing him fight for Craig with everything he had in those present day chapters was fantastic. And I loved that, during the process, he knew his limits and stuck to them, which showed how far he’d come.

Ok – let me get to Craig and some of the other characters. I love, love, LOVE Craig. If anyone should be up for sainthood, it’s him. But, he isn’t just some pushover or unrealistically nice guy. Far from it. He’s a passionate, beautiful man who loves Dane deeply and finds amazing amounts of patience, understanding, and kindness when he needs it. In fact, one of the things I loved most about him was how much he loves Dane, and how he was able to find that trust and love again in spite of how hurt he had been by him.

I also loved Dane’s best friend Holly in ridiculous amounts. She was Dane’s savior on many occasions, going way above and beyond. Loyalty like that is rare and incredible. Other notable, wonderful characters are Dane’s brother Dylan, who I had so much respect for, and the Chief of Surgery, Dr. Noble. Both have smaller, but VERY powerful roles.

In the spirit of being thorough, I’ll also mention the ASSHOLES. Dane’s father, who doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as any of the others. Annnnnd, of course, Dr. Sabrina Ballard, who, every time her name appeared on page, I had a fit of Tourette’s and mumbled “Whore, slut, bitch” over and over. To say I hated her would be a gross understatement, and the BEST and most satisfying scene of the entire book deals with her being put in her place.

I did have a couple of little issues…There was a LOT of extraneous medical stuff in the first half. I felt like I was both reading a book AND watching an episode of Gray’s Anatomy, when all I really wanted to be doing was reading what happened to Craig and Dane. That got much better in the second half, however, and I was able to stay more deeply involved in the pertinent parts of the story. I also wanted more out of the epilogue, which definitely felt a bit rushed.

Those small things aside, I loved this book. The Anatomy of Perception is another intense, complex, fabulous story from AJ Rose. Definitely another one that should be added to your collection!






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5 Stars, AJ Rose, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Erotica, Reviewed by Sammy, Self-Published

Review: Consent (Power Exchange #3) by A.J. Rose

Title: Consent (Power Exchange #3)

Author: AJ Rose

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Former detective Gavin DeGrassi likes his new life and his job as a university professor, molding the minds of the next generation of law enforcement. It keeps him in the field he loves, but out of the media and out of the danger he seems to draw. He’s settled and happy with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson. Continue reading

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