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GRIM AND BARE IT
The Accidental Reaper Mystery Series
BY MISTY EVANS
When college student Chloe Frost accidentally kills a grim reaper, she must step into his robes, take up his scythe, and harvest souls, all while juggling two jobs, handling a moody vampire assigned to be her partner, and attempting to resuscitate her dead love life.
A humorous paranormal urban fantasy series with a slow burn vampire romance! For fans of Sookie Stackhouse, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
★★★★★ “OMG I loved this book! The whole book flowed so well. I adored ALL of the characters. Chloe and Killion’s chemistry is absolutely wonderful.” ~ Reader review
★★★★★ “Sexy vampire for the win!” ~ Reader review
★★★★★ “…engaging, funny and adventurous, I loved it.” ~ Goodreads review
The robes chose me.
My plan for a quiet night at home is dashed when, during the rescue of my landlady’s runaway cat, a serial killer — nicknamed the Grim Reaper by the media — decides I’m his next victim.
It’s a fight to the death, and despite being a gold-medal klutz, I somehow manage to turn the tables on him and end his life instead. Imagine my shock when I discover he actually was a grim.
His robes have now chosen me to take his place, and I’m contractually obligated to the Soul Management Group for a full year. Yep, three hundred and sixty-five days until I’m free from these disgusting robes and a death blade with a mind of its own — it wants to kill everyone.
Worse, my new boss, Death, has paired me with the local master vampire to investigate a rogue reaper. Our assignment will take us into the evil underbelly of the supernatural world, and neither of us may make it out alive.
What’s a girl to do? Guess I’ll have to grim and bare it…
I felt no pain; my floating spirit seemed opaque. My hands and fingers appeared a filmy white in front of my face as I examined them. Freaking out, I patted my torso, my hands feeling no resistance and disappearing into the diaphanous matter.
A string tightened around my chest, tugging me up and away. “No, no, no.” My voice was nothing but an echo in my ears. “This can’t be happening.”
I fought the magnetic draw and attempted to force my spirit back into its physical container lying motionless on the ground.
“No, wait,” I heard a voice say, and I turned to see another spirit floating up above the buildings. My attacker, without his costume. “I can’t die!” he screamed, nothing more than a grayish phantom. “It’s not my time. My contract isn’t—”
Poof, he winked out like a dead firework.
“It’s not your time, either, Chloe bear.”
I whirled, searching for the owner of the voice. My heart thudded hard in my chest. “Mom?”
“You may be tempted to cross over,” she continued, “but you have work to do here. Fight, sweetie. For me.”
From the end of the alley, quickly moving footsteps sounded on the damp pavement. I said her name again, still searching for her, but she didn’t answer.
The footsteps had grown silent. I pivoted, my astral body nearly somersaulting at the lack of gravity and the sudden motion. “Darcy?”
The form that emerged wasn’t my beer-drinking friend. A new sensation entered my chest as the man from Boozy’s glanced at me hovering above my body. His gaze dropped to the lifeless form, and he cursed under his breath and wiped his eyes. “Doamne.” I had no idea what that meant, but it had the same accent as the voice I’d heard inside my head earlier . “We have quite the situation, don’t we?”
“Wait.” I tried to propel myself toward him and ended up facing the wall. I put up my hands to push off it, but they went through the bricks. I looked over my shoulder. “You can see me?”
He didn’t answer, examining my attacker’s beheaded corpse.
“It was you, wasn’t it? I heard you tell me Darcy’s name.”
He sized up the alley and the man. With a slight look of disbelief, he shook his head. Or maybe it was distaste. “You are fearless, I’ll give you that. Foolish, but brave.”
“Foolish? I just saved my friend.”
“And caused your own demise,” he countered.
“Wait… I’m…” I struggled to say the word, even though I knew it was true. “Dead?”
His eyes seemed violet again as the silvery light caught in them. “Close enough.”
The blade on the ground tremored and I blinked. He hadn’t touched it. “Who are you? Are you a doctor?” Please be a doctor.
“No, but I will save you.” As I watched in horror, he pulled back his lips and bit his own wrist. Blood welled.
“Gross!” My uncooperative form floated a few feet away, but at least I was facing him again. Might have been better if I hadn’t—he dripped the red substance onto my lips, forcing my slack mouth open. “Dude, not cool!”
“This will sustain you.”
What kind of freak was he?
No good deed goes unpunished, I told myself. This is what I got for helping Vera.
Sirens echoed in the night, drawing close. Where had they been all this time?
“We must hurry.” He placed his other hand over my damaged larynx, and all of a sudden, I felt stronger in my ghostly form. The tugging in my chest lessened.
He closed his eyes, blood continuing to drip into my mouth from his open wound. A faint glow enveloped my throat. Enveloped him.
I wasn’t sure I could freak out more, but that’s where I was headed—the top of the scale, whatever that was. “Stop,” I demanded, attempting to push him away. My hand went through his shoulder. “The police are coming. They’ll give me CPR and call an ambulance.”
“They cannot resurrect you. Now, be quiet. I need to concentrate.”
All my pushing and shoving did no good. “Look, I don’t know who you are or what kind of aberrant stuff you’re into…”
“Aberrant?” The corner of his mouth twitched. Oh, he was amused, was he? He removed his hand and I watched as his cut wrist stopped bleeding instantaneously and appeared to seal itself. “Get in your body.”
I blinked a couple times and shook my head, trying to clear the image of his skin healing. “I really wish I hadn’t taken those supplements.” This had to be a drug-induced trip. Had. To. Be. “I’ve already tried that,” I told him. “It didn’t work.”
“You’re stronger now.” He stood and pointed at my prone form. “Do it.”
I don’t like being ordered around, but I was desperate. No way was I dying tonight. Whatever trip this was, I was in control.
At least, that’s what I told myself.
I concentrated, and my spirit moved closer. My brain gave up a ‘hallelujah,’ and I focused harder. Staring down at my broken shell, I willed myself to merge with it. “Come on,” I muttered.
I squeezed my eyes shut and tried again.
“You have to want it,” the man said.
“I do!” Nothing happened. I peeked open an eyelid. For days, weeks, after my parents died, I couldn’t get out of bed. I’d wanted to join them. Now, I fought against it with all my might. “I want to live!” I shouted.
A new sensation latched onto me, seemingly attached to my spirit like a cord. I could see it, silvery and shiny, running from my physical chest to my ghostly one. “I think it’s working.”
The siren was nearly on top of us. “Hurry.”
I squeezed my eyes shut again and imagined reeling my spirit into my body using the cord. The floaty sensation wore off. Opening my eyes, I saw I was moving toward my lifeless self. A wave of relief rippled through me. “It’s working!” At the same time, the dead man shuddered, as if he, too, were coming back to life. “What’s happening?”
As we both watched, he thankfully didn’t resurrect. Instead, his corpse made a slight popping sound and turned to what resembled sawdust. I stared, clinging to my physical form and hoping I didn’t do the same. With a second, distinct pop, his head followed.
“Holy moly.” The cord tugged harder, undeniable now. My spirit twitched and cramped, and I wondered what new hell this was. A second later, I snapped, rather than popped, back into my container.
Gazing upward, I saw clouds skitter across the slice of sky overhead. My attacker’s cloak rose, as though draped on a ghost, and hovered near me. The weapon slid onto my chest, the handle slipping into my grip.
“This is unprecedented,” the violet-eyed man said in a hushed tone.
The handle was hot and trembled in my fingers. “What is?”
The cloak fell on me, blotting out my view. A searing white light followed, and I felt my spirit and body reconnect totally and completely. My stomach flipped and my lungs screamed for air. I gasped for oxygen, the sweet sensation of the life-giving element flowing down my damaged throat.
I’m alive! The rush was heady, a tickling sensation flooding my limbs. Even though the disgusting black robes covered me, I welcomed their stink of death.
I was about to yank the fabric off and sit up when the light whited out my vision. Before I could draw another breath, I was pitched from it into absolute darkness.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over seventy-five novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. Under her pen name, Nyx Halliwell, she also writes cozy paranormal mysteries.
When not reading or writing, she embraces her inner gypsy and loves music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and three spoiled puppies. She’s a crafter at heart and has far too many projects to finish.
Links to Misty’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Newsletter signup http://eepurl.com/bP19Lr
Official readers group www.facebook.com/groups/223349495973783/
Don’t want to miss a single adventure? Visit www.mistyevansbooks.com to find out ALL the news!
Special Giveaway: Misty will give away the story, Killin’ It, An Accidental Reaper Series Short, (NOT available at retailers, a bonus story that follows Grim & Bare It) to three lucky readers who comment on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Thanks, Misty, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!