Title: Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector #1)
Author: Cecilia Roberts
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young AdultBlitz Host: Lady Amber's Tours
17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.
Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.
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It’s almost two in the morning when Zig appears to escort me home. He hovers on the doorway, his arms folded across his broad chest. “You don’t need to,” I say.
His eyebrows shoot up. “Are you planning on walking home?”
I cross my arms over my chest. “I can make it to my room without your help. I picked up a few things during practise, you know.”
“Can you, really?” He swaggers into the room. “A gentleman always sees the lady home and safely tucked in bed. Safely.”
I roll my eyes as I tug the edge of my skirt lower. It’s so tiny it should be declared illegal. My dinner gown was disposed of, or so I was told. Don’t they have washing machines? I really loved that gown. “I’m not in the mood to argue, Zig.”
He halts before me, eyebrows raised, and smiles. “What are you in the mood for?”
“My mood,” I snatch the clutch bag from the bed, “has nothing to do with you.” I’m not sure the little shifting knowledge I mustered will help me reach home. All I know is I want to get far away from Grim’s castle, lose myself, and not think about tonight’s dinner. Even if it means getting lost shifting back home.
I brush past him and towards the door. His strong fingers wrap around my wrist, yanking me around. He narrows his eyes. “I have a theory.”
My heart thumps violently until I feel as if my chest will rupture. Sweat beads on my forehead. Does he know what happened in the library? I clear my throat and lift my chin forwards. “What theory?”
“You’re trying to pick a fight with me. Have to warn you, though, I always win.”
“What?” I squeak. My legs almost buckle in relief.
It happens so fast I don’t have enough time to process his actions. He slips one arm on my waist, and the other glides up my back until his hand holds my head firmly in place. I blink, and his lips are on mine, kissing me. Kissing me!
What on earth? I twist my body to raise my arms. Too late. They are trapped between our bodies. Considering his height, bulk, and strength, which I feel pressing onto my bones, I’m at a disadvantage. His arm and hand are like steel around my waist and head. How had I not seen this coming? I stop my struggles, hoping he’ll get the hint. He doesn’t. His kisses taste like curiosity and peppermint. The eyes staring into mine gleam with amusement and… a challenge.
This is nothing close to Rolf’s sensual, toe-curling kisses. And I have a feeling Zig won’t stop anytime soon.
I lift my high-heeled foot and slam it down on his. Immediately, his lips leave mine. He takes a step back, a grin on his face. Is he made of stone? I’m sure I used a lot of force.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I brush my tingling lips with the back of my trembling hand.
“Cheering you up.” He shoves his hands inside his pants pockets.
Heat spreads all over my body until I feel as though I’ll explode into thousands of pieces. It pools on my fisted hands, tangling with tonight’s frustration build-up. I lift my right arm and swing. It lands perfectly on his chin, and I curse my height for the misplaced aim. I was aiming for the nose. He smiles wider, as if I patted him.
“Don’t you ever kiss me again, Zig. Ever.” My knuckles are on fire, and moisture gathers at the corners of my eyes. I swallow the tears threatening to spill.
“You enjoyed it. Your eyes say so.”
Before I can stop myself, I swing my left arm. It lands on his chest. His body doesn’t budge an inch.
“You can do better than that, lovely Ana.”
My tolerance quota of the day has been reached and surpassed. “Are you angering me on purpose?”
“Clearly, it’s working.” He holds his palms up, facing me, legs braced to balance his weight. “Come on.” With hands raised like he’s some sort of trainer, he looks hot.
I bite my lip as I stare at him. “Why are you doing this?”
He shrugs, still grinning, and beckons me with his hands. I kick my heels to the side and fold my hands into fists. Tiny fists compared to his huge ones. I swing anyway.
Five minutes later, I stop and lean forwards, wheezing unhealthily. Was that the best I could do? Five minutes and breathing like I’ll drop dead in the next second? So disgusting.
“You fight like a girl.”
I gulp air, lift my head, and glare at Zig. “I am a girl.”
He chuckles and pats my shoulder. “A girl who desperately needs fighting lessons.”
My chest is on fire. “Why would I need those?” I wince as I massage my knuckles. I doubt my fingers will manage to hold a pen in class in the morning. I should’ve taken those defence classes Lea slaved away to complete two years ago. They seemed like torture back then.
“Eternity is a very long time. People tend to get bored doing nothing. Feeling better?”
“Extremely invigorated.” I wanted to punch something during the course of the night. This was a great escape. My breathing regulates. “Wasn’t there another way to get me all worked up instead of kissing me?”
“I was thinking on my feet.” He grins, brushing a thumb along his lips.
“Well, next time try to think while sitting,” I snap at him.
“Oh, come on. Don’t be angry with me. Let’s get you home.”
Seconds later, we’re standing inside my bedroom. He strides towards the door, lifts his hand in a small arc, and mutters under his breath to un-spell my door.
I really need to learn that.
“You look exhausted. Need help with anything?” he asks, stretching his long body.
“Can you change forms and attend class for me in the morning?”
He chuckles. “Sorry, can’t help you there, lovely Ana. I was never good in keeping with school rules.”
Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Reapers-Novice-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00AYPCP9K/ref=la_B005X9UR74_1_1_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1363650968&sr=1-1