Samantha Diaz likes living near the beach. She works as a postal carrier and surfs in the summer mornings when she can. Sam helps her sister with childcare and has a crush on one of the residents on her route, and although Lauren is taken, the two start a friendship as they exchange books. When Lauren invites Sam to game night at her house, Sam is looking forward to it, but an early morning surf brings other plans for Sam.
A sudden thunderstorm creates the worst conditions and Sam is thrown off course and drowns. She awakens, looking down on her body with a woman named Margo who claims to be one of the many Grim Reapers out there in the world. Margo proposes a deal to Sam: if Sam will become her assistant for a short time, Margo will bring her back from certain death. But deals with death can never be what they seem and Sam quickly realizes that maybe she would have been better off dead.
The premise of this book was interesting and I want to say fun, and although the subject matter of death does not lend it itself to being fun, it still was. Sam is fine with her life. Her job is fine and she has a sister and nephew she is close to and she surfs with her best friend when she can. Her love life is not going as smoothly and the customer on her route, Lauren, certainly turns her head, but Lauren is taken. Lauren has not had the best time with relationships and she knows what it feels like to be cheated on. She strikes up a friendship with her mail carrier, never realizing that Sam may really be the one for her.
The book is largely about Sam becoming the assistant to a Grim Reaper, or Grim, in exchange for her life. I wanted to like some parts of this book more than I did and that had a lot to do with Margo, the Grim, who gets Sam into the situation in which she finds herself. Margo is described as mediocre at her job, has a gruff exterior, as well as interior, for most of the book, and refuses to answer most of Sam’s questions. Sam finds out there is a whole supernatural world out there and the information given was not as thorough as I would have liked and didn’t fully create this world for me. There are other supernatural creatures besides Grims, as well a corporate office, and there wasn’t enough detail provided to fully make this world come to life for me.
The relationship between Sam and Lauren runs parallel to the Grim storyline and it was a little underdeveloped for me as well. The two are acquaintances at the start of the book and they didn’t spend that much time together before they were in love with each other. There was a lot the book was trying to lay the framework for between Sam’s story and the world she finds herself in, the relationship between Sam and Lauren, and then Lauren’s best friend Jackie’s story was started as well.
There were parts of the book I really enjoyed and drew me in as Sam enters a new world and then realizes that her deal is not going exactly as planned. Sam and Lauren are left in a good place, but I would classify this ending as HFN as this book is the start of a new series. Sam still has a lot to learn in the larger storyline and there is the setup for more story to be told. I would read on to the next book as there was enough to engage me here and I am interested to see where Sam’s journey takes her next. I’d say to try this out for a paranormal story with an interesting premise and strong female characters in the lead role.