Book Review: Reaping Havoc (Reaping Havoc Book 1) by AJ Rose

Mitch is a reaper, which means he's going to be immortal and look the age of 24 for the next couple hundred years until his aging kicks back in, and he's vowed not to fall in love until then because he can't bear to watch men he loves grow old and die. But then Nate shows up in town with a soul attached to him, slips past Mitch's emotional defenses, and complicates everything.

Book Review: Reaping Havoc (Reaping Havoc Book 1) by AJ Rose | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal/urban fantasy, paranormal romance, lgbt, m/m, reapers
Title: Reaping Havoc
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 282
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

This was a sweet, subdued, realistic (as much as paranormal can be), enjoyable romance. There was some depth to the story and characters, but it still had a light feel, and it was one of those books that was just easy to keep reading because it flowed really well and made me feel absorbed in the story.

Where this author really shined though was at writing very natural, realistic characters and scenes. It was the little things that she really nailed, things like something as simple as someone playing with his coaster in the condensation on the table in a restaurant while talking. Those little things went such a long way in making every scene come alive and feel very three-dimensional.

The characters were also likeable and the kind you can’t help but root for and want happiness for, and I found them both relatable in different ways.

Mitch also had a really loving, close-knit family, which was nice. Nate, on the other hand, had a lot of struggles with his family, and even though it wasn’t as nice, it was realistic. Wes and Troy turned out to be good friends to Nate though, so he at least had them. And his sister was a lot of fun.

The romance, while sweet, did have some angst, but I happen to like when relationships have some angst and internal struggles between the characters, so I’m not complaining.

But, although this was definitely a romance book, there was still, understandably since the book was about reapers, a lot of general death involved. It was a kind of interesting juxtaposition and sometimes added a though-provoking element. For example, near the beginning, Mitch had a soul with him who still had unfinished business, but he couldn’t leave Mitch’s side because they were tethered. In the meantime, while Mitch was working on helping him with the unfinished business, Mitch was going out with Nate and having fun. It seemed kind of callous because this poor dead guy literally just had his life ripped away and had to have been upset, but, as Mitch said, if he (Mitch) put his life on hold every time he had a reap, he’d never get to have a life himself. And I completely understood that. The characters themselves discussed a lot of things relating to life and death too, especially since Mitch was struggling with whether it was worth it to have a relationship knowing the other person would grow old and die while Mitch had to continue living on.

I have to admit this book wasn’t entirely right for my tastes though. It was enjoyable, I would definitely recommend it to people, but the characters were a little too perfect to really stand out to me (perfect characters are kind of hit-or-miss with me), and *SPOILER (I’m going to say something about the ending)* l felt like some things worked out a little too perfectly (all the reapers probably felt the same way, yet Mitch was the only one who got special treatment), but I suppose that kind of thing is to be expected in romance. *END SPOILER*

Overall though, despite the paranormal elements, this was a very realistic, down-to-earth romance with sweet, likeable characters!


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  1. Greg

    I like that title. 🙂 And little touches like the coaster thing are always nice. The close family ties, at least for the one character. Having friends and the sister be part of the story. And romance is always nice with a little angst.

  2. Wattle

    I sometimes wonder what it would feel like to be immortal. Like, would you get bored? Being young and healthy forever seems like it might be worth it though lol

    This sounds like a cute paranormal, I’m totally adding it to my list!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Idk, I feel like there’s so much to do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to do all of it, and you’d prob get bored eventually. But just being healthy period seems like it might be worth it lol.

      I hope you like it!

  3. Stephanie Jane

    Paranormal romance isn’t usually my genre, but this book sounds like it trancends its genre to be a more thoughtful read. I like when authors note the little details too.

  4. Annemieke

    Oh oh. I love death or grim reaper or there being mutliple reapers or just necromancy. I just don’t read enough books about them. Going to be adding this to my wishlist~

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Reapers in fiction is something I’ve seen a couple of times now. To be honest, it just reminds me of the show Dead Like Me, I loved that show, but the book does sound cool too. I like the idea of reapers not ageing until a certain point and the struggle of avoiding connections until then.

  6. Lola

    That’s nice it flowed so well and was pretty realistic. That sounds great how realistic and natural her characters seemed and those little touches and details can really add something and make the scene come more alive. That seems like an interesting counterbalance how it’s about living and romance and death as well. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, she really did a great job with the details and making things seem really natural and believable! And the death stuff was thought-provoking. Thanks!

  7. AngelErin

    This sounds right up my alley! I love realistic characters and paranormal books. Honestly, I’m drawn to it just from the cover alone. Excellent review Kristen! 😀

  8. Olivia Roach

    Oh my goodness, in the part where you’re like I would recommend this book for, I realised that all the three points meant the book was going to be perfect for me. I haven’t read many books about reapers, but all the books I have read about reapers I have really enjoyed. Death (as dark as this sounds) intrigues me because everyone views it differently, and you get a lot of discussion on it with reapers (usually) in a bit of a more lighthearted way.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yay! That’s what I love about reviews, how they can help people find books that are right for them! I do enjoy reading about reapers, though I haven’t read many books w/ them either. Death can be a very interesting topic, especially when included in a thought-provoking way!