Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blind Speed Dating #28 (NA)

Genre: Paranormal Romance NA
Word Count: 71,000


When college senior Jane Lamb dies in a car crash, she’s offered a second chance at life as a Conduit—a reincarnated human, with the memories of past lives, contracted to reap souls. The pros: She gets six lifetimes to prove she’s not a loser. The cons: If she screws up, or reveals her true identity, her soul will be destroyed.

Now, living as seventeen-year-old Liv Hartley, she has everything she wants—a new college, a new life, and David, a new love interest. That is, until Asher Knight, a Conduit several lifetimes Liv’s senior, steals her first assignment, landing her in hot water with her afterlife caseworker. In order to redeem herself, Liv must deliver a message to a demon. In the process, Liv’s life is threatened, and Asher is forced to bind his soul with hers to protect her. That’s when Liv discovers there’s more to Asher than his bad boy attitude and movie star looks—and the fact his touch is a drug Liv craves.

Even though Liv falls hard for David, she can’t shake the feel of Asher. David is kind, honest, and considerate. He promises the kind of future Liv could never have with Asher. But when Liv gets her toughest assignment yet—to reap David’s soul—she must decide whether to follow through with the contract or risk forever losing her soul…and Asher’s.

First 250:

All the people with near-death experiences got it wrong. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a lobby, like the entrance to a ritzy hotel, with level upon level of balconies that stretch on forever.

“Next!” The disembodied voice thunders from overhead speakers embedded in the walls.

The line, with more twists and turns than a crowd control line at Disneyland, moves a few inches. I step forward. The soul in front of me doesn’t. Before I realize what’s happening, I’m standing in him.

“Sorry.” I step back and shake off the squishy, Jello-like feel of his energy. That’s when I spot the balding Dean of Accounting, Professor Burstein, in his penny loafers and plaid sweater vest, stalking toward me like I’d cheated on a test or taken the last cookie at a student-faculty mixer.

“Mr. Burstein?” I can’t keep the surprise, and disgust, from my voice.

On Friday, he’d given a pop-quiz. Governmental tax law. If he’s dead, I’m guessing a fellow senior retaliated against his self-aggrandizing soap box speeches and appearance-based grading pyramid.

“Not exactly, Ms. Lamb. My name is Marvin. I find it’s easier on transitioning souls when I appear as someone they recognize.”

I push a lock of frizzy brown hair from my eyes and stare at his gnarly sweater vest. “You can look like anyone?” My gaze moves from his stubby, fat fingers to his shock of orange hair. “I can totally give you a better suggestion.”

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