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Reaper’s Touch by Eleri Stone….Guest Post & Review

Happy Friday!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I recently read Reaper’s Touch by Eleri Stone and really enjoyed it.  I was also lucky enough to have Eleri stop by the blog with a fabulous guest post!

 Please enjoy and thanks again for visiting!

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Book links:

 Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Goodreads

Synopsis:

Abby is a Ranger, part of an elite group who defend the border against Reapers—humans infected with a parasite that turns them into mindless cannibals. Rangers are immune to Reaper infection, and as one of the only female Rangers, Abby is expected to settle down and breed more Rangers—a fate she’s keen to avoid. When she’s ambushed on the plains, she’s ready to go out with guns blazing—until a mysterious, handsome cowboy rides to her rescue.

Jake has his own motives for helping Abby, beyond aiding a damsel in distress. He’s a Reaper, and while he’s learned to wrest control of his mind from the parasite, the effects won’t last without a permanent cure. And he needs Abby to get it.

Abby and Jake are natural enemies and unlikely partners. But when their search reveals a conspiracy between Reapers and the rich industrialists who own the mountain cities, they must work together to find the cure—or lose the border, and each other, forever.

 

My review:

Reaper’s Touch by author Eleri Stone is a cowboy meets zombie story with a steam punk feel that I really, really enjoyed!

One of a very few female Rangers, Abby is a rare breed.  She is part of a select group born to defend the population against the Reapers….or zombies as we know them.  These reapers are infected humans that have been taken over by a parasite and have turned from normal people to cannibals.  The Rangers are blessed with the immunity of that parasite which makes them perfect to police the infected and keep the uninfected safe.  Rangers rely not only on their physical training to fight but also an innate ability to actually sense a Reaper’s presence.  It’s that combo that has kept Abby on the battlefield and not in a Ranger village somewhere having little ranger babies, which is what most female Rangers did.   So not Abby’s style.  So when Abby is sent to give a message to another Ranger camp, she is a little suspicious that her Captain may be setting a retirement in motion for her.  Being strong-willed, Abby agrees to go on the mission but knows to keep her guard up.  She was never going to do anything other than fight.  That’s what she was good at.  Imagine her surprise when the training she has relied on fails her when she meets Jake.  A sexy and rugged cowboy who saves her ass from a nasty group of men while on her mission only to find out that he is exactly what she’s supposed to be fighting…..a Reaper.

Jake has been a reaper for over a hundred years now and has come so very far from those first mindless days of being infected.  He has learned to control his urges and hopes one day to find a cure for the parasite he’s been infected with for far too long.  This is where he needs Abby’s help.  He never thought he would be asking a Ranger to trust him and ask for her help but that’s what he needed to do if there was any hope of eradicating this sickness.  This was his last chance and his only hope….

Never would Abby and Jake have thought they would be working with the enemy for the common good but that’s exactly what needs to happen.  Will Abby be able to trust Jake won’t hurt her when all she’s even known was killing reapers?  Would Jake have what it takes to earn that trust?  Only time will tell and unfortunately time isn’t something they have a whole lot of.  Forming an unlikely alliance will slowly turn into something more for these two and oh how I loved it!

Again, I have to say that I loved this cowboy/zombie mash-up!  It was different and exciting and interesting to read packed with suspense, intensity and even some sexy heat.  Abby and Jake are on opposite teams in this war and the building of trust between them was really great to read.  Neither one of them wants to be working with the other one but luckily they are pretty reasonable and realize they may be able to save the human race…together.  There were more than a few twists and turns in this book that I enjoyed as well.  Of course I won’t spoil it for you!

If you’re looking for something fresh and exciting, this is a book for you.  Thank you, Eleri, for giving me a book I was excited to read from start to finish!

4LovesRLBFour Loves

 

Guest Post:

Hi! Thank you so much for having me here to talk about my new release Reaper’s Touch. The inspirational “what if” question behind the Reaper series was: What if early explorers to the Americas discovered the fountain of youth but found that immortality came at a terrible price?

The story strayed from that original concept. The parasite that turned men into Reapers—immortal, violently aggressive cannibals—didn’t come from a fountain. Hurricanes and flooding contaminated the drinking water unleashing a plague on pre-Civil War era America. Because the parasite is killed by freezing temperatures, small populations of people survived by fleeing north or retreating into the mountains. Reapers migrate with warm weather, running south during the winter and rising again in the spring. A small percentage of the survivors are immune to the parasite and they become Rangers whose job it is to protect human farming and ranching settlements on the plains.

That’s the basic premise. Is it science fiction? Most biological plagues and apocalyptic stories fall into that category. The historical setting puts it more within the realm of alternate history/fantasy. And when you throw a strong romantic storyline into the mix, what the heck is it then? Not really paranormal romance, but what? I’ve spent a lot of time scratching my head trying to figure out what category to put this story in and it got me thinking about how much genre labels really matter.

Genre categories are supposed to aid in the discovery process and help set reader expectations. If you feel like reading Fantasy, you go find the shelf marked Fantasy and when you pull one of those books, you have a general idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

This traditional system works fine for physical bookstores and libraries. There are a limited number of books to look at and you can skim covers and blurbs until you find something close to what you’re looking for. Online is a different story. For one thing, there are so many titles available, especially if you’re looking at digital books. Browsing aimlessly isn’t really an option unless you have hours of time on your hands. And using the booksellers’ search engines can be an exercise in frustration.

Instead of browsing by genre-categories, what I’d really like to be able to do is type in a specific search “Epic Fantasy Romance Anti-Hero Sorcerer” or “Biological Plague Wild West” and get a list of relevant suggestions. Or maybe search for favorite tropes. But right now it can be hard to find what you’re looking for.

Reaper’s Touch ended up categorized as Paranormal Romance and Sci-Fi Dystopian. I’m curious about how much people pay attention to genre categories when they’re looking for books. And what would you call a cowboys vs. zombies + romance story?

                     

                                     Thanks for stopping by today, Eleri! ~Jillian 

 

About the author:

blog pic2Eleri Stone was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Iowa, married her college sweetheart, and settled in the Midwest where she still lives with her husband and their three children. A lifelong fan of fantasy, she started reading romance as an adult and was instantly captivated by the strong female protagonists and character-driven storylines. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction and they all end with a happy-ever-after.

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