I’ve already posted a sample of chapter one below, or click HERE.
Divine and Dateless by Tara West
Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go all the way…
What can be worse than electrocuting yourself while getting ready for your internet date? Realizing the hot stud you’ve been fondling is the grim reaper? Being chased by a sex-crazed bloated, naked corpse?
How about an eternity of more bad hair days and horrific dates? Or lusting after the one guy in all of the afterlife whose hydrophobia rivals his fear of commitment?
Yeah, that’s a whole lot worse.
From Chapter Two
“I told you, I’ve got a schedule to keep.”
Fake Roger (I refused to call him Grim, because then I would have had to acknowledge I was dead, which I couldn’t possibly be over a stupid blow dryer) was hovering behind me, tapping his foot on my shag bathroom rug. Don’t ask how he got in my bathroom. I wasn’t sure, but I thought he floated through my door.
He kept going on about some stupid schedule, which shouldn’t have mattered if we were dead, which I WASN’T.
I’ll be damned (oops, probably not a good time to be using that phrase) if I’m going anywhere with Grim.
I was only twenty-nine. I couldn’t have died. I hadn’t even done the marriage and kids thing yet, not that I was looking forward to the kids part, but my mom had been bugging me about grandkids.
Holy crap. She would be heartbroken when she found out. I hoped my sister stopped being a brat long enough to console her. But Mom wouldn’t need anyone to console her because I wasn’t dead.
I’m not freaking dead!
I was sitting on the toilet crying, staring down at the chipped magenta toenail polish on my other body. My brain was so foggy from shock and grief, I hardly heard Grim as he heaved a sigh and said something about his schedule again. If my eternal fate hadn’t been in his hands, I’d probably have smacked him.
“What happened to me?” I asked through a sniffle.
He nodded toward the blow dryer lying by my side. Its bright fuchsia shell was marred by angry streaks of black. The cramped space smelled like burnt plastic, too. “Looks like you electrocuted yourself.”
“Shit!” I stomped a heel on the cracked tile. It created this weird, hollow echo, and I swore I could feel the vibrations ricochet into the other room.
“Were you running the water with the blow dryer on?”
I shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Didn’t you read the warning label?” He held up the dryer and pointed to the chord, a look of condescension in his vibrant eyes.
I averted my gaze, chewing on my lower lip. “Maybe not.”
“Your dryer should have had a surge suppressor.”
He pointed to the little red button on the plug, the same stupid button that had been popping out just about every two minutes when I’d tried to dry my hair. Yesterday, I’d finally gotten fed up, so I Super-glued it down. I’d thought it was a good idea at the time.
Grim swiped a finger across the plug and looked at me with a smirk. “You glued it?”
Okay, I admit it wasn’t a wise decision. Lesson learned. “Can’t we just resuscitate me?”
“Ashley,” he said through a groan as he pointed down at my body, “You’ve been dead for half an hour.”
I shot to my feet and peered down at my body and then spit out a curse that would have made my poor dear granny spin somersaults in her grave.
“Ashley? You okay?”
“Ash.” I said in a tone that felt as hollow as my lifeless body. “Nobody’s called me Ashley since high school, and I can’t go with you. I’m not dead.” I said that last part without conviction. Shit. Even I was starting to believe I’d croaked. This was so not good.
“Ash, I really need to get to my next call.” Grim stepped over my body, approaching my personal space.
I took a hesitant step back, not because I minded him being so close to me. Not at all. But having so much male filling up my space was like, excuse the bad pun, overloading me with a surge of electric lust.
“I need proof,” I said as I backed up until I felt the towel rack behind me.
Weird, because even though I was supposedly dead, and shouldn’t be able to feel a thing, I could definitely feel him. He put out a heat that sent my senses reeling.
He angled his head, giving me a good glimpse of a square jaw and thick neck. I had a hunch the shoulders underneath his stiff shirt collar were corded with muscle. “There’s all the proof you need.” He pointed at my prone body.
Lust forgotten. This guy sure knew how to kill a girl-gasm.
I shook my head before covering my eyes with my hands. “No, she’s not real. Neither are you. I zapped my head really badly when I shocked myself, and I’m still knocked out.”
“You don’t honestly believe that.”
The pity in his voice would have been humiliating had he not been a figment of my imagination.
“I do. I have to. I’m not ready to go.” I looked at him through my fingers. Damn. He’d stepped closer to me, and I couldn’t back up another inch.
Much to my amazement and annoyance, he had the nerve to smirk. Not the everyday, average, asshole smirk, like the kind I had to deal with from my pinhead boss on a daily basis, but the devastatingly handsome, sideways smirk that could only be perfected through years of endless flirting.
This definitely had to be some sort of hallucination. No guy I’d ever met was that damn sexy.
“What?” I asked as I clenched my hands.
His eyes gleamed with mischief. “You’re cute when you pout.”
I let out a huff of air, knocking a piece of wayward frizz out of my eye. “Okay, the Grim Reaper is flirting with me. Now I know this is a dream.”
He laughed, combing a hand through his thick, dark hair. “You want proof I’m real, don’t you?”
I wagged a finger in his face. “Flirting hardly counts as proof.”
“Sorry.” He shrugged. “That’s all I’ve got.”
Then a thought came to me, a really, really wicked thought. That devil sitting on my shoulder had to have been working overtime to come up with that one. I tilted my chin, looking deep into his eyes as I gave him a challenging glare. “What about kissing?”
Grim’s face paled, and, ironically, he looked like he’d been spooked by a ghost. He backed up, holding out his hands in a defensive gesture. “I’m not going to take advantage of you.” His words were at war with the molten look in his eyes.
Though I knew my hair was a frizzy mess, and my tight, black skirt might have exposed a bit too much pudge in the thigh area, I knew lust when I saw it, and this man was turned on.
Okay, since he was just a figment of my imagination, I figured I’d enjoy playing out this fantasy while it lasted. So I did what any woman in my situation would have done during an uncomfortably awkward moment of flirting gone wrong, I kept right on flirting. Ignoring the body lying between us on the floor, I stepped over my torn dress, which was definitely exposing too much pudgy thigh, and moved toward him until he was backed into a corner.
He stiffened until he was parallel to the wall. That would have been a definite sign he was not interested, except he licked his lower lip like he hadn’t eaten in a week, and I was a juicy cut of prime rib. I continued my advance until there was barely a breath between us and my heavy breasts were pressing against his chest. He stood there with this deer-in-the-headlights expression, and that’s when I started to lose confidence.
His knee went up, grazing the skin between my bare thighs, and a zing shot straight to my lady parts. Holy heck! I was horny for Grim! If this really was a dream, I hoped I didn’t wake up for at least another ten minutes. Scratch that. Make that twenty. Judging by the way this flirting was progressing, we’d both be at home base faster than I could devour a plate of triple-chocolate chunk brownies during PMS.
“Prove to me I’m dead,” I cooed, laying a hand on his chest. The top button on his long-sleeved cotton shirt was unfastened, revealing just the right amount of dark hair and a hint of hard muscles beneath. I moved my fingers to that small patch of curls, letting the heat from his bare skin on mine soak through. And then I did something naughty. I leaned up and pressed a feather-soft kiss on his tanned neck.
He groaned, cupping my shoulders in his strong grip. “What are you doing to me, woman?”
“Proving I’m not dead.” I giggled, nipping at his earlobe for good measure.
“Maybe you need some other kind of proof,” he growled, right before his lips came crashing down on mine in the most heat-searing, exquisite kiss imaginable.
I moaned into his mouth as I welcomed his tongue’s invasion. I tasted the sweet scent of fruit, maybe apples? I wasn’t quite sure, but I knew I needed to investigate further, so I fisted his shirt collar in my hands, clutching it like a lifeline as I deepened the kiss. He pulled me against the length of his hard body until I straddled one hard thigh. Our tongues sparred and our lips melded together perfectly.
At that moment, when my brain had been robbed of all coherent thought, one word popped into my brain: heaven. His kiss was pure heaven.
I released his collar, roaming the length of his body, which surely had to have been carved from granite. I didn’t care if I was pushing boundaries. This was a dream after all. Then I settled on that exquisitely large and stiff protrusion between his thighs, and I froze.
Holy shit, he was harder than a rod of steel, and as his leg ground out a torturous rhythm between my thighs, I realized I was wetter than spring in Seattle.
This was not a dream. This was real, and I had just fondled the boner of the freaking Grim Reaper.