In 1603 Lachlan died after enemies killed his wife and children. Since then he has worked for Death as a soul gatherer. When someone dies, Lachlan touches him/her to collect their soul and holds it until an angel arrives to take it to heaven (or Satan's messenger arrives to take it to hell). At times Lachlan must fight demons with swords and other weapons as they try to steal souls destined for heaven. Death is a female demigod. In addition to his soul gathering duties, Death assigns Lachlan to watch over and protect Emily, a teenager. Drusus is a powerful demon who has become Emily's boyfriend. He is using the name Drew. He is handsome, in his 20's and rides a motorcycle. Emily is a surly and rebellious teenager with a goth look who sneaks out at night to be with Drew. Her mother Rachel is divorced, works a demanding job, loves Emily, but is having trouble being a parent and interacting with Emily. Lachlan is their neighbor and helps Rachel with Emily issues, for example following Emily when she sneaks out. The main mystery is why Death and Drusus both are interested in Emily. A second mystery concerns the Linen, a religious item in Lachlan's possession that Drusus wants.
REVIEWER'S OPINION (WITH MILD SPOILERS):
The main romance is between Rachel and Lachlan. She doesn't know about his world or his abilities. Several conflicts occur when Rachel sees or learns something and is angry at Lachlan or thinks he lied to her. For example, he was in a sword fight with deep cuts which she saw. The next day they are healed with no scars. When she asked him where the cuts went, he said "I heal very fast." He started to explain, but she was angry and didn't believe him. She said "no matter what it is you need to say, I'm not ready to hear it," and she walked away. In the beginning, Lachlan is attracted to her but refuses to have a relationship with her because "he knew he would end up hurting her" (which was not true). Later Drusus tells lies to Rachel which she believes and which cause more conflict with Lachlan. These conflicts were not interesting for me. I'd rather see conflicts based on circumstances, personality differences, plot development, etc. I also would have liked more interesting character development. For some reason, the romantic relationship didn't appeal to me, party because of items mentioned above. It might have been better if the personalities were more interesting.
Regarding the main mystery of why Death and Drusus wanted Emily, it was interesting. But I did not like one major plot point. Drusus is more powerful than Lachlan and could have killed him but let him live. Lachlan asks Death for help. Death tells Lachlan that he has a weapon that he can use to defeat Drusus, but she won't tell him what it is. This bothered me. Death assigned Lachlan to protect Emily, but she won't help him?
My favorite parts of the book were about Carlos. In fact I loved the ending concerning him.
Minor problem with the publisher (not the author's fault): Page 75 says Lachlan has "a sprinkle of crisp, dark hair" on his chest. The cover model has none.
Story length:332 pages. Swearing language; strong. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 3. Total number of sex scene pages: 21. Setting: current day and 1603 California, Antarctica and Scotland. Copyright: 2009. Genre: fantasy mystery romance.