Saving the life of someone you love should not be the worst thing you have ever done, unless you are an Angel of Death. Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana's destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents. In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother's drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn't know that Nathaniel is part of it. Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?
I was a little hesitant to read this story as I figured the whole star-crossed lovers element would frustrate me but I was pleasantly surprised. The main character, Juliana, is generous and protective of her brother. She is Native American on her father's side and familiar with homeopathic remedies and spiritual superstitions. She is characterized as a witch by some but her innate skills transition from simple intuitiveness to seeing the spiritual world in full detail as the story progresses. Juliana is portrayed as selfless which is frustrating because, at some point, you want her to make decisions on her own behalf. Especially given how selfish a self-destructive, younger teenage brother can be...
The other main character is Nathaniel. He's someone who has been screwed over in life but still managed to turn out to be a good person. I really liked his character because he is a sweetheart and his internal struggles are well-developed. He is going through somewhat of a midlife crisis as he struggles to balance what he should do with what he is compelled to do. There are some dire consequences if he chooses wrong but there are shades of grey in between that allow the story the flexibility it needs. That is the element of the story that I enjoyed the most, it isn't as restrictive as some other stories utilizing this theme. There is the potential for compromise and an unconventional happy ending.
Overall, the story maintains a good balance. The reader discovers the supernatural world right along with Juliana as her gifts manifest and she seeks guidance. The romance is on the light side as the physical component takes a back seat until Nathaniel can figure things out on his end. I particularly enjoyed that the two characters have a transformative effect on each other. This is certainly more than a simple light romance and was an enjoyable read.Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK