Join author Kate SeRine and Kensington Publishing in celebrating the 10-Year Anniversary of the Transplanted Tales. Have you read them? Today I am sharing Grimm Consequences. This novella takes place after Red and gives us Nate Grimm’s story. Read the excerpt and be sure to enter the fun giveaways!
Transplanted Tales #1.5
The author of Red “takes urban fantasy, crime thrillers and fairy tale characters and creates magic” in this paranormal romance novella (Caffeinated Book Reviewer).
To put it lightly, Nate Grimm has a dark past. Fortunately, no one’s bothered to look too closely at the Fairytale Management Authority’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. And Nate wants to keep it that way. After centuries of torment and loneliness, he’s finally found happiness with the hot and hard-charging love of his life, Tess “Red” Little.
Of course, his love for Tess is the reason there’s a posse of Reaper judges after him, led by a sadistic bastard acquainted with Nate from once upon a time. Now, Tess will pay the price for Nate’s transgressions unless Nate severs his ties to the transplanted Tales—and Tess—forever. His enemy has the advantage of speed, malice and brutality. But the Reapers have underestimated the depth of Nate’s love. And the fury of his wrath.
Read An Excerpt
Ruthlessness was one of the defining characteristics of Reapers, one of the reasons we were selected for service in the first place. But even among Reapers, Demetrius was known for his sadism. Most of us went in and did the job we were given. Everyone and everything died eventually. We were just the instrument of that universal truth. But not Demetrius. He relished the killing. He reveled in it. It fed his soul, made him stronger and completely heartless. And I’d nearly followed the same path. Until the day a scheduling snafu had brought me to a patch of woods in Make Believe. Until Tess.
I shifted uncomfortably, my muscles stiff from sitting for so long. At least, that’s what I told myself. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the sins weighing heavily on my soul. Maybe I should’ve been in the AA meeting with Tess and Lavender, facing my demons with everyone else.
Hi, my name is Nate Grimm, and I have a problem—
I laughed out loud in the confines of the car. God, even my name was a lie. I couldn’t even tell the truth about something that basic. How in the hell was I going to tell Tess everything else? The last time I’d tried to come clean, things between us had nearly ended before they got started.
I ran my hand down my face, suddenly weary. I wondered how she’d see me, what she’d think of me, when I finally grew a pair and spilled my guts to her. I imagined the first thing she’d do was clock me. Then she’d probably spit in my face and tell me to go fuck myself. And I couldn’t blame her if she did. If I’d had even a modicum of integrity, I would’ve left her alone, stayed away instead of insinuating myself into her life and becoming an integral part of it. It would serve me right if she left me and never looked back.
As I sat there waiting for the meeting to end, I hardened my heart with resolve, vowing I’d tell Tess everything, share every ugly secret I harbored. And suffer the consequences. Because there was no doubt I’d suffer one way or another.
At that moment, the doors to the cathedral opened and my beautiful Tess emerged into the evening sunlight, breathtaking in her loveliness even from where I was parked across the street toward the back of the lot. She briefly lifted her face to the summer breeze, inhaling deeply, her lips curving into a contented smile. She loved the wind on her face, I knew. I’d seen her lift her face this way on many occasions over the years when she thought I wasn’t looking.
Tess was so afraid to be seen as weak, vulnerable, that few people ever got a chance to glimpse that softer side of her—the side that ached when her friends were hurting, that wept when she’d failed to protect the ones she loved, that would say a few kind words to a woman struggling with her guilt and grief and give her hope on a night when years of being buried in a bottle could no longer numb the pain.
But I saw it all, had witnessed it that day in the woods when I’d seen the depth of her love for her fellow Tales. And I wanted to feel that love, to wrap it around me, immerse myself in its healing warmth. Over the years I’d seen Tess save more lives than I could count. And I prayed that maybe—just maybe—she could save me, too.
The Perks of Being a Reaper by Nate Grimm
I’m not thrilled to be a Reaper—even a part-time one as has been the case since I came to the Here and Now. Well, to be completely honest, I guess I should say I’m not thrilled to be a Reaper now. I’m ashamed to admit it wasn’t always that way.
Once upon a time, I enjoyed the job—far more than I should’ve. But after meeting Tess “Red” Little, falling in love with her, my outlook started to change. I began to hate what I do, what I am. But with Tess’s help I finally realized that being a Reaper doesn’t have to be a curse; that I can embrace what I am and use it to be a better man—the kind of man who deserves Tess’s love. And now that my whole attitude has changed and I can take a step back, well, I gotta admit, the job does come with a few perks. Here are my top five:
- I can’t die. At least, not in the traditional sense. I can be injured even to the point that I appearto be dead for a while, but I can only be killed by another Reaper. And even then certain rules apply.
- I can move from place to place by letting go of my corporeal form and reforming wherever I want. It comes in handy.
- I usher the dead to their final rest. I didn’t always consider this one a “perk.” Before coming to the Here and Now, it was just part of the job, and it was a part I performed with complete indifference. But I’ve come to realize that caring for someone’s soul in their final moments is an honor and a privilege.
- I’m spooky—at least, that’s what Tess tells me. Apparently, this gives me an edge when it comes to protecting the people I care about from the malicious bastards that would harm them. There aren’t many Tales who see me coming and don’t get a little nervous.
- I can grant a reprieve from death in extraordinary circumstances. But this one comes at a price. And trust me, that price is pretty damned high. But when it comes to saving the woman I love, no price is too steep. And it’s one I’ll gladly pay again and again.
But here’s the thing about these “perks.” They can also be the downside of being a Reaper. There’s a certain amount of power that comes with this role, power that can go to a guy’s head and turn him into the kind of monster that haunts your worst nightmares. There was a time when I was that guy. But it’s amazing how one day, one choice, can change your life—or afterlife—forever.
That’s not to say the temptation isn’t always there. I work hard to keep it together, to not let that darker side of me rule my actions. But make no mistake—if someone I love’s in jeopardy, I won’t be holding anything back.
Along Came a Spider
Better Watch Out (Fall 2022)
About the Author
Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project — probably while consuming way too much coffee.
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Help us celebrate the new cover and enter for a chance to win a $25 US eCard from Amazon, B&N, Kobo or Apple. Winner’s choice. Ends September 30, 2022.