Professional Grievers by Mickey J. Corrigan

PROFESSIONAL
Professional Grievers by Mickey J. Corrigan
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Until he gets hired to attend funerals for Florida’s most unpopular dead people, Seymour Allen has no life. When he meets a mobster’s gorgeous girlfriend, things begin to heat up.

They say opposites attract. Professional Grievers mates noir with romance, a beautiful young woman with a depressed older man, and humor with pathos to create a surprising, funny, sexy little love story.

Seymour Allen’s life had ground down to a dull bore. Lonely, self-medicating, and wallowing in self-pity, he’s in dire need of a stiletto kick in the butt. Then the weirdly generous Raymond C. Dasher hires Seymour to attend the death ceremonies of the not-so-dearly departed.

As Raymond explains to Seymour, some people have so few friends they are willing to hire an audience for their own funeral. Working as a professional griever, Seymour’s life picks up. Fascinated and often moved to tears, he frequents local chapels and cemeteries, posing as a bereaved friend of the departed.

At an Irish wake, he meets a hot redhead named Yvonne, the former mistress of the deceased; a man with the most dangerous kind of family. Sexy Yvonne needs to grieve her loss and Seymour offers a padded shoulder to cry on. Soon enough their friendship steams up. A lakeside distribution of ashes brings them closer together. Only in South Florida.

You’re only as old as you feel, and Seymour feels like a million bucks around Yvonne. Are his feelings for Yvonne enough to give him the jolt he needs to jump-start his life?

Professional Grievers is a unique, quirky romance presenting the upside of funerals and a hopeful, tender look at second chances.

Two hundred dollars – paid in advance – for a few hours fake mourning at a funeral was almost too good to be true for Seymour Allan. Professional Grievers gave Seymour the chance to mourn his lost love and even get paid for the performance he gave to other funerals to pad out the numbers a little. Seymour thought it would be some easy money, and a good way to continue his grief without raising any eyebrows. He never expected to meet a damsel in distress, a bunch of criminals and a number of very hungry alligators. Turns out he had to earn his “easy money”.

This is a fun story, lighthearted considering it’s all about death, grief and trying to find your way out of the quagmire of losing a loved one. With much of the story-telling tongue in cheek, it’s a delightful book I found myself thoroughly enjoying. Seymour is certainly sad – possibly even a little depressed – and the Professional Grievers is a company I can understand the appeal of. It’s completely insane, but somehow logical at the same time. And the fact the author managed to mesh all this with Florida gators and a crashed wedding really just made it perfect for me.

I had a little difficulty following some of Seymour’s retelling of the story. It’s mostly in the first person and jumps around a bit. But following his varying trains of thought was a small price to pay as the story itself is alternately hilariously funny and deeply moving. There is a single sex scene, detailed but not erotically explicit. I feel that readers who like a bit of spice in their romance – but that doesn’t really cross over into the strongly erotic – will find this scene satisfying and tastefully written.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the author wrapped up this story. There was a slight twist I didn’t see coming and that made me even happier than the laugh out loud moments I had. I found this to be a fun, darkly comic story about love, loss and piecing back your life together once again. Recommended.

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