Review of Only the Lonely by Amanda M. Lee

Isabella “Izzy” Sage spent her formative years on Belle Isle in Detroit, playing next to the gate that separates the living from the dead as her parents drew a paycheck from the grim reaper council.

Then the impossible happened, tragedy struck, and Izzy found herself an orphan. Her grandfather took her away and raised her among the Bruja in New Orleans, although her heart always longed to return to the gate … which felt so much like a part of her.

Now, as an adult, Izzy has worked her way up to gatekeeper status and she’s back in the place her childhood ended. She’s the one in charge now … although things don’t go how she hoped. On her very first day, the gate is breached, and the wraith that crosses over is not only murderous but enhanced.

Izzy wants to be in charge, but the local reaper council needs help so they send back-up in the form of a magical reaping family.

The Grimlocks are loud, boisterous and used to a good fight. The men are also handsome, something Izzy doesn’t want to acknowledge, even when the flirting gets out of control. In addition to all that, they’re also protective, and whether Izzy wants it or not, they’re going to infringe on her territory if they think they can keep her safe.

The past might be haunting Izzy, but she can’t look forward to the future until the danger is behind her. Those around her know more than they’re letting on, and the magic she’s been trying to hide is about to take over.

The fight is on … and Izzy is loaded for bear.

Available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.

A new Amanda M. Lee series for me but one which continues in the Aisling Grimlock world. Those familiar with that series know all about the ins and outs of this fantasy-like cozy mystery setting based on grim reapers. Good ones, not the evil ones of horror movies though! These simply protect and help souls cross over to wherever their earthly lives and beliefs have led them. In this series we focus on a different aspect of that world, the gate. That’s where the souls go to await their final destinations and Izzy is responsible for guarding it.

Oh and she’s Izzy, not Isabella and certainly not Bella! Between her dislike for the Twilight series and the Kardashians, it’s hard to determine which one is more intense… I’m leaning towards the Kardashians though! As you might guess then, this lead character has some spunk, some attitude, is opinionated and is unafraid to show it all. What she is afraid to show, however, is her magical abilities. As part of the reaper world, a certain level of magic is not unexpected but Izzy is something completely other level and not comfortable with letting others know how. Her past is murky, as she was a witness to a horrific accident that killed both her parents. She’s blocked it out and as much as she claims she wants to know what really happened, her subconscious won’t reveal the facts of the matter. It will be interesting to see how that storyline plays out.

Funnily enough, she ends up paired with (possibly) the least likeable of the Grimlock siblings. Braden was broody, arrogant, obnoxious and judgemental in the Aisling Grimock books. However, coming out of the events in the finale of that series, he’s now more reflective and has matured quite a bit. He’s still quick to anger and always looking for a good fight, whether with one of his brothers or a wraith. I’m looking forward to reading more on his character’s development and how he and Izzy learn to work together.

As this is a spin-off series, a good chunk of the book remains focussed on the Grimlock family and how Izzy is pretty much welcomed into it. Perhaps, it’s a little easy for the author to rely on the dynamics and relationships already created in that series rather than create a whole new reality. I have two minds about that. On one hand it was great to catch-up with the Grimocks and find out how everyone has been handling the events of their ‘big finale’. On the other, I would like to be introduced to some more fun new characters. Overall, however, I do like the fact that we get some elements of the old series and are also introduced to some new bits, like the New Orleans bruja connection.

In terms of the mystery in this story, the characters have to determine the nature of the new wraith and, more importantly, who is the human involved in the matter. I can’t say that clues are laid out well enough for the reader to follow and there really aren’t that many suspects introduced. However, there is so much action taking place and so many interesting pieces of the magic world introduced, that the mystery seems to be more a part of the world building than it’s own element. It works in this instalment but I do hope for stronger mysteries moving forward.

I definitely enjoyed my first foray into the A Death Gate Grim Reaper Thriller mysteries and look forward to reading more. I give Only the Lonely 4/5 not-so-alone espresso shots.

5 thoughts on “Review of Only the Lonely by Amanda M. Lee

Add yours

  1. This isn’t my kind of book. Your review grabbed my attention, however, since I’ve been to Belle Isle in Detroit! I’m from further north in Michigan, but had relatives who lived in the southern portions. We met there several times for family reunions. Interesting setting for “the gate!”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

Pretty Purple Polka Dots

"If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way"

The Bibliophilist Chronicles

Talk about books, reading, and thoughts

Sharon E. Cathcart

Award-Winning Author of Heart-Warming Romance and Historical Fiction with a Twist!

Hilltown Families

Community-Based Education Network

Angie Dokos

Living life one chapter at a time.

Kat Over Coffee

Let's talk about romance novels, food, travel and motherhood!

The Geeky Jock

A Book Blog


Book Reviews, Recommendations

Tracey at Home

An ordinary life lived in my own way.

Inside My Library Mind

Books, Reviews & More

The Punk Theory

This world's wild at heart and weird on top.

One More Word


Love for Words - Book Blog

Book reviews, bookworm hacks, bookish content!

A World of Books

Books ~ What else is there?

James J. Cudney

Best Selling Author of Family Drama & Mystery Fiction

Metaphors and Miscellanea

Books, reviews, writings, and musings from the one and only K-Specks

Chelle's Book Ramblings

Let's Talk Books



%d bloggers like this: