Series: Grave Series #1
Published by Kensington Publishing on February 26, 2013
Source: Author, NetGalley
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
He's handsome, reliable, and punctual-the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death's best agent-and now he's got more than his soul to lose . . .
One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper-an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good.
Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can't be influenced by his powers-even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living-and a passion he can't afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he'll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah...and gamble on a choice even an immortal can't win.
When I read the premise for Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg, I was immediately intrigued. The story seemed to have a lot of the elements I usually enjoy in a good book. A little of the paranormal, an interesting heroine and hero and a side of romance usually makes for an engaging tale. I’m happy to say that the story mostly lived up to my expectations.
We’re introduced to scientist Sarah Griffith, who believes that there’s a scientific explanation for everything. And if that explanation isn’t readily available, give her a few days and she’ll find one. Therefore, growing up with self-proclaimed psychics for a mother and grandmother was difficult for Sarah. Because it’s not possible for people to be able to converse with dead people, right? So when Sarah witnesses something out of the ordinary, something that she can’t explain away with science, she’s admittedly freaked. Enter handsome next door neighbor David Anderson. He seems to know a great deal about the less than ordinary. Will he be able to convince Sarah that sometimes science doesn’t explain everything?
I really liked Sjoberg’s world of reapers and the mythology surrounding them. In other stories I’ve read, reapers are usually invisible to everyone, except for those near death, or those who are psychic or gifted with some sort of uniqueness or supernatural power. The reapers in Grave Intentions are visible to everyone. They also retain some of the basic needs and desires inherent to humans, such as the need for food, shelter, sleep, sex, etc. It was so much easier for me to relate to this group of reapers as opposed to reapers from other books, because this particular group didn’t seem as untouchable or otherworldly.
Sarah and David were two characters that I really grew to like. Smart, determined, kind-hearted Sarah and weary and haunted David were both memorable characters. There were also some really fun and interesting secondary characters. There was the fun and energetic Adam, a new reaper in training under David’s tutelage; there was Ruby, David’s sexy and sassy reaper ex; and Samuel, David’s difficult and seemingly cruel boss. As this book is part of a series, I look forward to reading more about all of these characters in future installments.
The romance between David and Sarah was sweet. Here you have two lonely people who are each haunted by their own demons, but are able to find acceptance and comfort in each other. Their interactions were some of the best moments of the book. David found reasons for living life to the fullest again with Sarah’s help. And Sarah was able to discover some admittedly scary truths about her family and herself, but she faced them head on with David’s love and support.
Overall, Lori Sjoberg’s debut novel Grave Intentions was a solid read. If you’re interested in books with a loveable hero and heroine, a sweet and tender love story and an amazingly intriguing cast of supporting characters, then this is the right book for you. I look forward to reading the next installment in the Grave series featuring the reaper Ruby. (Reviewed by Quiana – The Book Lover)