"A Fantastic Series that Keeps Getting Better!"
Reviewed by Monique Daoust
Posted December 30, 2014
Dmitri Stavitsky and Gwen Peterson met and died at the
height of the Cold War. Dmitri and Gwen are reapers: they
harvest the souls of the newly dead in order for the
souls to be sent to their proper destination, be it
Heaven or Hell. Some people are chosen to become reapers
because, although originally destined for Hell, they are
seen as being deemed worth of salvation. Dmitri was KGB,
and Gwen FBI; they were mortal enemies, they share a very
dark past; and they still hate each other's guts. But
years later, they have no choice but to work together on
a mission in order to find a reaper gone rogue, Patrick
Ziegler; what he's out to do could have unimaginably
GRAVE VENGEANCE is the third book in theGrave
series, and it can easily be read as a standalone. I fell
in love with this series from the first book, and I had
been awaiting with bated breath GRAVE VENGEANCE, which is
about Dmitri, whose story I was dying to read. And to put
it mildly, Lori Sjoberg does not disappoint. The reapers'
world is a fascinating one, and with every instalment,
new layers are added, even more metaphysical ones in this
case. Characters from previous books make cameo
appearances, and some even have important roles to play
in this story. All the characters are very complex, but
none more so than Dmitri, whose destiny has been linked
with Gwen's for half a century, to their utter dismay.
GRAVE VENGEANCE is a terrifically exciting book, action-
packed and very fast-paced. I find particularly
fascinating that the three books are completely different
even though in the same world. Both protagonists are
totally unlike those from the previous books, and the
story is as different. I also loved that Ms. Sjoberg
researched thoroughly the Cold War era as well as the
Russian language; Dmitri is unapologetically Russian, and
he was a true Patriot just as Gwen was. The author is
known for her especially strong female characters, and
Gwen is no exception; she is everything a
counterintelligence agent has to be, even taking into
account how different things were in the sixties for
Dmitri's background story is one of the most interesting
I have ever seen, especially in a paranormal romance.
Dmitri and Gwen are a fantastic pairing. Their story
spans half a century and I think it was a stroke of
genius from the author because everything that defines
Gwen and Dmitri is connected with events of the era. I
loved how their romance progressed; everything was
believable, convincing, and never easy.
There are a few very ingenious plot twists, an ending I
never expected and a few surprises as well! GRAVE
VENGEANCE has exceeded my expectations; yet again, I
cannot wait for the next book in this series!
Handsome and haunted, he's a reaper who prefers to work
alone. But Fate has other plans for him and the sassy
agent who shot him in another life—if their pasts don't
catch up with them first.
Dmitri Stavitsky has never played well with others—a
KGB spy in life turned reaper after death, his work of
bringing souls to the other side is best done alone. But
orders from the top soon place him alongside fellow
Gwen Peterson, the American counter intelligence agent
took his life so many years ago. Now, as a ghost from
past resurfaces with the power to steal reapers' souls,
two have no choice but to set aside their differences and
apprehend the rogue together. But their cross-country
mission soon ignites feelings Dmitri thought he was no
longer capable of—for the woman who helped destroy him.
an ancient force and a small army against them, he'll
to let go of old grudges or risk his future with
Fate hangs dangerously in the balance.
ExcerptSome men were nice to look at. Others, you couldn’t look
And then there was Dmitri Stavitsky.
He was taller than her, around six foot four, and had the
build of a gymnast. The shirt he wore did nothing to
thick, corded arms or the broad expanse of his chest. His
strained against the confines of his jeans. He carried
himself with an
air of confidence that most men found intimidating and
found irresistible. And even though Gwen despised him as
much as he
despised her, she had to admit he wore it well.
Gwen could feel his eyes moving over her while she drove,
resisted the urge to squirm in her seat. “What?”
The passing streetlights played over the planes of his
face. He hadn’t
shaved in a day or two, and his jaw was shadowed with
stubble. It made
him look almost as dangerous as he was.
Back in the day, he’d been one of the KGB’s top agents.
For nearly a
decade, he worked within the borders of the United
some of the country’s most valuable secrets. What he
couldn’t steal he
usually destroyed with calculated and ruthless
efficiency. He killed
defectors before they could spill their secrets as well
anyone else deemed an enemy of the Soviet Union. The full
his treachery was never determined; he’d taken those
secrets to the
“You cut your hair.” During the Cold War, he spoke with a
American accent to mask his true identity. The habit died
Iron Curtain fell, and now his rich, deep voice contained
a blend of
both Russian and American, with the former growing more
whenever he got pissed off.
“So nice of you to notice.”
One corner of his mouth twitched. “It makes you look like
Bastard. Her grip tightened around the steering wheel.
“Like I give a
damn what you think.”
He laughed under his breath. “I think you do.” The smirk
on his face
vanished when she ground the gears. “Careful! It took me
two days to
rebuild the transmission.”
“Sorry.” Not really. She totally meant to do that.
“Third’s a little
sticky.” She held back a smile as she hooked a right onto
Dmitri raked his hands through his short, dark hair. He
was a few
weeks past the time for a cut, and the ends curled around
the nape of
his neck. “Why are you here, Gwen?” Her name sounded like
Good question. Her current base of operations was on the
of the country, along the American side of the border
Samuel had been vague on the details when he contacted
her late last
night with orders to fly to Orlando for a special
hated the idea of working with Dmitri, but knew better
than to refuse
an order. After all, the Big Kahuna wasn’t known for his
demeanor. The quicker they got the job finished, the
could return to their normal routines and forget the
“Samuel sent me,” she replied with a shrug, knowing he’d
the way the boss operated.
He nodded, his expression grim. “And why did you steal my
“Because I could.” And because she knew it would piss him
off. It was
the way things had always worked between them. They’d
humanity and become reapers together, and had been at
throats ever since. Two Cold War relics, passing through
age. “You really need to install a better anti-theft
with a screwdriver can hot-wire this thing in less than
She’d done it in three.
She could have sworn he growled.
An uneasy silence fell between them. She darted a quick
glance in his
direction and saw the unwashed hostility darkening the
blues of his
eyes. The muscles along his jaw clenched and unclenched,
his full lips
pressed into a thin white line.
The light ahead switched from green to yellow. After
cops, she punched the gas to make it through the
the yellow turned to red. “You know, I’m not happy about
The sooner we do whatever Samuel wants, the sooner we can
With a huff of annoyance, Dmitri rolled down the
passenger side window
and propped his arm on the sill. “Doesn’t mean I have to
For once, they were in perfect agreement.
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