I have been a fan of the Grave series from the very
book, and Lori Sjoberg has never failed to impress me.
GRAVE ATTRACTION lives up to my exceedingly high
Adam Javorski, a cop when he was alive, is
now a reaper: he guides the souls of those who die an
unnatural death to the afterlife. The rules for the
reapers are very strict: one must never alter the course
of destiny. However when Adam gets an assignment to
gather a soul where a murder had taken place, there is
another person on the premises whose life is threatened,
and the former cop's instincts takes over: Adam disobeys
and gives the captive the means to escape and save her
own life; Adam prevents Marlena Walther's eventual
murder. Adam subtly notifies her daughter Cassie, then he
checks up on Marlena, who was in rather bad shape; he
also noticed that Marlena is not human, she is a shifter.
After becoming acquainted, they decide to look for the
bad guy together; they like each other, but there is
much, much more than meets the eye...
With each book, Ms. Sjoberg expands on the Graves
never more so as in this instalment.
Cassie, who now passes as Marlena's grandmother—and
this is quite the story—is a very important secondary
character, and a most interesting one. Dmitri, whom we
know from previous books, has a very important role to
play, as does Samuel, Adam's boss, the right hand of
Fate. Samuel finds himself in a funny, if troublesome
predicament, which will have long-time fans in hysterics,
as some subtleties might not be evident to newcomers to
the series. Both Adam and Marlena are engaging
characters, both are strong, reasonable people, and very
well matched. Cassie is simply delightful, Samuel does
not behave as expected, and Dmitri—who is a personal
favourite of mine—nearly steals the show.
Ms. Sjoberg's prose is very eloquent, modern yet elegant,
the pacing is perfect: it slows down a tad to give us a
breather between the insanely intense action sequences.
The romance is unusual, enthralling, and I loved how it
developed. GRAVE ATTRACTION is an extremely complex story
with many layers and ramifications; there are several
stunning and completely unforeseen plot twists that had
me racing towards the explosive conclusion. GRAVE
ATTRACTION is a terrifically exciting read that should
not be missed by paranormal romance fans!
He’s a reaper who works by the book. But a sexy shifter
him changing the course of fate just to be with her—if a
doesn’t get to her first...
After four years as a reaper, helping souls cross into
is a job Adam Javorski has finally gotten used to. But
arrives at the site of a serial killer’s latest victim,
living—not to mention gorgeous—hostage is the last thing
The young woman captivates him in a way no one ever has—
so much so,
he breaks rule number one by helping her escape…
Marlena Walther doesn’t remember the man who rescued her.
she sees Adam again, she recognizes him instantly as her
While the two work together to track down a killer
finish what he started, their undeniable attraction draws
closer. Now Adam is the only one who can protect Marlena
vengeful murderer—if he’s willing to sacrifice everything
It was a wonder none of the neighbors had noticed that
something wasn’t right with the house. Storm shutters
covered every single window, with locks keeping them
bolted in place. It might be considered normal during
hurricane season, but year-round? Definitely weird. The
pulse of pending mortality emanated from the building,
weak but growing stronger by the minute. Soon, death
would claim another victim, leaving Adam to clean up the
As a reaper, that was his calling. Day in and day out, he
claimed the souls of the recently departed and guided
them to the next stage in their journey. Often, that
meant a better place. Other times … not so much.
He’d been on the job for almost four years, after losing
his own humanity in the south side of Chicago on a warm
October night. Back then he’d been a cop, and a damn good
one. But that hadn’t stopped him from royally f**king up
and damning his soul in the process.
Shaking his head, he forced the painful memories from his
thoughts and focused on the house across the street.
Inside, the call of death intensified, gathering steam
until it buzzed through his blood like a chain saw. He
gritted his teeth when it reached a crescendo, his hands
clenched against the steering wheel. He hated this part—
not doing anything when you knew someone was about to
die. It went against all of his instincts. But Fate had
strict rules concerning interference, and he knew better
than to challenge her authority.
Less than five minutes later the garage door opened and a
silver four-door sedan backed down the driveway. Seven
little stick figure decals were lined up on the back
window, and Adam couldn’t help but wonder if they
signified actual family members or the number of people
he’d murdered. As for the killer himself, he seemed
deceptively average: white male, average height, average
build, with short graying hair and brown eyes. No visible
scars, tattoos, piercings, or other distinguishing
features. His mediocrity served as camouflage to conceal
a predator lurking in plain sight.
As soon as the car drove out of the subdivision, Adam
popped the lock to his door. “Call me if he comes back
early,” he told Martin as he stepped out of the truck.
From past experience and Dmitri’s notes, he knew the guy
would only be gone for about ten minutes. Just long
enough for the sick f**k to buy a half gallon of ice
cream from the nearby grocery store.
Under cover of darkness, Adam crossed the street and
approached the wood-frame house. He ignored the sign that
warned of an alarm, since it merely served as a
deterrent. No serial killer worth his salt would run the
risk of the alarm sounding off and triggering a visit by
local law enforcement. Retrieving the set of picks from
his back pocket, he worked on the locks on the front
door. The bottom one opened with little effort, but the
dead bolt gave him a minute of trouble before the
tumblers clicked into place. He took a deep breath,
mentally bracing himself for the horrors that waited
inside. The stench of fresh death and lingering decay
assaulted his nostrils the instant he crept into the
foyer. As a cop, he’d never gotten used to the smell, and
he doubted he ever would as a reaper. With the lights
out, he couldn’t see a damn thing, but he waited to flip
the switch until after the door clicked shut.
The small foyer led into a large living room with a brick
fireplace. There wasn’t a single piece of furniture in
sight, and the vaulted ceilings and shuttered windows
gave the place a cavernous feel. Blue plastic tarps
covered the hardwood floor, probably to protect it from
stains. Or perhaps they were there to make it easier for
the killer to remove the body.
The victim was a male this time, barely out of his teens.
The poor kid had been chained by his wrists to the wall a
few feet away from the fireplace. He was clad in only a
pair of ratty black jeans, with a silver collar fastened
around his neck. The blade of a dagger was buried in a
chest so mutilated it was almost unrecognizable. His pale
green eyes stared into oblivion, his mouth opened in a
silent scream. The soul had already broken free from the
corpse, hovering close but not quite touching. Confused
and despondent, he retained his human form, unaware that
he no longer needed to conform to his prior physical
Pushing back against a rush of anger, Adam stepped closer
to the body. The cop in him demanded immediate justice,
but that was no longer part of his job description. He
narrowed his focus, reaching out with his mind until he
locked onto the kid’s essence. He sensed no taint of evil
on the soul as he slowly drew it toward him. To calm the
spirit he sent out wordless reassurances, promising
safety, closure, and the end to physical pain.
Pacified, the soul offered no resistance, merging with
Adam’s body in a wash of benevolent warmth. The kid’s
essence carried a unique quality that Adam couldn’t quite
define. Demon, mage? Honestly, he couldn’t say for sure.
His experience with non-humans was limited. As the kid’s
spirit distilled to its purest form, it became aware of
the death of its body, and confusion gave way to panic.
“You’ve got to get out of here before he gets back!
Please! Go, and warn the others. If he finds them, he’ll
kill them all—oh wait! You need to free the girl first.
She doesn’t deserve what he plans to do to her. Please
say yes, I’ll do anything you want, please, please,
Adam squeezed his eyes shut while he contained the soul,
blocking out the unwanted flood of emotions for the sake
of his own sanity. During his time on the force, he’d
grown desensitized to crime scenes, but all that training
flew right out the window when the dead insisted on
talking. For him, it was one of the toughest parts about
being a reaper, so much that it came close to breaking
him during his first year on the job.
Finished, he turned away from the body, eager for a
breath of fresh air. And a beer. He was halfway to the
front door when a female’s voice shouted out from the
rear of the house.