Grave Attraction by Lori Sjoberg
Series: Grave #4
Published by Kensington on January 5th 2016
Genres: Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes
Reviewed by: Kim
He’s a reaper who works by the book. But a sexy shifter will have him changing the course of fate just to be with her—if a killer doesn’t get to her first...After four years as a reaper, helping souls cross into the afterlife is a job Adam Javorski has finally gotten used to. But when he arrives at the site of a serial killer’s latest victim, finding a living—not to mention gorgeous—hostage is the last thing he expects. 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. But when she sees Adam again, she recognizes him instantly as her soul mate. While the two work together to track down a killer determined to finish what he started, their undeniable attraction draws them even closer. Now Adam is the only one who can protect Marlena from a vengeful murderer—if he’s willing to sacrifice everything for her.
GRAVE ATTRACTION pulls you in with excellent characters, new and exciting mythology and a great dramatic finale. It managed to blend perfectly all the aspects I've come to expect from a book partway through a paranormal romance series, without being overly repetitive or confusing.
Adam and Marlena are both deep characters, with dark back stories, but they are not depressing and morose. Adam is a relatively new reaper, who collects the souls of people who die in accidents and violent situations. He is still uncomfortable with the job, and it was interesting to see his take on collecting the souls. Marlena is a century old shifter, who went through the witch trials and survived world wars. She never found love after her human lover was burned alongside her, but as soon as she sees Adam, she knows there is something special about him, something she recognizes.
The mate bond, which is so often used in werewolf romances, is actually refreshing and useful in this book, which was just another way the author managed to use paranormal romance tropes in new and interesting ways. I also enjoyed how many different races were included in this book - reapers, demons, shifters, witches and more - without it becoming too confusing.
One of the most interesting relationships in the book is between Marlena and her adopted witch daughter Cassie, who is now old enough to pass as her mother's grandmother. Marlena doesn't really age, so she has had to watch her daughter get older and frailer than her. When a terrible accident happens to Cassie, Marlena reacts just like any mother would, even though Cassie is an old woman now. It was wonderfully weird and touching in equal parts.
There are quite a few plot lines in this novel, and at one point I was afraid one would be forgotten or just abandoned, but it really came together by the end. The overarching plot, where Adam's boss is stripped of his reaper's powers by an unknown force wasn't fully resolved, but still closed to a satisfying end.
One of the characters had God-like powers by the end, and for a moment I thought it would just sew up all the loose ends, but it was used sparingly and intelligently.
This whole novel was intelligently done, and I am definitely going to pick up the next GRAVE novel to find out what happens to Samuel, Adam's boss who lost all his powers and was forced to be human, eat regular food and *gasp* shop at WalMart!Series Titles: