Grave Intentions

( 17 )


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. ...
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Grave Intentions

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601832009
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/3/2013
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Read an Excerpt

GRAVE intentions

By Lori Sjoberg


Copyright © 2013 Lori Sjoberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-6018-3006-7

Chapter One

Death never took a holiday.

No, Death was the consummate workaholic, more steadfast and diligent than the U.S. Postal Service. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stayed the agents of Death from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Always the professional, Death never discriminated, taking young and old, weak and strong, healthy and infirm. It couldn't be bought, or bullied, or reasoned with. Death had a mission and come Hell or high water, it would be accomplished.

For David Anderson, today was an easy day. As one of Death's more seasoned agents, he'd been given the task of training the newest inductee in the tools of the trade. And with only two terminations on the day's docket, it wouldn't take too long to drink the memories away.

He looked down, checking his watch. Shit. Time to move. He gulped the last of his soda then crumpled the can and tossed it in the trashcan near the curb.

"Let's roll," he told Adam Javorski, his latest trainee. He gave a slight nod to the left before sliding on a pair of dark tinted sunglasses. "We're due for our appointment."

"Appointment?" Adam asked, looking confused. Then the light bulb went off in his head. "Oh. Yeah, right. Appointment." David's gaze slanted over to his apprentice. The kid looked bright enough. Tall and rangy, with sharp brown eyes and distinctive Eastern European features, he had the look of a man always on the watch for trouble. Which made sense. He'd been a cop in his mortal life, fiercely dedicated to protecting and serving. Well, up until his last assignment, which is what led to his current situation.

"So when's this going down?" Adam asked with a youthful exuberance, and David let out a mental groan.

Newbies. He couldn't remember a time when he'd ever been that green. Stopping at the bustling intersection, he closed his eyes and focused inward, tuning out the sounds of early rush hour in downtown Orlando. "Not for another seven or eight minutes," he said, homing in on the low-grade buzz pulsing through his veins. The vibration was barely distinguishable, but nevertheless, it was there.

"How do you know?"

"I can feel it." When the light changed, they crossed over to Washington. The last thing David wanted was to be late so he picked up the pace, moving around a homeless man camped out on the sidewalk, a foul odor radiating from the overflowing shopping cart holding all of his worldly possessions.

Adam glanced over at him, a bewildered expression on his face. "You can feel death?"

"Of course." Then he remembered mortals couldn't feel death, couldn't scent mortality like a bloodhound. He cursed under his breath. It had been so damn long since he'd drawn mortal breath he was beginning to forget the little things. Or was it more of a choice? He suspected it was the latter.

"How?" Adam asked, intrigued. "What does it feel like?"

The pair cut through the park, paying no attention to the cluster of small children squealing with glee as they tossed chunks of bread to a trio of greedy mallards. They were close now; David could feel it. The buzzing had intensified, growing stronger and more insistent as it rumbled inexorably toward its macabre crescendo.

Deciding they had enough time for a quick lesson, David came to an abrupt halt at the edge of the park and Adam quickly followed suit. "Close your eyes," he ordered his trainee.


Patience was never one of David's strong points. He gritted his teeth and counted to ten. "Just close your eyes, dammit, I'm trying to teach you something."

Adam shot him a guarded look but complied without further question or comment.

"Now quiet your mind. Ignore everything but the sound of my voice."

After a few moments, Adam said, "Okay."

"Do you notice a low hum in the background?"

"I thought you said to ignore everything but the sound of your voice."

David let out a low growl before clamping down on his temper. "I did," he said, jaw clenched. "But now I'm telling you to listen for the hum. Can you hear it or feel it?"

Adam stayed silent for what seemed like forever. Then his expression shifted to one of near wonder. "I feel it! It's kind of like a low electrical current, right?"

For the first time in days, David smiled. The kid might not be a lost cause after all. "Yes. Very good. That's what you need to focus on. The stronger the sensation, the closer you are to the point of death."

He paused to scan the area, making sure no one noticed. Of course, he had nothing to worry about. People were such creatures of habit, scurrying about their daily lives, oblivious to the forces working around them. Tourists snapped pictures in front of the fountain while locals hurried along the sidewalk, eager to reach their destinations. A bus eased up to the curb and opened its doors, letting passengers off while others waited to board.

Adam opened his eyes. "How's this going down?" he asked, his eyes scouring the scenery, searching for any traces of imminent doom.

"I have no idea," David replied, leaning back against a weathered oak. He watched the bus pull away from the curb, spewing out a cloud of noxious exhaust as it merged into traffic. Out of habit, he checked the time again. Less than a minute.

"What do you mean, you don't know?" Adam's brows crinkled. "I thought you knew what was going to happen."

David shook his head and felt a trickle of sweat run past his temple. So much for fall in Florida. Late October, and the temperatures were still cranked above ninety. "Nope. The docket only gives a place and approximate time." He watched while Adam's face scrunched up in obvious confusion. He vaguely remembered giving his handler the same expression when he was new, so he decided to fill in the blanks. "Look, if you really want to know the exact details ahead of time, you can request it. But from my experience, you're better off knowing as little as possible."

As far as he was concerned, the less he knew, the less he had to purge from his mind afterward. Just how many times had he stared into the face of death? To be honest, he'd lost count. Maybe that was for the best, too. In his six decades of harvesting souls, he'd witnessed every act of savagery known to man. First, he'd been shocked. Then revolted. Eventually, he'd gone numb. Now he viewed the world through the jaded eyes of an ambivalent spectator, always watching from a comfortable distance.

The sound of tires screeching jerked him from his thoughts. Like countless times before, familiar events unfolded. Horns blared, tires screeched, and metal crunched against metal in a twisted symphony. Somewhere in the distance, a woman screamed. And then everything grew quiet, leaving only the smell of burnt rubber and the faint whimper of the dying.

Time to get to work.

The accident had blocked traffic in all directions, creating a rush-hour nightmare that would take hours to unravel. David wove a path between the idling vehicles, leaving Adam no choice but to follow in his wake. The stench of gasoline grew stronger as they got closer, until they reached the intersection and the scene came into view.

It was a wonder she was still alive. The young woman's broken body lay pinned inside the wreckage, the steering wheel crushing her chest like a vise. Her ribs were shattered, puncturing her lungs, making each desperate gasp increasingly painful.

Her passenger got the better end of the bargain. He died on impact; his mangled remains barely recognizable among the tangled heap of metal. Already, his soul was separating from his body, confused and chaotic in its search for some semblance of order.

David rounded what was left of the front end and sank down beside the passenger side door. "Take the driver," he ordered Adam before turning his attention back to the passenger.

"How?" Adam asked. He kneeled down by the driver's side window, taking in the sight of a life soon to expire.

"Just do it like I told you!" David barked, too occupied to hold his trainee's hand. Already, a crowd was forming, human vultures eager to witness carnage, so long as it wasn't their own. Sirens wailed in the distance as emergency vehicles rushed to the scene. They needed to finish the job and get the hell out of Dodge before the cavalry arrived or anyone got suspicious.

David opened himself up and the soul swept into his body, drawn in by the unspoken promise of warmth and answers. He could feel its essence now, could feel the swirling tempest of love, hate, unfulfilled hopes and dreams, and regrets. When the soul realized its body was gone, there was a sharp spike of bitterness, disappointment, and undiluted despair, and David thought, right there with you, pal.

"David?" Adam called out from the opposite side of the car. "A little help over here?"

It took him a few seconds to respond while he waited for the soul to settle down and make itself at home.

"Yeah?" David finally said once he regained his composure.

"Could you come over here, please?" Moving around the back of the wreck, he crouched down beside Adam. His eyes tracked briefly to the dying driver, her breaths coming closer, her life force bleeding out. A trickle of blood seeped from the corner of her mouth, but she didn't seem to notice or care. "What is it?"

"She's not dead, yet," Adam whispered. "I think I can save her."

David studied the driver for a fleeting moment, assessing her condition. Already, he could smell the sharp tang of Death, waiting to swoop down to claim its prize. "No, you can't," he said with a shake of his head. "She's not going to make it."

"How do you know that for sure?" Adam asked, his tone ripe with accusation. He tugged on the handle, but the door wouldn't budge. "She's still alive. If I can figure out a way to get her out of the car, maybe I can—"

"No, you can't," David interrupted, his patience exhausted. He grabbed Adam by the shirt collar and dragged him away from the window. "I know you mean well, kid, but let's get something straight. You are an agent of Death, not the angel of mercy." He gave his apprentice a good shake. "Stop acting like a Boy Scout and do your damn job. If you need to comfort her until she takes her last breath, that's your choice, not mine. Do whatever the Hell you have to. But do not forget why you're here." He nodded toward the woman. "She will die, no matter what you try to do. Get over it."

He let Adam go and shifted closer to the window. "Take it easy, ma'am," he said calmly, digging deep for a slice of compassion but coming up with crumbs instead. "Adam's going to take real good care of you."

The woman's gaze drifted up, distant and unfocused. Her mouth cracked open but no noise came out. Then a strangled moan escaped her lips and her eyes went blank.

David grabbed Adam's arm and dragged him over to the door. "Time to pop your cherry, boy."

Sarah Griffith took a deep breath, straightened her spine, and then strode through the double doors of the Auburn Green Retirement Community. She ignored the pungent scent of disinfectant as she crossed the modest lobby and approached the reception desk.

The middle-aged woman manning the desk was speaking on the phone, her tone calm and reassuring. "Yes, Mrs. Duncan," she said while she scanned the chart on the counter. "Dr. Jamarcus is visiting with a resident at the moment. If you like, I can have him give you a call once he's available." She glanced up over the rims of her glasses and silently mouthed, "I'll be right with you," before ressuming her telephone conversation. "Uh-huh. Yes, ma'am, of course. You're very welcome. Have a blessed day."

"Good afternoon, Ms. Griffith. Dr. Patel is expecting you," the woman said once she hung up. She leaned forward and pointed to the left. "He's in his office. Down the hall, third door to the left."

"Thank you." With a cordial nod, Sarah hurried down the narrow hallway, a sense of foreboding creeping up her spine. Dr. Patel was a busy man. He never requested a meeting unless her grandmother was causing trouble. Again.

What was Grandma Pearl up to this time? Tarot card party gone awry? Séance to contact John Wayne? Coup attempt? When it came to Grandma Pearl, the possibilities were endless. What had once been a harmless eccentricity had turned into full-blown psychosis.

Like mother, like daughter. Hopefully, not like granddaughter. The possibility haunted her thoughts on a daily basis.

"I appreciate you coming on such short notice, Ms. Griffith," Dr. Patel said when he spotted Sarah standing in the doorway. With his usual genial demeanor, he motioned to the chair on the opposite side of his desk. "Please, have a seat."

"Thank you," Sarah replied with a practiced smile, trying her best to conceal the underlying apprehension. This was the second retirement home for her grandmother in less than three years. With her schedule, the last thing she needed was the added task of hunting down another facility willing and capable of taking on a seventy-six-year-old woman suffering from the advanced stages of dementia. "I'm sorry I couldn't make it any sooner, but I was in the lab all morning and didn't get your message until just a short time ago."

"Perfectly understandable." Dr. Patel adjusted his glasses while he scanned over his notes. "I know you're a very busy woman, so I'll try to be as brief as possible. There has been another incident with your grandmother." His voice contained a note of compassion that probably went a long way toward soothing belligerent patients and grieving relatives. "She's currently under mild sedation and is resting in her room. In the morning, if she is lucid, I'll re-evaluate her condition."

Foreboding turned to dread as Sarah wondered what her grandmother had been up to this time. "What happened?"

Dr. Patel glanced back down at his notes. "Pearl became disruptive shortly after lunch was served. She insisted that Dolores, another one of our residents, was going to die tomorrow and that she should put her affairs in order." His focus shifted up, meeting Sarah's gaze. "You can imagine how Dolores took the news of her untimely demise."

"Oh, God." Sarah leaned back in her chair and rubbed a hand across the back of her neck. "I'm so sorry."

"It seems your grandmother has quite the preoccupation with death. Although I must admit, it's somewhat common among people her age."

"It's not a preoccupation with death. My grandmother considers herself psychic." Boy, was that an understatement. Her mind flashed back to the "Palm Readings by Madam Pearl—$5" sign, blazing bright neon in the front window of her childhood home on Bay Street. Her friends would snicker behind her back while her dates played along with Grandma, hoping a little bit of understanding would yield something more rewarding later in the evening, in the backseat of their daddies' cars.

Thank God they never heard about her mother. She never would have lived it down.

"Yes, so we noticed," Dr. Patel replied, his Indian accent taking on a lyrical quality. He clicked the top of his pen a few times before setting it down on top of his desk calendar. "I'm afraid your grandmother's outbursts are becoming more frequent and pronounced. If her behavior continues along this line, I'm concerned she may become violent."

Sarah's nerves jacked up to critical. Please don't boot her out, please don't boot her out, she mentally chanted like a prayer. While she loved Pearl with all her heart, she didn't have the resources to care for her grandmother on her own. An in-home nurse was way beyond her budget. With her demanding schedule at the lab, she wasn't home enough to keep watch over her, and the thought of Pearl wandering off on her own gave Sarah the shivers. "Is there anything you can do?"

Dr. Patel picked up his pen again, clicking it a few more times before setting it back down. "For the short term, I'd like to increase the dosage of her medication. With your permission, of course."

"What would it do to her?" Sarah asked, the memory of her mother in an anti-psychotic stupor still fresh in her mind. The last thing she wanted was a repeat performance by her grandmother. "I don't want her drugged senseless."

"She won't be," Patel said with a shake of his head. "I firmly believe in quality versus quantity of life, Ms. Griffith. The increased dosage would only serve to calm her down and make her less prone to episodes like the one we witnessed earlier today."

Sarah fell quiet for a moment, weighing her options. In the past six months, she'd come to respect Dr. Patel and valued his opinions. While he had the business acumen of a seasoned administrator, he was also a doctor, one deeply committed to the care of his patients. Which meant he didn't strike her as the type to unnecessarily dope up little old ladies. Still, she bristled at the notion of drugging her grandmother into submission. While Pearl had her quirks, she was a warm, loving woman who deserved to live out the remainder of her life with some semblance of dignity.

"Can I speak to her, please?" she asked. "Perhaps, if I talk to her, I can convince her to tone down the Miss Cleo routine."

"And if that doesn't work?" Patel asked, his expression doubtful.

"If it doesn't work, I'll authorize the medication." She flashed Patel a hopeful smile. "When can I see her?"


Excerpted from GRAVE intentions by Lori Sjoberg Copyright © 2013 by Lori Sjoberg. Excerpted by permission of eKENSINGTON BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I almost never like the main characters. They're usually so naiv

    I almost never like the main characters. They're usually so naive and helpless, never having much of a story to tell unless someone else is willing to tell it for them. To me, the minor characters are the ones to watch. Their history is rich with imagination, and they can afford to be kind and selfless where the main characters cannot. They have the greatest personalities because they're not the ones trying to stay in the proverbial spotlight. They don't need to.

    Grave Intentions really surprised me by refusing to fall for this trap. Yeah, I still liked the minor characters (I mean, really, who could resist Pearl and Adam?) because they still kept all of their unique depth and stories to tell on their own, but they weren't the only ones. David really surprised me by being pretty freakin' awesome.

    Sure, I may tolerate the main character, but I don't usually like him, and he is certainly never my favorite. David is the exception. He had more history and depth and reason to him than most characters in any book could ever dream of having. He was certainly not perfect, but what else could you expect from that line of work? Being a reaper means being detached or losing your humanity to the countless deaths that surround you, like his boss did. Every time I saw David truly feel the pain from the souls he took, I couldn't bear to see him so saddened, but I was also happy in an offhanded sort of way. When countless lives lost starts meaning nothing to you, that's when you become less alive than the bodies you leave behind. And that is unacceptable.

    David may have come close a few times. He wasn't there yet, but in a few decades, if his time refused to run out, he may have reached his breaking point. David was probably more human in the beginning that most of the other reapers out there on their first day. Listening to his story of how he was damned to this nearly eternal torture broke my heart, and that's when I decided that no matter what, he deserved the happiness that was taken away from him too quickly.

    I was very pleased with the ending of this novel, even if it did seem a little predictable when it started coming to a close. I don't really think that there could have been a better option for the author to choose, but because it seemed like the only reasonable choice, it may have lost a bit of it's affect. Perhaps if more angles had been looked at before, I wouldn't have expected it as much, but honestly, it wasn't that big of a deal. In the entire novel, that was the only minor complaint I had, and if you ask me, that's not too shabby.


    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I received a e-arc book from netgalley in exchange for my honest

    I received a e-arc book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. You wouldn't think that a book about grim reapers would be sexy but this totally was! This book has a lot going for it at least for me. You can't help but fall in love with the grim reapers and I say reapers because there isn't just one there are many all over the world. Each has their own back story that I am looking forward to reading about in the future. Can't wait to find out more!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2013

    3.5 Stars Grave Intentions is adorably predictable. It follows

    3.5 Stars

    Grave Intentions is adorably predictable. It follows the traditional paranormal romance story arc where boy meets girl, they have insta-lust, they learn things about one another that shouldn't be possible, they hook up, something tears them apart, they live (?) happily for now.

    David is emotionally closed off. But unlike most heroes, I actually understand why, and don't think he is being stupid, or immature, or any of the other things I usually think about emotionally stunted men. He is a reaper - and in this world reapers are only needed when the cause of death is not natural ... I'll let that sink in for a minute.

    Yeah. Those deaths. Uh huh. I don't think any of us could deal with that and not have issues. David deals by being emotionally closed off - from everything. Good and bad. So when his neighbor, Sarah, starts breaking down his barriers, he has good reason to fight it.

    Sarah is a scientist and needs proof of everything. I get that, I am the same way. Also I grew up in Missouri - it's the "Show Me" state. So show me. David certainly shows Sarah, but not right away. Of course.

    I never really connected with David and Sarah, but I don't really know why. The story was fine, the progression was predictable but interesting, and the characters were certainly unique. If I want an easy read, I will keep this series in mind, but I won't be waiting with bated breath for the next book.

    If you are looking for something that is easy to read, and that you can pretty much see what is coming from a mile away, this is the book for you. Yes it deals with death and all the nasty issues that come with it, but those aspects of the story are not overpowering.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved the story and Lori Sjoberg is an author to watch.. Her

    I loved the story and Lori Sjoberg is an author to watch.. Her style is confident and consistent, the plot is tightly written and the pacing brisk. The characters are so fleshed out and realistic I feel like I know them. David is my favorite kind of hero. He's strong, conflicted, stoic and brooding.
    David and Sarah truly get to know each other and fall in love, but David refuses to act on this, terrified that if he lets his love for Sarah flow, then all the other emotions he has locked away for the last half century will come flooding back. And keeping his emotions locked away is the only thing that has kept him sane while reaping thousands of souls after their unnatural, often horrific deaths.

    Eventually David decides that after 60 years he is willing to take a chance on love. I really liked the fact that David and Sarah had a relationship first, and their love grew from a delicious combination of chemistry, respect, humor and friendship. It was realistic and sexy as hell.

    As other reviewers have mentioned, the secondary characters in this story are so interesting, they come right off the page begging for their own book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2013

    Grim reapers fascinate me so I had to jump in on this tour, espe

    Grim reapers fascinate me so I had to jump in on this tour, especially since the awesome publisher is now on NetGalley. And I was majorly serious when I said the cover was hot! LOL I had fun reading this one because it’s not all grim and death. I actually thought a lot was funny and it’s quite a good romance for you romantic types.

    For the main characters, I enjoyed their story of how their romance builds. I like Sarah, as she somewhat reminds me a little if myself. And David, being the reaper, doesn’t have such an easy ride either. Both going though their own separate issues end up finding each other. I if course love the secondary characters. Adam is my favorite and Grandma Pearl is a trip! They make the story so much more by being part of it!

    The writing is easy and flows and make for a fun read. And because it’s got a lighter feel, more than serious or dark, it made it a breeze to read through. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if there was just a little more background building for the characters and how the world of grim reaping works, but I don’t think it’s lacking made the story less enjoyable. I’m definitely hoping it will build more as the story continues!

    I’m also intrigued to find out that this series isn’t going to based on just a few characters but following several different reapers each with their story to tell!! I’m definitely looking forward to book two! If you like a romance, with a little
    Comedy and some paranormal, I think you’ll really get a kick out of this one! 4 REAPER FUN PAWS from me! Now I’ll just have to wait for the next one!  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I like reaper stories and I enjoyed this one. Grave Intentions p

    I like reaper stories and I enjoyed this one. Grave Intentions provided a fresh spin on how reapers move among us and I'm always tickled to find a new spin on a supernatural being. :) I thought Ms. Sjoberg did a great job on creating something unique in that respect.

    Sarah is a scientist and although she grew up around events that couldn't be explained - like being raised by a grandma who could talk to spirits - she shies away from anything that can't be scientifically or logically proven. But as her friend said, 

    "You know, one of these days you're going to come face to face with something you can't explain through the scientific method."

    Sarah had no idea how prophetic that statement would turn out to be.

    David is a reaper. It's taken him some time but he's figured out the formula for best enduring his current incarnation. That is too keep all emotions locked down tight. That's a tall order when your job is assisting souls who've experienced untimely deaths to the afterlife .

    Fate has a strange sense of humor, it would seem, when she weaves these two souls together. Can Sarah let go of her need for scientific proof? Can David tear down the wall behind which his emotions are concealed?

    I found the cast of supporting characters entertaining. Samuel, David's boss was a joy in his snobbery. David's fellow reapers Ruby, Adam, and Dmitri also offered their own charms and I look forward to getting to know them even better in future books in this series.

    As I said, I really enjoyed this book. At times, I did feel it was a bit predictable. However, Ms. Sjoberg was still able to wring emotion from me. At one point, I knew what was coming and still I cried! And the ending...even though I thought I knew how things would end, Ms. Sjoberg didn't take the exact path I envisioned (guess my psychic skills are lacking! :) Overall, this was a pleasant read and I will check out the next in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    A fun read with a great assortment of characters! I highly reco

    A fun read with a great assortment of characters! I highly recommend Grave Intentions. Reapers have never been so sexy and enticing. Not only will you love the main characters, but you'll be begging for more from the others.

    I thought David and Sarah were perfectly wonderful, and I hope the author has plans for Adam and Dimitri (among others) because I definitely want more of them. A unique series. I'd say Lori Sjoberg is off to a great start!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Memorably Colorful Characters With a Heartwrenching Ending to the Story

    Those who've watched Dead Like Me on TV will find this storyline easy to understand. David, and his group of friends, are Reapers who collect the souls of those about to die. He's been doing it for so long that he's become numb inside to the pain and horror he sees every day. The day he meets his next door neighbor, who has a unique ability of her own, is the day he finally starts feeling alive. With her ability to see ghosts, Sarah finds David's job fascinating and is fully accepting and soothes his battered heart like nothing else before. Their connection starts out as friends and morphs into a sexy and emotionally-charged relationship that almost ends before it starts when David's forced to make a decision he never thought he'd have to in an ending that is heart wrenching.

    David is gruff at the start, full of pain he keeps hidden but is still charming in his own way. I ached for everything he's gone through in his life and afterlife. He was sweet and caring in Sarah's presence. Sarah was a tough cookie with a scientific mind that made her quick acceptance of David's job believable. They were a truly sweet and cute couple that brought a smile to my face which is why the story became such a tearjerker towards the end.

    Along with enjoyable main characters come a colorful and entertaining cast of secondary characters with unique personalities. Adam is young and sweetly charming, Dmitri a badass who hides his compassion, and Ruby is a tough chick with a heart of gold. I look forward to their stories being told and applaud this exciting and emotionally draining start to an entertaining new paranormal series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Sjoberg introduces us to souls who have been enlisted to serve a

    Sjoberg introduces us to souls who have been enlisted to serve as Reapers. I loved the world building and the fleshed out characters.  It looks like each book will deal with a reaper and his romance. I quickly consumed this as I laughed, giggled and swooned.

    We meet David Anderson he has been a reaper since he died during the war. His job is to help souls who die from tragedy cross over. His boss is fate, and because of some fluke in the universe; souls that meet a tragic end need guidance to cross over and do so though a reaper. It is a hard job, arriving just before death and being helpless to stop it. In order to handle the emotional toll of the job, David cuts all of his emotions off. That is until his path crosses with his neighbor Sarah Griffin. She is different than most humans and he is astounding when he cannot plant suggestions in her mind. The tale that unfolds kept me enthralled as I waited to see what fate had in store for this couple.

    David is smexy, built like a solider with the sexiest grey eyes you have ever seen. *swoons* He does not regret the act(s) that caused him to become a reaper but after sixty years he is starting to lose some of his humanity. He is training a newbie named Adam. Who is cute, loves dog and was a police officer before he died. I cannot wait for his story. Sarah is interesting, and her family history and paranormal abilities were fascinating. I loved the slow building relationship between her and David. It felt genuine and oh so hot!! Other reapers and David’s superior Samuel added to the tale causing problems. All of the characters had unique voices.

    I really enjoyed Sjoberg’s take on reapers and cannot wait for the next book. David’s story was fascinating and his anguish felt real. I loved Fate and her interference. The story flowed at a wonderful pace and the climatic last few chapters completely removed me from reality. When I finished I immediately searched out information on the next book. Thankfully, there is a sneak peak in the back of this book, but it only says coming soon and isn’t yet titled..Grrr hope it’s soon!I want to thank Kensington for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my unbiased review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2015



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2014


    I'm not normally a reaper fan, but this was a super cute romance with engaging, realistic characters (even though I think reapers should be cheesey on principle).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014


    I loved the characters. An interesting twist on the Grime Reaper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    Lv it

    Love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013



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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    David is a reaper. Although, he isn't what you would normally t

    David is a reaper. Although, he isn't what you would normally think of when you picture a reaper. When he was alive he made committed some sins but was found redeemable and thus was brought back to earth as a human in order to help souls pass over. With ever soul that he reaps, he is one step closer to paying for his sins. Over the 60 years that he has been reaping, he's pretty much seen it all. Helping souls pass isn't an easy thing and in order to keep his sanity he has managed to lock down all of his emotions. However, when he meets his neighbor, Sara, he realizes that she can help relieve some of the pain from his job.

    I thought that this was an interesting take on reapers. I liked the the whole "redeeming your soul" part of reaping. I must admit that I am not on board with the whole animal testing but I was glad to see that Sara's job didn't come into play too much. Had I needed to read through a "testing" I would have put the book down and called it good.

    I wasn't really surprised by what takes place in this story. It is pretty predictable but I still enjoyed the story. The characters are likable and I found myself interested in their story and what happens next.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    A great start to a series! 3.5 David is a reaper who has shut

    A great start to a series!


    David is a reaper who has shut down emotionally so that he can survive the hardship of his job. He has been at it for 60 years and this is the only way he thinks he can make it through his 'assignments'. That is until he meets Sarah, his next-door neighbor.

    Sarah was raised by her grandmother. She is a scientists and facts, statistics and analytical data are her way of life. Although her grandmother made her life as a physic, she believes that everything can be scientifically explained and that her grandmother is a fraud. David and Sarah meet and their attraction is instant. David insists that they remain friends and so they develop a friendship where they talk, have dinner and watch football. It is through this friendship that they develop a love affair that will be put through the ultimate test.

    This is my first book by Lori Sjoberg and I enjoyed it very much. The writing was filled with emotions, some humor and interesting events. Of course, the romance was very good and the chemistry between David and Sarah was very palpable. I enjoyed David's voice very much. He was a tortured soul with so many emotions held inside that I just wanted to sooth his pain. Especially when he was faced with making the toughest decision of his 'life'. Sarah was very likable too. She was funny and smart and once she determined she wanted something she went after it with all her might. I really like that in a heroine.

    The writing was good even if, for me, the pace dragged a bit in places. The characters were interesting and developed throughout the story which I appreciated since it helped me connect to them more. I also liked the secondary characters that were introduced, especially Adam. I found that he added a lot to the story. The interactions between the characters felt real and the world the author created was very interesting.

    As I understand it, there are more books to come for this series and I am looking forward to reading them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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