2 out of 5 stars
To be honest I had a tough time connecting with the first part of Soul Seducer. I was drawn to the story because the premise sounded like something new and exciting. Dimitri is a reaper, a tortured soul who falls in love with Audra Greyson, a woman who is still alive. Another reaper, Gaylen, has a vendetta against Dimitri for a wrong committed when they were both still alive. He plans to take Audra before her assigned time to die to keep her bound to him forever and out of Dimitri’s reach.
All the necessary elements for a great romance are here, but the execution doesn’t come through well. I found Audra extremely hard to relate to. I felt her reactions to Dimitri were off key. Since she is a nurse by profession, Audra should understand better than most that death is a part of life; we can’t have one without the other. It is Dimitri’s job to escort the souls of those who die to their reward, or punishment. He is not the one to actually kill these people so I couldn’t understand why she wanted to blame him for their loss. Since Audra didn’t come across as all that interesting or likable to me, I needed to understand better why Dimitri loved her. Part of me actually hoped he’d just turn and walk away, let Gaylen take her.
Gaylen, our evil counterpart to Dimitri, is out to claim Audra for himself, not because he loves her, but because he wants to take her from Dimitri and keep her away from him forever. Gaylen was a great character and came across better than the others. If not for my interest in him I might not have finished the story. I felt the author had fun working with Gaylen and it showed in how he came across on the pages.
All through the story I found myself questioning how a person became a reaper in the first place. At first I thought it might be because they had to atone for some past transgression in life, but other characters became reapers after death and didn’t appear to have committed any unsavory deeds. There were more people becoming reapers after death than there were souls being taken to their reward, which made me think eventually there would be more reapers than living people on the planet.
There were a lot of areas where the story strayed away from the main plotline. I found most of them to be a distraction and ended up skimming to get back on track. I would rather have learned more about Dimitri in his life before he became a reaper and less about minor characters not connected to him. I also craved much more from Audra in connection to Dimitri as a lover and less on his job as a reaper.
The novel could have used two or three more passes by an editor to help polish before publishing. I wanted to give it three stars but couldn’t quite justify it because of editing issues. Though the beginning didn’t catch my attention well, I did find the last half to be much better. I wanted to hang around to learn what happened. It wasn’t an altogether unsatisfactory ending, but I would have liked an epilogue to find out where they ended up.