Lori Foster brings a whole new style to her writing with her newest series. Servant: The Acceptance is the second book in her series about a paladin. A paladin is a warrior for God who must fulfill the missions that God sends her on.
In this series, the paladin is Gabrielle Cody. When God summons her to right a wrong or to stop an evil, her entire body is consumed with pain until she answers that summons. Gaby is able to see the evil that lurks inside other people and to stop it permanently. Her quick healing abilities help her to survive. Gaby will do anything to save the people who matter to her. In this book, she is living amongst prostitutes and protecting them from not only the pimps who beat and abuse them, but also from johns who think that no one cares about these destitute women. Gaby’s services are especially needed when a serial killer begins stalking the women that Gaby protects.
Detective Luther Cross can’t get Gaby out of his mind. He is highly suspicious of her secrets and knows that there is more to her than meets the eye. Unfortunately, his attraction to her prevents him from staying away from her and he will do anything to make sure that she doesn’t get hurt. Gaby knows that Luther doesn’t trust her and even though she is also attracted to him, she must stay away from him and prevent him from learning about her true mission in life. Of course, the fact that Luther dulls the pain of her summonings and clouds her judgment is also an incentive to stay away from him.
Lori Foster has created a darker and grittier romance in this newest endeavor. Her Servant books are not for those who only enjoy light hearted romps of passion. In the Servant series, Ms. Foster explores the nature of evil and those who must fight against it. She discusses the many guises that evil takes and the difficulty we as humans have in seeing past the façade of normality that evil presents to the world. We need people like Gaby who can see beyond the masks to the true evil and can fight our battles for us.
Although this book is a harsher look at humanity, Ms. Foster’s sense of character development and story line presentation remain intact. Her characters are well thought-out and presented in a comprehensive way. Even though I have not read the first book in the series, I had no difficulty in following the background of Gaby and her relationship with Luther and her friends. Ms. Foster provides enough information for us to understand who and what Gaby is without summarizing the entire first book. She effortlessly blends the back-story into the narrative of this tale. We can see the further development of Gaby into a more holistic person with many facets to her personality. We sense the growth that she has made in this book as she includes more people in her inner circle. I anticipate that this growth will continue throughout the series.