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Mona Lisa Awakening (Monère: Children of the Moon #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  3,744 Ratings  ·  290 Reviews
A smoldering debut novel exploring the passion, hunger, and danger that can break loose in the moonlight.

From the time she was a child, Mona Lisa knew she was different-but she never knew how different until a man of otherworldly beauty appeared during her night shift in the ER. Gryphon is hurting and hunted and he attracts her as no man ever has before. He is a Monère, on
Paperback, 276 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Berkley Trade (first published September 4th 2002)
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Best Paranormal Romance Series
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 20, 2009 Brownbetty rated it it was ok
I grabbed this book from the library because the front said "A terrific debut sure to appeal to fans of Anne Bishop or Laurell K. Hamilton," after which it should be obvious to those who know me why I could not resist it. It delivered on this promise early, when on page 5 we get "My nipples hardened to stone, my inner sheath quivered, and I wanted to go to him." Inner sheath!

But even more to the point, I think, the Anne Bishop comparison is utterly on target. It is as if someone decided that the
Jul 14, 2009 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009-reads
I'm going to be straight and say I DON'T understand how this book is a bestseller, let alone how it managed to be published. Penguin, what were you THINKING?

I've been looking for this book for a good year or so. Amazon was too expensive with the Australian exchange rate, and no bookstores seemed to have it. When I managed to find it on Fishpond (the Australian equivalent of Amazon), I was ecstatic.

Utter waste of time.

Mona Lisa is a slice of white bread. Boring, flat and with absolutely no rea
Christy Stewart
Let me save you some time "I'm a nurse. Look at that patient, he's so hot I creamed my pants. He's all 'I'm not human yada yada, you're a queen' and I'm all 'Ya I know right? Let's do it.'" There, save yourself $7.
OMG, what a difficult book to rate. Let me say that I just loved this book. I would have given 4 stars if it wasn't for that annoying part right in the middle and the author's tendency to let the heroine be rape or almost rape most of the book. I mean seriously, who does that? why would you want your heroine to suffer something like that? But well... (I must clarify that this is not a spoiler because it isn't something that happened once. I don't know why but Mona Lisa gets stuck in those kind o ...more
May 09, 2010 Danika rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it
I would have given this book 3.5 starts if that were an option because while I enjoyed the book, there were a few things that bothered me about it. It was an engaging and engrossing story, I have to admit. Enough so that I read it in one night. It's obvious the author is a fan of LKH, who is one of my favorite authors so I didn't really mind the similarities. What bothered me was that right from the beginning, Lisa doesn't seem at all surprised to learn that she belongs to a race of beings who u ...more
Sammy Loves Books

Loved It!! Loved It!! Loved It!!

Darkly erotic, but wow! I absolutely loved this book. I love finding a paranormal series that is refreshingly different. Mona Lisa is an ER Nurse in Manhattan that feels alone in the world. She meets a creature during one of her shifts that changes her life and helps her to understand why she has been different all of her life. She is not only another species, but a born Queen of that species (kinda like a queen bee) that is meant to rule.


This story was absolute
I ♥ Bookie Nookie (
This was another one of those books that sat on my "to read" shelf forever--I kept putting it off for one reason or another...I think that the description of the book on the cover doesn't do the book justice.

When I read the cover, I was thinking--hmmm, children of the moon--that sounds stupid. Without giving anything away, being one of the "children of the moon" really just means you bask or rejuvenate your body in the moon light when it is a full moon. Sunny does a great job of creating her own
Dec 29, 2011 Joi rated it did not like it
I read in reviews that it was clear that the author was influenced by the Anita Blake series. Having read those I thought to myself that if these are anything like Laurell K. Hamilton's series then they should be good. I was wrong. I read this and the second book in the series. Awakening had a good start it seemed like it had a lot of potential. But the transition she made from being a seemingly normal human being with a special abilities to a domineering "Monere" queen isn't believable. There ...more
Janice (Janicu)
Aug 23, 2008 Janice (Janicu) rated it did not like it
Seems to have a lot of similarities with Laurell Hamilton's Meredith Gentry series and Anne Bishops Black Jewel series. In fact, if you read those books, this feels like fanfiction. The writing is awkward - dialog sort of stilted (moves from casual speech to formal at odd times), characterization very one dimensional, romance unbelievable, and the protagonist is a Mary Sue who everyone falls in love with for no good reason. She has 1 magical ability at the beginning of the book and keeps gaining ...more
Apr 22, 2013 Chibineko rated it it was ok
I think if I had to sum up this book in a word, it'd be "irritating". Why irritating? Because while this book isn't nearly as awful as I thought it would be, it's more irritating at how much of its potential that it wastes.

The sex scenes in this are rather short for what's often billed as erotica. They last maybe about a page or two at average and are about as graphic as your average romance novel, which is probably why I've seen this sold in many stores on the romance shelves. They're decently
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2010 Lucia rated it did not like it
I found this book completely unbelievable even for a paranormal romance/erotica. First of all...NO romance...only sex. The "hey I just met you but lets have sex and then I'll love you forever" kind and even more ridiculous, the "hey I'm dying so heal me with sex and then you will love me forever" kind. Secondly, rape is not erotic and I feel it has no place in books that claim to be sensual. Oh, and the whole, you are not human...OK, I'm not human so now I'm going to f%*k everyone and turn ultra ...more
Dec 13, 2007 Tina rated it it was ok
This book was alright. It was like this weird wanna be cross between Anne Bishops dark jewels series and Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series. It was an ok enough story but I couldn't help feeling that there was a better story trying to get out. Also, I was so distracted by how similar in tone/feel to the other two authors that I cited, that I couldn't enjoy it. Subconsciously I kept comparing it to them.

I will probably read the follow up book to see if the story improves.
Oct 30, 2015 R.G. rated it really liked it
This is definitely an erotic novel, but don't go in expecting it to be all moonbeams and giggles. There's a lot of sexual violence, a lot of regular violence, and even the consensual sex in here is usually during someone about to bleed to death and needs to be healed, because they share power through sex. This is a book about a race of people, the Monere, who are violent, unsympathetic, and raised to consider it a dog eat dog world. Although Mona Lisa is shaking things up, being part human and h ...more
Feb 16, 2009 Kristen rated it did not like it
It's funny, I haven't finished this - but that to me is telling. I typically pick up the paranormal romance stuff and finish them each within 24 hours of starting (and they are usually quite a bit longer then this one). Don't get me wrong, a nice juicy scene in the first 25 pages is welcome - but I was perplexed by how within 15 minutes of meeting each other our 2 main characters are so "you're mine" and "I'm never going to let you go" and how fast she goes from orphaned no-one to commanding que ...more
Aug 20, 2016 Quera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tenía muchísimas ganas de leer este libro, no me ha defraudado y sobre todo: me ha sorprendido.

Al ser el primero de una serie pasa lo habitual: la trama se ve frenada por los múltiples detalles que hay que conocer sobre los monere, su forma de vida, su estructura jerárquica, sus poderes y sus amenazas. Pero por otra parte aunque es el primero hay acción y mucha, cuando piensas que la protagonista ha salido de una "escaramuza" y que ahora la autora te va a empezar a contar anécdotas sobre los hi
Jan 19, 2013 Dawn rated it it was ok
Shelves: pnr, erotica, 2013-books
What to say about this book...I was really optimistic that it would get better after all so many people rated this book at 4 or even 5 stars. But I should have quit while I was ahead.

The plot is actually interesting, the Moniere are aliens who used to live on the moon before it became uninhabitable or maybe they got kicked out that was not real clear. Details details moving on so the men of Monere have to serve and mate with a Queen to live, they draw their power from them in bask in the moonlig
Jane Stewart
4 1/2 stars. Liked it a lot. Definitely recommend it.

It had a good story and some good characters which is unusual for erotica. I plan to read more of this series. Story brief: The Monere people have powers and magic abilities humans don't have. The Monere live among humans, but humans don't know they are different. Queens rule territories. Mona Lisa was part Monere and part human and was left in an orphanage at birth. When she is 21, she meets Gryphon and realizes an unusual power exists betwee
Elizabeth Giosia
I feel like there is next to nothing that I can say about this book. I can’t say that it was amazing, nor can I say that it was horrible. To be honest, I have a distinct feeling of “meh” when I think about it.

My lack of ability to say whether the book was good or not may something to do with the fact that when I read it, I had a disturbing feeling of déjà vu. While I noticed that the author had thanked Laurell K. Hamilton and Anne Bishop in her acknowledgements, I was surprised to find that this
Aug 29, 2008 Anita rated it liked it
Recommended to Anita by: PNR fans, especially Hamilton fans
Even though I gave this book only 3 stars, I liked it, probably because I've read some short stories from the series, so I know it gets better. I've seen this book classified as erotica, but I think it's more paranormal romance - it does have a real plot, after all.

Mona Lisa is a 21 year old ER nurse in NYC. She's known she was different from other people since she was 13 - she can sooth pain, see in the dark, hear distant sounds, bound up six stairs at a time, and is much stronger than average.
2.5 stars

This one was very nearly a DNF for me. The first 50 pages made for some of the most ridiculous reading I have ever encountered. Nonsensical. But... Defying all explanation, I was somehow drawn into the story enough to want to continue with the next book. I really can't explain it.

Mona Lisa has lived her life believing herself human, albeit feeling that she somehow doesn’t belong. Until one day while working as a nurse in the ER, she encounters a man who she is inexplicably drawn to. She
Jul 17, 2008 Heather rated it did not like it
The review makes this book sound good, as in good, as in "yes, I came--three times. Did you?" Recommended to me by another librarian, I thought, I'd give it a try. I was so incredibly disappointed! There's absolutely no character development--Mona Lisa "discovers" her tru identity? I'd like to know where in the story *that* happens... It's just a bunch of sex--sex for fun, sex for healing, sex until their inner lights start glowing (yes, they fuck and they glow. It's apparently beautiful.).

I was
Mar 19, 2010 Jaimie rated it it was ok
So I am kind of embarrassed that I even read this series. In my defense I didn't really mean to. Well it was at a time when I was reading like 7+ books a week and I was grabbing anything that sounded kind of interesting and I ended up with the third book. So instead of reading it and finding out it is basically porn I went and bought the first thinking that at the rate I was reading it didn't really matter how good it was. So that is how I started the series but I obviously went out and read the ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
The premise behind Mona Lisa Awakening has nothing to do with Italian painting. The Monère are an alien race who (don't laugh) once lived on the moon, and who get their power from moonlight. Their gifts vary, from shape-shifting to mind compulsion to being invisible. They live amongst us, our world divided up into territories ruled by Queens.

Mona Lisa is an orphan, her name coming from the silver cross she was wearing as a baby when found. Now working as a nurse, though only twenty-one, she is d
Mary Beth
A LOT like the Merry Gentry and Anita Blake books by LKH- "magical" sex and the instant ability to control new magics that pop up whenever the heroine is in trouble. The author uses and threatens rape a lot in this book and I find that offensive- not just because it is rape - but because she uses it so frequently. On the plus side, at least Mona Lisa does not make me want to brain her with a 2 x 4 like Anita does. Mona Lisa doesn't fight her attraction to her men, but at least she doesn't bang e ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Each book gets better than the last, quite refreshing series.
Bottom Line: Buy it
When you're a new queen, a mixed blood..who struggles to find yourself and establish your kingdom, along with the help of your two brand new lovers..warriors saved from death..all while some rivals conspire to kill you...and oh by the way, the Prince of Hell kinda digs you as well.
Having read some of the other reviews, I don't find this author like Anne Bishop (Sebastian) or Laurell K. Hamilton (Guilty Pleasures)
I am so enamored with the world of the Monère. The intrigue, the cruelty, the hedonism, the sensuality, the matriarchal structure.

What I didn't like so much was the "Oh, now that I've met you, I know what/who I am" acceptance that Mona Lisa adopted just within the first chapter, but seeing as how the book is only 243 pages, I understand why it was necessary for our heroine to have blind faith in Gryphon's words.

Speaking of Gryphon... oh, how hot he is. I am left wondering, however, about his sh
Shelley Stoker
Sep 28, 2009 Shelley Stoker rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Paranormal Romance Lovers; People not offended by sex and violence
I totally held my breath when I bought this book, because the reviews are so love-hate. Well, consider me "Team Monère!" I had so much FUN reading this book, and I found it to be truly unique. While everybody who loved the book seemed enamored by the two male leads, Gryphon and Amber, I am all about Prince Halcyon!!! I hope he shows up in the future books, and I hope that his role winds up being much more prevalent.

Yeah, this one's a keeper for me. Sure, some of it was a little bit over-the-top
Rebecca (Bec)
Nov 18, 2010 Rebecca (Bec) rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, magic, fae, sunny
I Have heard very mixed reviews about this book and series. It almost put me off, but I am glad that I picked it up to read. it was great! the story was interesting the characters interesting and yes there were things that didn't quite add up and Mona Lisa was taking it extremly well and adapting to the world rather quickly, but I disn't find it over the top as some others stated. PNR and UF is what it is.

Sunny's books does have the 'rape punishment' thing happening constantly and i think that c
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Sunny's Monère series 16 63 Apr 01, 2014 01:53PM  
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A family practice physician and Vassar graduate, Sunny was finally pushed into picking up her pen by the success of the rest of her family. Much to her amazement, she found that, by golly, she actually could write a book, and that it was much more fun than being a doctor.

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Other Books in the Series

Monère: Children of the Moon (5 books)
  • Mona Lisa Blossoming (Monère: Children of the Moon, #2)
  • Mona Lisa Craving (Monère: Children of the Moon, #3)
  • Mona Lisa Darkening (Monère: Children of the Moon, #4)
  • Mona Lisa Eclipsing  (Monère: Children of the Moon, #5)

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Yes, monsters all of us, I thought. And so horribly fragile.” 15 likes
“Oh yes, I want to play with 'Samson'. Come to Delilah.” 3 likes
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