While I enjoyed the concept, the pacing, and the main characters, this story would have benefited from professional editing. Dialogue is often incorre...moreWhile I enjoyed the concept, the pacing, and the main characters, this story would have benefited from professional editing. Dialogue is often incorrectly punctuated, and the author uses some awfully jarring similes ("the porch is as rickety as an old man's mouth"; "the room grows as warm as a kangaroo pouch"). There are several instances of homophone confusion and random typos as well. That said, this is worth checking out if you're looking for a YA paranormal read, especially if you're looking for budget-friendly books for your Kindle. (less)
Hey, a paranormal romance with some bona fide charm and an alpha male who falls in love without being emasculated! Sure, some of hero and heroine's co...moreHey, a paranormal romance with some bona fide charm and an alpha male who falls in love without being emasculated! Sure, some of hero and heroine's conflicts felt a little repetitive after a while, and there's a definitely hokiness factor at work here--without getting too spoilery, it reminded me of the days I had a pink comforter and a large sticker collection. Which was 25 years ago at this point.
Still, the novel is really quite a lot of fun, this couple works for me, and as a side note, go go drunklunch! (less)
Miranda Grey is an empath who has never learned how to shield herself from the constant onslaught of strangers' emotions, and it's slowly driving her...moreMiranda Grey is an empath who has never learned how to shield herself from the constant onslaught of strangers' emotions, and it's slowly driving her insane. The Austin, Texas resident obtains relief while performing onstage, since she can channel the energy of crowds who listen to her music, but the effect is temporary. She's losing weight, not getting enough sleep, and self-medicating with alcohol.
And then she gets gang-raped in an alley on the way home from a performance. I'm not putting a spoiler tag around this one because the attack takes place right after her introduction as a character--it's just 20 or so pages into the book. While I do think Sylvan's choice to include a rape as a plot point makes sense in the overall storyline, and Sylvan handles the aftermath with sensitivity, readers who find rape scenes triggering (or just prefer to avoid them) may want to skip this one. I hadn't read much about the novel before I started it, so I was rather taken aback by the fact that a brutal rape was such a foundational event in Miranda's character development. It wouldn't have caused me to take the book off my TBR list, but I might very well have chosen to read it when I was in a different frame of mind.
Vampire David Solomon, "Prime" of the Southern States, takes Miranda in after her attack. As she recovers mentally and physically from her ordeal, he gradually teaches her better control of her abilities as an empath. Unfortunately, he's also on the brink of war with a faction of vampire insurgents determined to go back to the good old days of unrestrained human slaughter.
The development of the romance portion of the book is a slow burn, which really was necessary after the events of the beginning. Miranda and David are an appealing couple, even when they're being a little dense about understanding their own emotions. I appreciated the fact that Miranda has female friends in this book--more than one, even. UF heroines so often eschew the company of other women that it's nice when the supporting females aren't a bunch of harpies. I also found Miranda's work to develop both her psychic skills and her fighting abilities refreshingly gradual. She doesn't pop into a new chapter and find herself an amazing paranormal ninja; she works hard to get better.
Some of the plot points seemed predictable or contrived, particularly when it comes to the use of foreshadowing and prophetic visions. Some of the plot devices used to keep the lead couple apart at times wore thin, as well. However, I like these characters, I like seeing vampires in Austin, and I like a heroine who orders Shiner Bock instead of Bud Light.
Samson has a problem that's nearly unheard of for a vampire: erectile dysfunction. It's been nine months since he was last able to perform, and visits...moreSamson has a problem that's nearly unheard of for a vampire: erectile dysfunction. It's been nine months since he was last able to perform, and visits to his vampire psychoanalyst don't seem to be helping--until Delilah shows up on his door, seeking assistance after fleeing a mysterious attacker. Yes, the romantic pair here are named Samson and Delilah, and yeah, even some of the secondary characters have a good laugh about that. No heads of hair were harmed in the production of this novel, and you might be happy to know that Samson does not wield the jawbone of an ass.
This is a light paranormal romance with a heavy dose of erotica and a side of mystery. The vampire lore is pretty standard, and it's not hard to figure out where the plot is going, but it is a fun, fast read.