As far as paranormal romances go, Showalter definitely used a lot of imagination for this series... (it would be promptly obvious that I haven't readAs far as paranormal romances go, Showalter definitely used a lot of imagination for this series... (it would be promptly obvious that I haven't read the first installment. So there.)
The fact that this story is not another one of those vampire-romances (are we done with those, yet?) warrants a semblance of appreciation for its attempt to be ingenious in matters of plot.
Plus, the sexual tension between the couple is at a healthy level. That's good enough for me if a quick, entertaining romance read is what I'm after. I needn't worry that I might just stumble upon a mindless sexfest as 'erotica' seems to be a common word used in relation to Showalter's novels. There's actually a decent endeavor by the author to provide suspense, action, and humor outside the confines of the bedroom.
The only niggling thing I can't shake off is the fact that the heroine has GOLD skin.
Since one of my pet peeves is anything related to glitter (it really really annoys the hell out of me), and I can't seem to find any other way but to imagine Eden Black as having head-to-toe skin that up close looks like the slightly rough/corroded surface of glued-on gold glitter, I kept thinking half the time that I'd rather she has cute horns on her forehead or a demonlike tail or something along those lines. Anything but the apparently-sexy gold skin.
Eh, well, that's my problem.
Near the end of the story, too, the hero Lucius lost a bit of his 'wow' factor what with being held captive and all and our glittery heroine being left to do the rescuing. Something about that just didn't quite satisfy me... (although that encounter with that Devyn fellow was quite yummy...)
Oh, yeah, and another thing (I know I said only one niggling thing but it seems I'm on my trolling state), some aspects of Eden's behavior were a bit annoying. She's bad-ass and all, good for her, but that streak of over-competitiveness just put me off at times. And there's a dash of the brat in her, as well. But hey, with other readers it might just be nothing more than her having a strong, independent will...
Anyway, all-in-all, not a bad read. Didn't really egg me on to lust after the next installment, but neither am I regretting reading it.
Hellboy gone deliciously jaw-dropping (with a friggin’ medical degree, to boot) and a bad-ass slayer with hang-ups she doesn’t even know would requireHellboy gone deliciously jaw-dropping (with a friggin’ medical degree, to boot) and a bad-ass slayer with hang-ups she doesn’t even know would require a shrink (and no, it’s not the I-can’t-have-orgasm-oh-kill-me-now thingie)…
[FYI, Dr. Dreamy has brothers, too. No guesses needed on how they look. Dayum!]
Okay, so perhaps the only beef I have with this first installment is his name. Resorting to calling him “E” felt too much like BDB to me (and I kinda wanted those guys to remain just the tiniest bit untouchable, so…).
No wonder even Hellboy began to sound endearing. Not that terribly original, true, but it definitely beats having to say (or, as it applies during mind-numbing sex, hoarsely shout) the slightly tongue-twisting-inducing “Eidolon”.
I appreciate ms Ione for bringing in a new paranormal romance series that is not reliant on fangs jutting out at the slightest whiff of blood, gorgeous hunk of men that unfortunately cannot show off their fabulousity out in broad daylight (no sparklies, ¡por favor!), or those same men having to make regular body checks with either werewolves or their own breed who have gone rogue.
Sure, the whole premise of “Demons” actually being just as sane, dysfunctional, and, for some of them, possibly having a garish affinity for all things perky and pink (a crazier version of Acheron’s Simi?) as humans is perhaps TMI at first take. Having to be acquainted with their staggeringly complex demon classifications might just also take some getting used to. (As I type this, a pulsing, writhing mound of big, fat maggots just popped in mind.
Please… uhm… a moment…)
Okay. Sod it. I’m just damned glad that it’s not a rehashed plot.
So, yeah, I’m gonna put up with the concept of S’genesis, the intricacies of breeding between different kinds of demons and between demons and humans, the apparently blatant exhibitionist and philandering behavior of demonkind, and the vague dynamics of ‘bonding’.
The Aegis slayer Tayla’s slow incorporation into the world of demons and the soul-searching she is forced to go through in trying to ‘see’ these ‘monstrous’ foes in a new light were sketchy at times. Rightfully, she should have been expeditiously dispatched once she has accidentally infiltrated the not-at-all-awkwardly-named UGH premises. Her job as a demon-slayer should have been enough impetus for Hellboy and Co. to make sure she doesn’t live to tattle. I mean, c’mon, just this one time, shouldn’t the safety and secrets of their own brethren weigh more than whatever good Tayla’s existence might indirectly provide?
But heck, that’s just it. Hellboy and Co. are a different breed of demons. They have principles. And… and… honor. Even a dash of mercy. And, god help me, humor.
They may get cranky, they may all be ingrained with the fine art of slicing and dicing, they may have a fine thirst for revenge and gore, but it turns out that they have no hankering for any megalomaniac soul-sucking world domination, and that, indeed, just like humans, they feel that life is shitty enough as it is and that Beelzebub himself is more of a bogeyman than anything else.
Personally, this first installment is probably best enjoyed for its novelty in the overall idea, but not necessarily in the particular goings-on between Eido—pardon, Hellboy and Tayla. Sure, the sex is nice (that first mindless sexual foray inside the hospital pretty much outshone the rest, no?), but more often than not, it was the escalating tension (unfounded or no) between the Demons and The Aegis that made centerstage.
Am not exactly sure if that is a good thing or not. No, I’m really undecided about it. I mean it’s good that it’s not a sexcapade every 10 pages or so – even though that looked to be the likely possibility given the off-the-charts chemistry between Hellboy and Tayla – but neither did I relish having their relationship gain momentum only in the last quarter or so of the novel.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Seriously, though, for the lulz of it all, I would recommend this start to this new series. I’ll just have to see with the next book if this new line of paranormal romance is worth cozying up to ‘til the end. ...more
Discovering oneself can be the most blissful and painful experience…yet.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain has asked for very few things in life: tDiscovering oneself can be the most blissful and painful experience…yet.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain has asked for very few things in life: that her family would never reach that point known as abject starvation, that her father rouse himself enough to pick the pen up once again, and that no one turn them away from that tumbledown heap of ruins called the Castle (and more familiarly known as ‘home’). Even if they are practically unpaying tenants.
Sensible, fiercely affectionate towards her beautiful (if slightly temperamental) elder sister, Rose, and aware of the infinite magnanimity of the world as compared to the transience of one person’s existence, she takes each day as it comes and never lets herself become too jaded as another dusk unfurls into another dawn, their family’s fortunes seemingly not ever showing signs of taking a turn for the good. There is simple joy to be had in finding a spot atop Belmotte Tower, with a view of the wheat field spread all around glinting drunkenly from the sun’s rays, and jotting down into her journal both the curious and innocuous happenings in her and her family’s life.
It is, however, with the somewhat surreal introduction of the brothers Simon and Neil Cotton that tumble Cassandra’s relatively peaceful existence into disarray.
As coming-of-age novels go, I would admit to not immediately seeing I Capture the Castle as one. In some respects, I was more riveted with the bits of quirks inherent in the story. There is the paradox of the cold isolation and the elegant deterioration of the Castle itself. Half-standing walls vie for the same space as ivy creepers which lend the estate a sedate kind of beauty. Mists that come out of nowhere can enshroud the ruins like something out of a gothic tableau, while the next sunny day bathes those same walls with a warm, comfortable glow.
The characters themselves are a walking contradiction. The elder Mortmain sister, Rose, while blessed with looks, is filled more with bitterness for their dismal state of affairs. Their scrumptious stepmother, the glitteringly-named Topaz, has nocturnal forays atop the ramparts clad only in her nightgown, her ‘commune with nature’ an oddity that is aptly fitting with her own nature. And yet she has managed to keep this family from totally unraveling.
Cassandra’s father, who long-ago wrote a novel considered a masterpiece by the literary community (the contents of which are tantalizingly never fully disclosed), has now hit a wall and refuses to budge. He passes his days more like a hermit, his head up in the clouds, while his family is sunk deep in the ground with poverty. The only times there’s a hint of animated life in his eyes is when he is quizzed by outsiders as to when they should expect his next novel.
His response is a snarl.
Simon Cotton is born in England but bred on the other side of the Atlantic, the resulting strange accent befuddling Cassandra at first. And if that were not enough, the jarringly peculiar and menacing dark beard he sports is at odds with someone his age, oftentimes preventing people from noticing how generous and kind he really is. His younger brother, Neil, is the full-blooded American. Jocular at one second, and brooding in the next. His American bent obvious in the sometimes faintly jeering attitude he has towards anything English. And yet he is quick to seek pardon if he thinks he has caused offense.
Cassandra’s encounter with these Americans and their ways of thinking would almost always rattle her, compelling her to remark silently that “Americans do seem to say things which make the English notice England.”
Then there’s our young narrator. On the whole, content with her lot in life, yet she would not shirk from any opportunity that might just turn the fates in their favor. She is even-tempered and more tolerant than most, her vow to be a good writer (or, at least, a credible chronicler of the Mortmain family drama) making her an exceptional observer of events. On the outset, she knows her family more than, it seems, they know themselves. And yet, as the novel unfolds, she would find herself wondering just how much she might have misread the people around her.
And, perhaps, even herself.
Subtly engaging, unexpectedly poignant at times, and even witty with its bouts of one-liner maxims, Dodie Smith carves out a heroine worth adoring. Cassandra is on that ambiguous threshold of being a young girl who should have had so many teenage thrills as befits someone growing up, and being swayed headlong into full womanhood, as evidenced by the unnerving introspection she has had on occasion to indulge in. She can laugh and lark about just like any young, carefree kid, but she is also highly-sensitive of the feelings of others and is often crippled with annoyance with herself and with another person if they should cause her discomfort for being concerned over them in the first place.
Unquestionably proud of her family, she could also be thrown into pits of despair and mortification when one of them commits a faux pas in front of ‘sociable’ company. More than once she has had to be the mature one among her relatives, while, at the same time, inwardly shaking with trepidation or embarrassment.
And it is with the unfurling of the first seeds of romantic love that she realizes the depths of her passion. She discovers a side of her nature that would cause her joy as well as grief. She may look unchanged on the outside but within there brews a turmoil the likes of which just might shake the very foundation of all that she has held eternal.
And what she fears most is the uncertainty of who might emerge by the time this havoc settles.
A tour de force, I Capture the Castle would ensnare one’s attention with a quietly plucky heroine. There are no high-blazing action scenes or spine-tingling suspenseful moments in this novel, but the unhurried exploits and simply clever insights in life make this a veritable treasure. ...more
**spoiler alert** Interesting spin on the Arthurian legend…without actually saying much about it.
A lot of inconsistencies with the premise. Or, perhap**spoiler alert** Interesting spin on the Arthurian legend…without actually saying much about it.
A lot of inconsistencies with the premise. Or, perhaps, too many ‘convenient’ turning points that left me hanging.
Like the fact that Merrick’s amnesia and subsequent inadvertent ‘dawdling’ with the gypsies seem to hardly make a dent in his timetable for finding the stone. He’s been using his powers during his blissfully ignorant days and yet, despite the proclaimed fears at the start of the story that these are as good as waving his whereabouts to the bad guys, no one traces and pursues himtill after he regains his memory. How convenient.
Despite the looming, persistent threat of the gypsy guy (see, I can’t even recall the name) who has perverted designs on Jenny, he is made to ‘conveniently’ disappear by the time Merrick and Jenny leave the gypsy camp. No more threat. No more troubles. It’s like he was just there to sprinkle in a bit of tension while Merrick and Jenny live out their stay there as a married couple.
And then there’s Reverend Usher’s threat, and his use of ‘goons’ to pose as men of the law in order to flush out Jenny. The fake constables were hardly heard from ever again (their portrayal became superfluous, then). And, even if Usher’s demise was a fitting one, the way in which it was done was too abrupt – hardly meriting the protracted fear that Jenny had over him.
Oh, and yeah. Merrick can turn back time. Whoopee. Jenny is made to live again.
Did I fail to mention that the woman gets slain? Don’t worry. (Refer to above).
Then come the time when Merrick (with Jenny) went back to his own time and place. A little skirmish here and there, followed by that ridiculous it-would’ve-funny-if-it-wasn’t-so-sad stupidity in the villain’s end by whispering his sorcery on Jenny’s wrong ear…and everything was happily ever after. Nice.
Even Merrick’s taken-for-granted ‘agreement’ (read as betrothal) with that supposedly powerful woman of his clan did not even escalate into something dramatic when she was confronted with Jenny. I was hoping that that at least would be a soap operatic turn of events. But no. Hardly a buzz.
To say that I was frustrated with the whole thing is a bit of an understatement.
And what’s with the author’s preoccupation with describing Merrick’s uhmm… ‘organ’ always as a c--? Has she no other adjectives on her arsenal? Even erotica fiction are imaginative when it comes to describing the male tumescence. By sticking to the c-word all the time (I would say it out loud…but people are so squeamish), Maguire makes it appear as if she’s just compensating for mediocre writing by telling the reader that she can use a hardcore word when it comes to the sex scenes.
But, really, take that ‘vulgarity’ (I use it sparingly) away and what’s left? Hardly any chemistry. Barely any thrill.
Other romance readers may love the story. But I think from now on I would have to edge away from any book with Maguire’s name on it. And that really makes me sad. ...more
The only really memorable and entertaining bit was when the psycho stalker of the duke barged into the couple's bedroom, the morning after the officiaThe only really memorable and entertaining bit was when the psycho stalker of the duke barged into the couple's bedroom, the morning after the official "consummation", and brazenly (if desperately) taunted the 'heroine' that the lump beside her on the bed cannot possibly be the duke.
And then the guy emerged from beneath the sheets....more
**spoiler alert** Formula: one keep is cursed and redemption is to be sourced (of course) by revenge on a powerful and feared lord;
Stilted twists and**spoiler alert** Formula: one keep is cursed and redemption is to be sourced (of course) by revenge on a powerful and feared lord;
Stilted twists and subplots: accused and apprehended 'heroine' escapes all the time (apparently hinting at her sharp wits) and yet she cannot foresee how much closer to home betrayal is; interspersed with subplots involving unexplained treachery from within the other side, a suspected witch whose apparent hand in the plot of revenge remains sketchy and underdeveloped, an underrated blind priest walking about conveniently stumbling upon revealing clues to the 'evil plot', and an awkward elimination of a 'mastermind' villain (just so that the story concludes in time for the happy ending);
Predictable yet unsatisfactory ending: of course said powerful 'enemy' lord ends up with the heroine (as they can't keep their hands off each other [the author makes it patently, if wearily, clear:]), the emotional and moral dilemma of the lord's sister (regarding her husband and a lover) comes off as a superfluous subplot that never achieves closure, this lord's people's unsavory reaction towards this 'enemy' woman is hardly given attention (even when it's obvious that she's going to be their new mistress), and the treachery that fermented within this keep becomes the biggest unsolved premise.
Yippie. I'm so glad I spent time on this book....more
Okay, whatever I’ve said about the foregoing Cynster installment…does not apply to this one. If I were (more) delusional (than I already am), I wouldOkay, whatever I’ve said about the foregoing Cynster installment…does not apply to this one. If I were (more) delusional (than I already am), I would think that Laurens read my review of On a Wild Night and took everything to heart…
…yes, I said if I were delusional…
But, really, this story of the other twin is infinitely better than that of Amanda’s—the kind of premise I believe should have been used before: ‘claim now, surrender later.’ At least the author was able to show that a ‘heroine’ need not be that most clichéd of personas: a tease. Amelia Cynster used her wits and level-headedness to claim Luc for her own, without dangling the man by strings (the way Amanda did to Martin).
Sure, the suspenseful element in this novel is pretty easy, as well, to solve. But I am just more relieved that, in the world of Cynsters, everything is back as it should be…
I mean, taken in its entirety, it's still not on par with the stories of the Cynster Men. I think more than enough readers, who can be lucid about it, can reluctantly admit that Laurens has shown a fumbling downslide after, say, Gabriel's story (A Secret Love). Chalk it up to a matter of 'being too good to last.'
(One, unfortunately, has to read the first of the Cynster twins’ stories to understand what I’m blathering on about. And if disappointment is indeed evoked by On a Wild Night, one can be reasonably appeased by On a Wicked Dawn.)
Such a protracted courtship-slash-equivocation. And I do have respect for Laurens' writing, but this novel, for all its steamy-sexcapades, left a bittSuch a protracted courtship-slash-equivocation. And I do have respect for Laurens' writing, but this novel, for all its steamy-sexcapades, left a bitter aftertaste, as the premise is somehow an insult to any woman of reasonable intellect; as well as an affirmation for any misogynist.
It wouldn’t have been so bad, really, if it posed as a suspense novel instead--one that just happened to have an awful lot of naked scenes.
Amanda came off like a spoiled, coldly calculating, I’ll-have-it-all-laid-at-my-feet-or-no-deal tease of a woman. And the Cynster family, whom I adored in the 3 other novels I’ve read, became a clan that was not so much close-knit as being driven by snobbery and lack of wit. What the heck happened…
For a family led by 6 strong-willed men who were infamous for their rakehell days, it became difficult to take in the fact that, in this installment, the reader is led to assume that this family is actually more concerned with reputations and appearances. This was supposed to be a coterie of very passionate people, who have had no qualms in claiming mates of their own with whom they have a mutual explosive chemistry, past lives be-damned. The matter of “professing avowals of love” is something that they would just subsequently work with after they have been assured of being exclusively committed to one another. Something in the lines of ‘claim first, then surrender later.’
I could not understand why, even after it was made clear that the Cynsters (apparently) had the sense of not believing rumors, Martin’s past is such a huge obstacle for welcoming him in their family. I have always thought that, as long as the elder Cynsters were assured that there really is a core of honor in the man (and that there is a healthy dose of desire on both sides), they would not hesitate to use the full backing of their ‘tonnish’ power to clear the name of one whom they finally consider ‘one of their own.’ Everything in this novel is arse-backward.
For Amanda to make a full-on declaration of love from Martin as an ultimatum is not something I would have expected of a Cynster. A Cynster, as I have understood it from Devil, Chillingworth, *and* even from their mates, would have acknowledged the prospect of working for and evoking love AFTER being wed (how can it not when they only have eyes for each other). Working to have that love come out in the open after weeks or months of being married would have been the true measure of how a Cynster broke down any remaining barriers to love.
It made no sense to me to have Amanda demand so much from Martin, who was made to practically act like a lovesick swain (despite descriptions to the contrary), while she herself barely surrendered anything at all. Hell, she did not even act like a thoroughly ravished female after that first night with him.
The ironic thing is that, Amanda (with Amelia) admitted to settling for no less than husbands who were like the Bar Cynster men...and yet they could not understand why Martin (obviously Amanda's rendition of her 'Cynster-like' husband, else she would not have latched onto him) is acting as he is. They should have figured in that, in aiming for someone who were like their male cousins, they should have been braced for someone with similar temperament: apparently overbearing and possessive but who *can* be made to admit love later on.
If Laurens wanted to send a message that Amanda will not stand as a doormat vis-à-vis a dominant male, then she has gone about it in the wrong way.
And even the identity of the true killer was easy to deduce before one even reaches half of the book. All the time, I was like, ‘huh?’ and wondered if I was just being led to believe an *obvious* choice of who the killer is. I then tentatively hoped that Laurens was going to throw a curveball and twist everything around to make me sit back on my heels and wryly admit my wrong suppositions. But no, who I halfway guessed as the killer stubbornly kept the same identity even up the end. Darn it! ...more
I’m sure other readers would have more flattering things to say about this new paranormal series (well, new for mePassably good, fairly entertaining.
I’m sure other readers would have more flattering things to say about this new paranormal series (well, new for me anyway); but coming on the heels of The Black Dagger Brotherhood, The Dark-Hunters, and even the Dark Carpathians series, not to mention a few more other vampire-romance titles dizzyingly vying for space on bookshelves by up-and-coming authors and even from established ones who have succumbed to the popularity of the genre (like Medeiros, Dodd, and Sands), Lara Adrian’s The Midnight Breed, in my opinion (for what it’s worth), faces a veritable burden. And that is of needing to have something spectacularly jolting and provoking for it to steal the attention of an ever-widening audience who may already be over-saturated with this popular culture of vampire-slash-paranormal romance.
Frustratingly enough, even though the last BDB I have read was over a year ago (hence, should have dulled my memories of it), Adrian’s Midnight Breed felt so much like it. And sad to say, not *really* in a good way.
Frankly, it felt a little bit like a pale version of Ward’s.
From the tech-gizmo Gideon (who acts a bit like Vishous), the brooding Tegan (who, surprise-surprise, felt and sounded a bit like Zsadist), to even the warrior-leader Lucan (who felt like…guess-who), the Breed Warriors might as well have been the next-door neighbors of the Black Dagger Brothers, regularly coming over to swap secrets of the trade…except that they (the former) come off less like a close-knit family and more like a small corporation with members just conscripted for the job. At its extreme…they sound a bit…uhm…well…boring. Just a tad, mind.
When I read over what I have been saying so far, it sounds so harsh and wholly unfair, I know. But I think that is precisely the pernicious nature of a reading audience—especially romance readers. We are a sensitive, even fickle, lot. And for authors to earn (and keep) our adulation, they have to continually, aggressively feed our need for fascination and novelty.
Adrian’s series somewhat fails me on that score. The plot of a band of vampires rounding off their kind who have become renegade, as well as humans who have been brain-washed by the latter is not terribly original. Dress it up in as many other nouns as you could—“rogue,” “fallen,” “daimons,” “lessers,” etc.—unless the storyline jumps out at you in a fresh way, these characters would ultimately run the risk of sounding just like any other personas from other books.
Certainly, however, this series does not deserve to be unconditionally written-off. I can personally vouch it to be better than other vampire novels which have lame plotlines and ridiculously over-the-top premises (you can understand if I’d rather not name them—I’m doing enough damage to this one author, I think). In fact, what could be a different ingredient in this series, and may even be lauded by those who wish to have the “formula” twisted, is that the male protagonists are not “heroes” or “protectors” of the human race.
There. Stew on that =)
Anyway, if you are really seeking a large dose of knee-weakening, envy-inducing romantic shenanigans, this book could probably be relegated to the lower rungs of one’s “to-buy/read” books.
Read it for entertainment but not much more. It’s not a regrettable I-wish-to-god-I-never-picked-this-book-up kind of story, but neither does it make you overly drool, pant, hanker, and itch to grab the next installment…which I’ve experienced before.
Oh, shoot. Too much info? *runs off in shame* ...more
A bit difficult to continue on reading at some parts. (Somehow, sometimes, the 3 stories of these 3 women acquire the feeling of being saturated thatA bit difficult to continue on reading at some parts. (Somehow, sometimes, the 3 stories of these 3 women acquire the feeling of being saturated that one needs to take a break to digest all that was happening.) Was also a bit predictable at some level—while some events (especially in the lives of Gemma and of Lily) felt like they gave way to the burden of instilling some kind of happy-ending-for-all—that some twists in the middle of their lives were put on to scramble things about for the sake of a storyline, but in the end, it seemed that the author just said, “Ahh…blimey…lemme put things back in order.”
Still, there were precious moments of feeling and lightheartedness that made this novel a joy to read. The snappy, comic dialogues and mannerisms of Gemma, Jojo, and even Lily, as well as the other characters (Ema is such a darling), make them feel genuine people—the kind that you’d really want to get to know just a tad bit further. ...more
This was the first romance story that literally made me go, “Hot DAMN!” on the first words of the very fExcuse me while I recover from being scorched…
This was the first romance story that literally made me go, “Hot DAMN!” on the first words of the very first chapter. And then all tingly the rest of the way.
I know a lot of romance buffs are either indifferent to, or even disdainful of, erotica. And they can be justified sometimes—most of the stories in this genre are simply mindless sex, with most bordering on “perverted” liaisons. (Well, what may pass as perversions to some, in any case.) Another reason is that the plot can be more improbable than anything else—circumstances were conceived just a little bit too conveniently for any “romantic” element to exist.
However, for some reason I don’t know what, Passion really hooked me in.
And, in the risk of being called randy, I confess to not being fed up with Mark and Passion’s sex bouts. They really do sizzle without that “icky” or tiring feel. Though I admit the risqué language and the viciousness of the emotion between Mark and his mother kinda surprised me in the first few instances…somehow these paled in comparison to the love story itself between the hero and the heroine.
And I really like the “episode”-like vibe that Valdez churned out in every heading of a new chapter—I was in tenterhooks as to what will happen once the clandestine world of Mark and Passion collides with that of Charlotte’s. And I was most especially thrilled with the growing fervor that Mark had for Passion. I mean, what woman wouldn’t want to be needed like that?
All-in-all, a feel good novel—this lustful story actually has “heart” and real conflict (damn near made me cry, too). Very very satisfying read for me… ...more
So, I admit to having a smidgen of skepticism when I see a romance story claiming to be paranormal with words like "The NightwSensational new series!!
So, I admit to having a smidgen of skepticism when I see a romance story claiming to be paranormal with words like "The Nightwalkers,"--I mean, what the heck is new with vampires or even werewolves consorting with hapless humans?? None. They're almost as old as...well...as these supernatural creatures themselves. Er...you get it. The formula's old.
Certainly I was on the verge of saying "oh, no, not another one...sheesh!" when I read the first few passages of Jacob,--it felt too much like Lucian speaking (from Christine Feehan's Dark Guardian), being an enforcer of their species' law and justice and all that. And since Lucian is my favorite supernatural hottie, you can imagine how reluctant I was to be pulled in by another magic-wielding macho. He had better be good.
But then, once the scene shifts to Isabella's POV and her encounter with Jacob (did I mention he's supposedly handsome? No...make that, per Bella, "beautiful."), things start to become interesting. Jacquelyn Frank lays down all the lowdown (sorry, can't help it) on the Demon species. And even the characters of Noah, Elijah, Legna, and Gideon are instantly fascinating.
Though I found Bella's calm acceptance of being embroiled in Jacob's world sketchy at best, her quirky and quick-witted attitude makes her quite adorable to me, despite my better judgment--she's like a less acerbic Anita Blake. Half the time I forget that Bella's supposed to be a wisp of a thing.
And I have nothing but gushing and blushing things to say about Jacob--a true gentleman who thrillingly loses control over the woman he loves, who never loses sight of his role among his people, and is surprisingly funny as well at the most unexpected times. No clichéd brooding warrior in him.
And his yummy factor really need not be belabored.
Anyway, what really made me finish the book until well into the hours of dawn is the sizzling chemistry between him and Bella. In the back of my mind, I know it's going to be really scorching--Jacob is already shown as one of the most powerful Demons who turn out to possess a latent smouldering passion; ergo: "hot sex."
Beyond their bed scenes, though (which, for the sake of modesty I have to keep mum about), the attraction, pure need, and possession that arises between the two every time they are together, despite the presence of other people, are like goodies for a starving romance junkie. "Destiny" about the two of them aside, they really are two halves of a whole. And the author does not stint on making Jacob and Isabella voice their love for one another--without verging on the syrupy.
So, yeah, ms Jacquelyn Frank, you have a fan in me. Jacob is a thrilling, action-packed new beginning to another breed of paranormal heroes. Heck, his and Bella's story is even quite satisfactory enough for me. There's a really warm and giddy feeling by the end. But then, such is the thrill infused in these characters that I really am looking forward to Gideon.