This book was just what I needed. Wicked Soul by Nora Ash is a well-written PNR featuring vampires and witches…and a few other things. Mostly, it was a light-hearted paranormal romance that didn’t really pretend to be anything else. There were some surprising moments, and I’ll get to those in a moment.
The character development in this book was spot-on. The MC is an oblivious damsel, for the most part, but it’s a role that is happily embraced. Rather than focusing on what she wants to be able to do (and getting into all sorts of scary and crazy situations)…she focuses on what she can and can’t do…and still gets into a bunch of scary and crazy situations. However, there is never a time when you think “they’re trying to make her BA.” Because Ash fully recognizes that this character is not BA. In fact, a BA character would not fit with the storyline, Warin, or anything else.
The one-liners that are delivered throughout this book are enough to make you giggle-snort. Things like “Fifty Shades of Vampire” pop up naturally. But the book itself still has plenty of tension and plot that it is NOT a romantic comedy. There are some surprisingly heavy points (Liv and Warin’s pasts as well as some of the violations perpetrated against Liv by the skinwalkers.
The MC got dragged kicking and screaming (literally) into the supernatural world, but the interest and awe are maintained when Ash just lets the reader discover the world along with Liv. The slow reveal is well-done and stays true to Liv’s obliviousness, as the reader realizes long before Liv just what ‘giant-blood’ means and that vampires aren’t the only things that go bump in the night.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is Ash’s insistence on continuity and reality. The brutal reality of one of the sex scenes (no, not rape). The flashbacks Liv has on occasion, even when the reader doesn’t really know what they’re about. Perhaps the most impressive thing, though, is the characterizations of the vampires. They are so wonderfully, deliciously consistent. Despite Warin’s apparent humanity, he repeatedly tells Liv that he is a monster. When you later see that monster, it’s not shocking because Ash has given you glimpses of it all along. The conflict the vampires have all along–torn between family, personal prejudice, and other duties–lend more depth to their struggle to maintain a human face in the world.
Along these lines, she also addresses and treats with a great deal of respect, the subject of rape and molestation. She doesn’t gloss it over, but she doesn’t sensationalize it, either. I was really impressed with how she treated the subjects.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I’m looking forward to finding out just what Aleric gets up to in the next one.
(Ancient Blood, #1)
Publication date: February 10th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
He saved me… And then he blood-bonded me. Now I’m his.
My first meeting with a Chicago vampire went better than expected.
Up until that night, all I knew about vampires was limited to a few common facts: they drink blood, they get a mean sunburn and if you find yourself alone with one, you’re dead.
Except he didn’t kill me.
Sexy, broody Warin clearly had his own reasons for sparing my life and tying me with his blood, but if he’d known how much trouble I’d attract, I bet he wouldn’t have bothered. When he blood-bonded me, secrets even I didn’t know about myself came to light.
Secrets that will pull us both deep into the eternal war between vampires and the witches determined to rid the world of their evil.
We have only one choice now: fight the forces hell-bent on breaking our bond…
Nora Ash writes the sort of books that have your toes curling and your blood pulsing. Her stories are often dark and always thrilling, with lots of sexy bad boys and the women who spur their desires. When not typing away at a story, Nora paints, eats chocolate or go for hikes around the English countryside with her very own bad boy.
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