by Arianna Skye (website)
Paranormal Erotic Romance (Eternal Press, February 7, 2010)
(My post about how to read my book reviews can be found here.)
Synopsis: A fairytale, but not the kind your mother used to read you!
Rhiannon Kinsley's life goes from boring to downright crazy when a freak lightning bolt strikes her laptop. To make matters even more bizarre, strange words and symbols flash across the computer screen and she hears a mysterious voice. Time to call the men in white coats! Then Cerne Silverwing, an intriguingly sexy man, appears. He insists she’s a faerie princess whose fate will determine his own. What a crock! Now she knows who really needs those white coats.
With the Dark Faerie forces threatening his kingdom, Cerne kidnaps Rhiannon and brings her to Fey, a land where magic knows no bounds. He's performing a duty to save his kingdom and nothing more—a duty that will bring him his wings and the strengthened magic that comes with them. If he doesn’t unite with the princess as her consort, those wings will never grow. But this princess grew up in the land of laptops and instant messages, and she’s convinced they're both crazy. Despite their differences, the two are thrust together to defeat the whip-wielding Dark Faerie Queen before she takes over the kingdom. Passion and peril aside, will Rhiannon and Cerne discover their true destiny?
On a scale of Vanilla to Dark, this is definitely Dark Chocolate. Of the 67% Cacao variety. H-O-T. Sizzle. Well, it is erotic romance, after all. And it definitely lives up to that title.
Eye-Roll Factor: 9/10
Pretty low on the eye-roll factor. I tend to have a lot less annoyance with paranormals, just because there's a lot of world-building that has to go on, so there tends to be less room for the eye-rolling cliches of your typical romance novel. The main character had a lot of spunk (n.p.i.), so a lot of her sarcasm made up some space where I might have otherwise been eye-rolling. That's much-appreciated. Arianna Skye's brand is "a dash of snark meets dark", and the snark definitely makes the pages turn more quickly.
The Cosmo Factor: 21/25
The heroine, here, is definitely smarter than your average bear. And she's got a humorous streak that really made her enjoyable. So, my age-old question: would I raise a Cosmo with her? Yeah. I might not spring for the first round. But I'd definitely find her an interesting person to be around. I liked that she had a definable character arc through the book. She started off as someone that I would tolerate, but probably not like. But her journey changed her. And I liked that. I liked who she became. And I'd raise a glass with Rhiannon anyday. Plus, I like that name a lot. It just sort of rolls across the tongue. Speaking of tongues... that brings me to my next point...
The Dining Room to Bedroom Factor: 21/25
The hero, Cerne, is definitely hot. One of the downsides of the erotic paranormal romance is that because so much of the book revolves around the hero's (and, often, heroine's) sexuality and the worldbuilding, sometimes there's not a lot of meat to the characters. I found this to be mostly true with Cerne. So, perhaps lower on the Dining Room scale. But holy hotness, Batman, when it comes to the Bedroom factor. The hotness factor is just so overwhelming. He's one of those heroes that you sort of lose track of how he is outside of the bedroom and the battlefield. And for the purposes of this story, it worked well for him.
The Braveheart Factor: 10/10
Since this wasn't a historical, I'll use this selection for the world-building instead of the historical accuracy. Paranormal erotic romance. She hit the paranormal part. The whole faerie world (both the actual world of Fey and the rules of the world she created) was excellently well-done. She hit the erotic part. Even the world itself was sort of built around the committed sexual union of the h/h. Very interesting. And of course, the romance part. Hit that, too. On all fronts, everything had symmetry, and the world was well-done. Great world-building, all around.
The Nostalgia Re-Read Factor: 6/10
I'm not sure whether I will re-read this book or not. If I'd bought the hard copy, I would keep it. I really enjoyed the story, and I don't have any other books quite like it. But I bought the e-copy, so I will definitely hold onto it. I gave it a six because the jury is still out about whether I enjoyed it enough to read it again. Yet I enjoyed it enough that I would consider it. And I'd definitely like to read more of this kind of book. So if Arianna Skye writes more books like this, I'll want to buy them as well. It'll be like collecting a set. :-)
The Skim Factor: 9/10
Very little in the way of skimming. I probably wanted to skim more than I did. But I tried a couple of times and missed things that I had to go back and read. That's the great thing about paranormals. You sort of have to be invested the whole time or something will happen that doesn't make sense and then you realize you need to go back and read the parts you just skimmed. Anyway, there were a couple of slow parts. But all in all, it was a great read.
The Little People Factor: 10/10
This was one of the best "little people" books I've ever read. The villain was real (and scary), with a real goal that made a lot of sense in the story and didn't seem invented just to make trouble. At least three of the minor characters felt almost like main characters themselves. I like that. I like when the minor characters are real to me, too. It's always dangerous in romance to spend so much time on the hero and heroine that everyone else seems fake or uninteresting. This book definitely does not suffer from that problem, at all. I hope there will be more in the future. :-)
Overall Evaluation: 86/100
Definitely a good read. I knew as soon as I read the synopsis that I needed to read this book. I loved the mixture of Celtic mythology with contemporary flair. The two main characters were compelling and fun, and enjoyable. If you're into erotic romance, I would definitely check this book out. Great storytelling, interesting narrative, good characters, strong world-building. I look forward to reading more books by Arianna Skye in the future. If you're interested in buying the book, there's a link to the publisher in the heading of this review. And if you do check it out, stop back and let me know what you thought about it.
**Oh, and I wasn't provided a copy of this book. I bought it myself because it heard about the release, and read it because it sounded interesting.**