Releasing the Demons
Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one.
Motivated by her sister's gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life's goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he's not only innocent, he isn't a man at all—he's a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze's life, a life full of darkness and horror she can't even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can't seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she's ever known.
In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they've come to know and love, including one another.
I don’t normally read romance that falls on the “darker” side. There’s enough dark in the world already, you know? But this book had a really interesting premise and a nicely written blurb, so I thought, what the hell? Overall, I’m really glad I gave it a chance.
The most interesting aspect of this story to me was the setting and the world-building. The author has managed to create a post-apocalyptic future that includes vampires, but remains at its core a romance. I think that’s an incredible accomplishment for the author, and she deserves mad props for it. There’s plenty of action to keep things interesting and move the plot along, and the romance isn’t of the “at first sight” variety, which I appreciate. (Attraction and lust at first sight is fine with me, however, and this story did include some of that)
Val was great as a heroine. She’s smart, tough, and driven by a need to serve and protect. None of her actions threw her into the “too stupid to live” category for me, even though she did put herself in the line of fire a time or two to protect others.
As far as negatives, there weren’t many. But if I were to nitpick, I’d say that towards the end, the book started feeling a little long to me. I feel like maybe a little further editing could’ve tightened things up a bit. And as much as I’ve thought about it, I just can’t understand how Blaze could navigate as well as he did using only infrared vision. (But that could just be me. I once gave myself a headache trying to figure out how John Connor was even born when his father was killed after being sent back in time to protect his mother in Terminator. Time travel is some confusing shit, folks. But I digress...)
But all in all, the author has created an interesting world here. Fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy should definitely give it a read. (But be warned: there is a decent amount of violence. Anyone with a weak stomach need not apply)
Full disclosure: the author generously provided a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, but I didn’t take it. I downloaded via Kindle Unlimited.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
All paranormal romances tend to strain the bonds of believability a bit, but this one is well-written enough to avoid contributing to the stigma.
Other reading suggestions
For indie paranormal romance that falls on the darker side, try Jennifer Kohout’s Shadow Mine, or L.E. Wilson’s Deathless Night series.
Note: Review original posted on Knockin’ Books.
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