I’d heard some very positive things about this book before I even began reading, so I had hopes that it would reignite some of my passion for the paranormal-romance genre. I have to admit, this is the genre I read the most books for and truly adore reading books in. So I was hoping for something new and different and I certainly got it. I’ve never read the books that reside around highlanders or any of those sorts, but this is set in Scotland with a world full of paranormal creatures and just one remaining human. The premise for this story already had me hooked from the very first moment. At that point I’m just going to revert to the cover and I can I say, I drooled just the tiniest bit. A man holding a sword, with a toned, tanned body, can it get much more enticing?
From the very first moment this story had drawn me in and I found myself picking up a pad of paper to jot down a few quotes I liked—this is the first time I’ve done this. In large it was to help writing my review, but still, the fact that I wanted to do this, surprised me. One of my favourite quotes from the first few minutes of reading was…
“Too bad her cell phone didn’t work. Otherwise her Maps app would have taken her straight there.”
At this moment I knew we were in modern world, but then we seem to revert into a medieval setting with the castles and swords. It was so bizarre to see it meshed together, mobile phones, castles and swords. It took me a while to get my head around because when you get drawn into the trekking across country by foot and then suddenly Kelvin whips out a mobile phone it certainly caught me out. However it all becomes part of the story and you get really integrated into the world. I think it’s a fantastic idea to see modern and medieval all together and Brury took on a challenge and combined it perfectly!
The world itself is made up of four realms, The Earth Realm, The Cypher Realm, The Low Realm and The High Realm. A particularly useful feature was the glossary at the back to really go into depth about these. We didn’t really go into much detail about the four realms in the story, but I’m hoping this is something Brury will build on because I really appreciate a solid world. From the glossary we get a lot more information and some fun little descriptions about the worlds than Brury reveals in the whole of the novel and I found this a little disappointing. I want to be immersed in the four worlds whilst I’m reading not when I get to the end. Hopefully Brury will rectify this for the future and not leave us with some great little quotes at the end instead.
“Hell is not where a dark soul goes to rot…it is where an evil soul goes to thrive.”
See?! I want to know why she couldn’t have given us this IN the novel rather than as an addition at the end. I would have adored to read some world building to truly top this novel off.
Kelvin. He was melt in a puddle, oh-my-gosh worthy. Kelvin takes the dominant male to a whole different level, but he also has a sensitive side that comes across as the novel progresses. He’s also a dumbass male and needs to be reminded, hit and left to ponder his misdeeds for a while, but that only adds to the entertainment. He’s Scottish and Brury never lets you forget this with the accent she creates and upholds the whole way through the novel. And even whilst he’s Scottish, I could still understand him and imagine the voice in my head. I really love being able to do that! I thought he was a really strong male lead and you have to remember he’s a typical male so his thoughts are very sex related, but it’s not bordering on an obscene level.
“ But just the thought of tasting her olive skin and sucking on those crimson lips made his cock throb. He couldn’t remember ever wanting a female this bad.”
I liked that Brury didn’t take the obscenities and sexual language to an unbelievable or crass level which piqued my interest and kept me reading. Rather I felt absorbed and integrated in the passion of the moment. Everything felt intense and butterflies-in-your-stomach worthy. I really felt like the romance evolved over time, went through realistic challenges and whilst sex was used as an anchor and escape route, isn’t that all part of human nature in pushing aside problems with sex?
The creatures Brury created were not your vampires—although these got a mention—or even a werewolf but we had Fion and Pooka as the two main breeds. They each have their own paranormal aspects which get unveiled as the book goes along—I wouldn’t want to give too much away describing them—and they really add to the unique creation of this book!
Izel is a female character I found believable and a little bit tedious at times. I wanted to throttle her and say “GODDAMMIT STOP CRYING AND JUMP THE MAN!” However she had valid reasons for most of her behaviour and I did really like her character in the end. She was cute and quirky and she ended up being a little bit of sturdy no-shit character by the end of the story. I appreciated that about her because she developed as a character and really blossomed on her own.
To add to all the fabulous romance, steamy sex scenes, action and thrills, this book had some real humour and quirkiness for me that was brought with Kelvin’s cheeky character.
“I did no’ see a photo of a man in there. Can I assume—?” “That is none of your business.” “Aye, so no man.” His face stretched into a victorious grin as his eyes roamed over her body.”
Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and found it a refreshing change in the paranormal-romance sector. I hope to see more from Brury soon and I don’t think you’ll find her disappointing!
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Let me know what you think!
Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.
* Quotes are taken from and uncorrected proof copy and may change in the final draft.