Carla Susan Smith is a new author for me. She did an excellent job with her world building in A Vampire’s Promise.
Rowan is our heroine. Her life is in a rut. She is living vicariously through the adventures of her BFF while remaining a virgin. That could make a person bitter. But Rowan doesn’t read as bitter, in fact, her inner voice reads as hilarious.
Love just isn’t in the cards for Rowan. That is until a mysterious viking-esque sexy stranger approaches her in a bar. Of course she brushes off his advances, but the chemistry and attraction are undeniable. This is confusing for Rowan, but undeniable. Good thing Gabriel goes after what he wants. Not in a creepy, stalker way, but in a gentle, “win you over” way.
Our hero Gabriel is secretive and mysterious, not forthcoming and open. But he’s really rather charming and only has eyes for Rowan.
It’s safe to say this is a paranormal romance that deals in the “fated” or “destined” mates variety, but Rowan has no idea who is courting her and why. Herein lies the promise of this tale.
Smith does a great job building the world Gabriel lives in. He knows the inherent dangers Rowan will face once she is fully exposed to his reality, so he handles her with care. Another thing Smith does well is the extremely realistic telling of virginal sex. Gabriel is not a small man and even with his copious headboard notches and years of experience, virginal sex is uncomfortable. It’s refreshing when an author doesn’t shy away from that reality.
The pacing picks up in the last 20% of the book and I literally couldn’t put the book down. The intensity of the big reveal, the deception surrounding it and the gut wrenching emotions attached to it were palpable. The more I read, the more enthralled I became in the book and sadly, the more I realized I was heading for a ginormous cliffhanger. Luckily the sequel, A Vampire’s Soul is expected to release in early July 2014. So the wait won’t be too terrible.
Fans of PNR will find an intriguing story with an excellent blend of fantasy and reality as well as relatable human characters.
Trust Your Instincts
Rowan Harper is nothing but a smart-mouthed bookstore clerk with a crappy love life on the night she walks into Rosie's Bar. Most of the drama in her life is borrowed from her best friend's adventures. But when she meets Gabriel--tall and movie star gorgeous--everything changes. Never mind that she turns down the drink he offers, or that he brims with secrets she can't begin to guess at. He ignites a desire in her she never suspected--and shows a fascination with her she can't explain.
He has no family, no job, no bank account;he knows where she lives and her favorite flower. An aura of mystery cloaks him, even as Rowan grasps for facts, even as she fears an answer that could destroy her happiness. Gabriel can guide her through a wonderland of new sensations. But only if Rowan trusts him enough to follow. . .
Winner of the OKRWA "Finally a Bride" contest.