Author: Tes Hilaire
Series: Paladin Warriors #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Category: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Vampire
Main Characters: Karrisa/Roland
Author’s Website: http://www.teshilaire.com/
Source: Personal purchased copy, ebook.
Rating: 3 FULL MOONS
A STRANGER IN THE NIGHT…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up at his doorstep.
COMES KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.
This reminded me of an old-fashioned vampire romance from back in the day when there wasn’t really an urban fantasy genre, and I used to have to scour all of the romance novel shelves to find one with a fangy hero to sweep away the heroine into the sexy and mysterious night. A little thin on plot and action, but heavy on romance and smexy stuff (not high erotica, but sexy nonetheless in a fairly bland kind of way).
And like those old books, there wasn’t a whole lot of development of the relationship — it was one of those “We’re Soul Mates so of COURSE we love each other!” things. Those tend to bug me. I want to see how and why the hero and heroine fall in love with one another, like going through hell together, or being trapped together and getting to know one another, stuff like that. But when it’s just lust + some supernatural tie = TLA, it tends to bug. I didn’t mind it so much in this story, I guess… mostly because it was lost in the fact that I was left through the whole story feeling like I had missed an entire book. The backstory was really weak, leaving giant holes that would explain a lot of characters’ behavior, the antagonists, the history of the war,etc., and left less loose ends. Maybe they’ll be addressed in later books, but that doesn’t really help the reader of THIS book.
Another pet peeve of mine is the uber-alpha hero running around roaring “MINE! MINE!” all the time. It doesn’t sound hot to me, it sounds like a petulant three-year old that doesn’t want to share his toy — especially when the “toy” (aka adult, autonomous female human being) doesn’t seem to be interested, or objects vociferously to being possessed like a piece of furniture or a pet. Other than that and his terminal “I’m not good enough for her, oh woe is me” brooding, Roland was pretty sexy. Karissa, on the other hand, should really seek mental health assistance — her flip-flopping from quailing terror to lust to kick ass and back again might be signs of something seriously wrong. And by the end of the book? I just don’t know. A little too Bella Swan for me.
You know, it’s funny… I write these pretty scathing reviews, and yet all in all I was fairly entertained by the story. At the very least, I needed to get to the end and find out what happened. I’m mostly moving on to the next book because I volunteered to review it, but I’m not holding out much hope for the series as a whole.
OOOOO – Five Full Moons: OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK GO GET IT RIGHT NOW!
OOOO – Four Full Moons: I REALLY liked this. Well worth reading, and possibly re-reading!
OOO – Three Full Moons: Pretty good. Worth a read.
OO – Two Full Moons: Not really to my taste, but not terrible.
O – One Full Moon: Has serious flaws that make it difficult to read and review fairly.
I also use half-moons as necessary. I should make it clear that I do revew books on a number of levels, emotional and structural being the major ones. I might read a book with serious grammar and spelling flaws, but it could still win my heart due to characterization or story. Or a perfectly structured novel might leave me feeling nothing, and won’t get a great review. I DO always try to find something positive to say about a book, or I won’t say anything much at all. I DO NOT engage in mean-spirited snark, although I do give constructive criticism. As a writer, I can’t stand the former, and always appreciate the latter, even if it’s “negative.”
Hope this makes sense. Any questions, comments, or vague misgivings are welcome in the comments!