Michelle Valentine is mostly known for her hot-and-heavy, rock and roll erotica series Black Falcon. Now she enters the new adult genre with a paranormal romance that is really unlike anything I’ve read before. You have a heroine, Natalie, in an impossible situation of having sold her soul at the age of five to save her mother’s life. Sixteen years later, time is slowly running out on what’s left of her messed up life. You have the boy next door who she’s falling in love with and at the same time, a completely off-the-charts hot guy shows up and does his best to sweep Natalie off her feet and win her heart…. and soul?
Story / Tempo
See, I hadn’t read the little blurb about the book since I first agreed to review this book so I pretty much went into this story blind. I suggest you do the same if you haven’t already read the blurb and studied it word for word. I prefer my blurbs to only cover the first quarter to a third of the book. I think this blurb may have given a bit too much of the story away, but that’s just my humble opinion.
Oh, don’t worry, though!! There are still plenty of “what the heck?” surprises left in the story. I think that’s why I enjoyed the uniqueness of this engaging story; you never knew what was going to be thrown your way next. There were some reveals that came out of nowhere. Some reveals were building up the entire book but when it came time to learn the truth, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I thought Ms. Valentine did a great job of surprising me.
I have to warn you “love triangle” haters: there is a love triangle in this story. No, I’m not a big fan of those. Frankly, they drive me batty. But this one is resolved/answered pretty early on in the story. What I mean to say is that you kind of know which way the story is headed. Did I blow it for you? Hardly… at least I hope so. *looks at floor and shuffles feet*
Setting / World Building
As I mentioned earlier, the story is set in Columbus, Ohio. There IS a Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, a very cool suburb just outside of downtown Columbus. Easton Mall is an outdoor mall with an indoor portion that was referred to; I was actually married not far from there. Basically, I give Ms. Valentine props on keeping close to the Columbus landscape. She didn’t have to, but I thoroughly enjoyed the drive out to the farmlands :) Thanks!
As far as building her demon world, details were very limited this time around as we didn’t learn too much about demon powers. We only saw what demons did through Natalie’s eyes and she had the tendency to cover her eyes when they did the cooler stuff. Hopefully next time around we get to see a ton more cool powers.
Natalie, despite covering her eyes when she didn’t want to see souls sucked up into vials (who doesn’t want to see that?!), was written very well. I thought her personality fit a second year college student to a tee. She is in between being mature and still wanting the comfort of home life and her mom and dad. But unfortunately she’s had to grow up pretty fast so I ended up empathizing with her and hoping she finally got a break.
Enter Rick, her break in the form of a hot guy with a tattoo sleeve, a fast black sports car, and a very devoted interest in getting to know Natalie. Still after finishing the book, I still can’t quite peg Rick. I haven’t figured out if he’s good or bad. If you ever figure it out, let me know. I’m dying to know.
Overall, the story had some awesome original “demon” elements and the tempo/consistency worked for me. This was a quick, two night read for me… and I read slow. All the characters were fleshed out enough for the current story but I hope to see more of a few of them in later books in the series. It looks like Ms. Valentine is planning a book two in this series for sometime in October 2013. Yay!
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