It’s true, when I want a break from the intense fight scenes, gore or crazyiness of Scifi and fantasy novels and want something mindless I usually turn to a paranormal romance book. I know I know. Romance books tend to be cheesy enough let alone ones with paranormal characters too. But I’ve read a few regular romance novels and felt icky when I was done. The pirates booty and extremely over the top sexual prowess was just too…dirty porno? I’m sure romance readers out there disagree. I probably read the raunchy ones without knowing it. So I turned to paranormal romance hoping I’d find something a bit different. I did this mostly because a lot of authors in the urban fantasy world I enjoy have written a paranormal romance or two on the side. Since I liked the author I picked up the book. Even though the monsters are made up, the romance stories always seemed more believable. Maybe because of all the supernatural elements your mind accepts the unlikely rather than just saying ‘now that just doesn’t happen’ in a regular human scenario. Whatever the reason I’ve found my occasional foray into paranormal romance a much better experience than regular romance novels.
Case in point. Since the New Year has turned over everyone is coming out with their own lists for the “Best of 2011”. Since I follow a lot of authors I’ve seen a lot of ‘best of books for 2011’ with their names on it. *clap of of applause to those I adore* Now I think I read a lot. Too much most days so I’ve pretty much read all the books that appear on these lists, but I still read over them anyways because there is always something I haven’t read or some new author that hasn’t popped up on my radar. With the new popularity of e-readers it makes it harder to find those authors that don’t actually have a printed book yet but are popular and still on the DL.
The other day I stumbled across one that had the author J.A Saare and her Rhiannon’s Law Series which I hadn’t heard about. Needless to say I was hooked in and instantly liked all the characters and the world she brought to life. After I finished book two I grew bummed the third wasn’t out yet and moved on to try one of her paranormal romances. I was skeptical even though I enjoyed the way she wrote her other books and how easy it was to believe her characters. But for 4.99 on my kindle I said why not?
So I picked up Crimson Moon and didn’t want to put it down. I saw parallels in the vulnerabilities between the main characters of Crimson Moon and Rhiannon’s Law but it quickly faded as the story progressed. The book moved fast easily morphing from scene to scene which impressed me because there wasn’t a lot of ‘action’. Physical action and constant bombardments usually keep a story ragging forward. However the first half of this book was really just a group of kids getting to know each other or more importantly the two main characters growing on one another. The development of their relationship, although quick, felt real and not over the top ridiculous like other romances novels portray.
I was actually involved, rooting for their relationships success. I was hooked in and believed the relationships quick progression. I wasn’t sniggering at the instant undying love being professed because there wasn’t much; the characters were hesitant and shy in their new relationship even though it was obviously passionate. I didn’t roll my eyes at the characters inability to ever stop touching each other or over the top sex scenes were the lovers often found themselves in extremely creative positions. Mostly because there wasn’t any of that either. There was plenty of sexual tension and the sex scene that eventually came was in the right place and fit the story well. Even though I was easily able to guess what kind of challenges the couple was going face based on the hints dropped I still wanted to read and find out how the characters overcame the obstacles in their way. I was pleasantly surprised by it all.
In the end I didn’t feel like I read a romance novel even with the happy ending that is often missing from an urban fantasy novel. Since I haven’t been following J.A Saare until a couple days ago I can only hope there is a continuation to the series. There are plenty of openings for one and I hope she’s taking advantage of it.
Here’s a link to her site