For February, I joined Katie of Doing Dewey in reading more romance. Specifically, paranormal romance — a genre that I got a taste of in our genre study group that month but wanted to explore a bit more.
Relationship Status Check
In the final week of February, Katie asked for a relationship status check:
- How would you characterize your relationship with this genre now?
- Do you like this genre more or less than you expected to?
- Are you likely to read more of this genre in the future?
I would answer that I am more open to paranormal romance than I was before. Although I read and enjoyed the Twilight series, I think books in the paranormal romance genre tend to get lumped in and dismissed with Twilight as silly and juvenile, which is not necessarily the case (and not just because the content is more “adult”.)
I doubt I’ll read a lot more of it without making another conscious effort, too, but I feel as though I have a better idea of the variety and the appeal of paranormal romance now.
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
“Normal Psy did not whimper, did not show any emotion, did not feel. But Sascha had known since childhood that she wasn’t normal. She’d successfully hidden her flaw for twenty-six years but now going wrong. Very, very wrong.”
Sascha Duncan has been experiencing emotions and sensations that she is not supposed to feel, as a leading member of the Psy — who, like Vulcans in Star Trek, are purely rational. If she can’t continue to keep these forbidden feelings hidden by means of her skill with psychic shields, she risks being sent for “rehabilitation” by the Psy leaders, including her own mother.
When Sascha is assigned to work on a business project with Lucas Hunter, the handsome alpha in the DarkRiver leopard pack, the danger of discovery is doubled by the nearly uncontrollable sexual attraction each of them feels towards the other despite the sworn enmity between their two races.
Between a killer on the loose that has to be found, Sascha’s personal danger, the sexual tension between her and Luke, and the slowly developing understanding between Sascha and the other leopard changelings in Lucas’s pack, this heated story should work for both werewolf romance fans and paranormal romance readers who don’t mind a touch of futuristic science fiction.
Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Part of the author’s popular Dark-Hunter series, Seize the Night can be picked up and enjoyed without having read the earlier books, but you have to be in the mood to meet a lot of characters who are from the earlier books. Many are human, but there are also immortals like Daimons, gods, goddesses, and the Dark-Hunters to keep track of.
Each book in the series focuses mainly on the point of view of two male and female characters who are romantically drawn together, usually creating a good deal of problems for both of them. In Seize the Night, it’s Tabitha Deveraux, a human Daimon-slayer (think Buffy) and an immortal Dark-Hunter, Valerius, the son of an senator from ancient Rome.
Dark and humorous, Seize the Night was a good entry into the world of paranormal romance and the forbidden romance between Tabitha and Valerius was hot, hot, hot.
Unfortunately, between Book Blogger Appreciation Week and other reading, I only ended up finishing one book in addition to the above two, but it was one that I had won in a giveaway not a year ago after reading about it on Opinions of a Wolf. I was intrigued by the Provincetown (Cape Cod) setting.
The cover is a little misleading, as much of the romance is actually between two males, although, at the start of the book, the bisexual main character, Terric, who is half-demon/half-shapeshifter, is in a relationship with Jordyn, a traumatized human woman whom Terric has been helping to heal by hurting her so she won’t hurt herself. I don’t like reading about BDSM, and so I was glad when that part of the book was over, although poor Terric is devastated and needs to find a healing relationship of his own.
Check out Amanda’s review for more details on the story and the characters. The writing in Set Adrift is not as polished and professional as Slave To Sensation and Seize the Night, but I’d be curious to know where author D.S. Kenn is going to go with the story in the second book in her Immortal Isle series.
For a lighter option to these three, I’ve also been reading a collection of paranormal romance novellas called Holidays Are Hell, which is fun so far.
Thank you, Katie of Doing Dewey, for organizing the Reluctant Romantic challenge! Check out her thoughts on romance and see what other unfamiliar genres were explored in February.