An Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance. Knowledge changes everything… Hoodoo-influenced Southern Louisiana seems like the perfect place for Camille to escape her abusive past and dysfunctional family. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with the handsome Gavin Devereaux and plummet into the world of Amaranth, a place of exile for reformed vampires. Wrestling to escape a deadly ex-boyfriend while giving Gavin a chance, Camille is confronted with decisions that threaten not only her life, but the lives of her inhuman friends she has come to love. Entangled in her friends’ quest for freedom, she dives into their realm and faces the threats of Amaranth’s ruler—the mother of all vampires—and her own inner demons. Now Camille must decide whether she will derail her life and make the ultimate sacrifice for the monsters that interrupted her bumpy path back to sanity—what she still wants so desperately—or escape with Gavin before it’s too late for both of them.
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS ***
When I first started this book, I was immediately in love with it. I found the main character relatable (through her personality, not her history) and I liked the way that the two main protagonists met. As I continued through the book, my love continued to grow. I adored the character and the way that she was around her best friend and even when she was first introduced to the vampires. Then, out of nowhere, the POV changed and my whole view of the book just shifted. I don’t know why, but I just lost interest. I continued reading, and noted when it went back to Camille’s POV again but unfortunately, by this point I had already lost interest and trying to hold onto it again was just impossible for me. Which, naturally, is a shame as I loved it so much at the beginning and then second half should have been lovable too as that was when the story and plot really moved forward and started to get good but I was just too at a distance from the words to really enjoy it.
The vampires in this novel were interesting and unique and I actually really enjoyed reading about them and their world. I especially loved Joel. We didn’t get a lot of him but what we did get was enough for me to know that he was a great character and I liked the relationship he held with Camille. I liked the way that they were able to walk around in the sunlight without being detected and that there was another world just for them. It was all really interesting to read. It was very detailed and you did get a lot of the history of it but there were still some open-ended questions at the end of the book but these seem as though they are more likely to be answered in the next book in the Trilogy.
Another aspect of this book that I didn’t really connect with was the romance. As a paranormal romance, it was natural for it to be a main part of the storyline but I just didn’t feel that it was right. At the beginning it was nice, a sort of natural meeting when you leave someone thinking only of them and wondering about them but when they met up again, it was all just too rushed. Maybe not for them because they did spend a lot of time together, supposedly, but the reader saw none of it. They heard of dates and a witnessed a few talks but nothing that really grabbed me and made me think ‘romance’. I felt secluded from it and it made it hard for me to understand why they loved each other so much. Maybe that is just a personal problem for me, but I just don’t like books that have instant love without a full explanation. Why does she love him? Why can’t she live without him?
With that said, I do think that Rachel did an excellent job with characters. These can often be the hardest part of a story to get right but I think she really managed to get a good grasp on them. I instantly connected with Camille, one of my favourite quotes being “I’m an introvert, not anti-social.”, which I totally bonded with and understand. As it went on, I saw bits of myself in her and her relationship with those around her. This got harder after the second part of the book, she became stronger and went off on her own to do what she needed to do which was relatable but by this point I was already distanced so that was more my own problem then Camille’s. I loved Audrey, she was fun to have around and she really had Camille’s best interests at heart. I just wish we could have seen more of her but I think this is more likely to happen in the next book. Gavin, on the other hand, was someone I had trouble liking. He was a bit of a closed book really, kept things to himself, didn’t explain anything and was just really hard to get a hold on. Maybe that was why I couldn’t get to grips with the romance either because I could connect with Camille but not Gavin.
All in all, the plot of the novel was well thought out and it was a definitely an interesting read. I’m on the edge as to whether I will bother reading the next book when it comes out, only time will tell on that front. I think, if others are able to oversee the change in POV, or in fact like the POV as I have read some reviewers liked, then they are more likely to enjoy this book through to the end. It does have a strong story behind it and it ends in a good way with a huge “bomb-dropping” piece of information that leaves the reader craving more. I think that this has the potential to be loved by many but unfortunately, it simply wasn’t the story for me, which was unfortunate but bound to happen eventually!
I received this book for review as a Read it & Reap on the Shut Up and Read group on Goodreads and I want to thank them, and Rachel, for the opportunity to read the book.