It's been almost a week since I read Braving Fate, and I'm just now forcing myself to review it. I was blown away by how much love I have for this book and now I'm finding it difficult to explain the why. The only series I can compare its likeness to is probably the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon and the Lord's of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter, because of its mixture of the paranormal, mythology, and heated romance. Make no mistake, this book is unique in its own ways. The world building is phenomenal, and her writing magical... I predict Linsey Hall becoming an award-winning author herself, one of these days!
Mythology is a fast favorite of mine, whether mythology appears in romance novels or historical documentaries, when I hear of one, I'm there. I admit I was skeptical of this one. The cover had me convinced the book would be more about romance than world building. I figured the mythology would be more backstory than anything else, and thankfully I was wrong to assume this, and here's why I absolutely enjoyed this, and can't wait for more:
- Every character, even the secondary character's that play less than small parts, are so well-developed, that they felt real. It also felt as if I got to know them just as well as the main characters. I cared about all of them, and each person drew some sort of emotion from me - anger, love, annoyance, confusion, intrigue.
- A large part of this story takes place in a mystical university created to apprehend long dead spirits escaping old and forgotten underworlds. Though most of the important parts of this story happen away from the school, I can't help but hope that the next couple of stories happen within it. I yearn for a more detailed description of this mysterious school that reminds me of a grown up Hogwarts, if its goal was to stop evil, and not to teach young wizards to control their magic.
- The emotions were so believable, I didn't even hate the drama! I can't stand over-the-top drama (ironic, considering my choice in fiction literature) It was spot on human nature, and I loved how Diana and Cadan weren't annoyingly perfect in the least. There is nothing that makes me want to bang my head against a wall more than a character that never seems to get what's coming to them, even when they deserve it. It goes against all the lessons I was taught about facing the consequences of my actions. Yes, even the good guys should get a slap on the hand every once in awhile (this does not present my view on corporal punishment, folks).
- The borderline kink sexiness was so surprising to me. Braving Fate just didn't seem like the type of book to have amateur bondage scenes. I like!
With her glasses perched above a straight nose and the intelligence shining behind her eyes, she looked like a 1940s pin-up librarian. . .He hadn't known he had a fetish for sexy librarians.
Diana is an assistant professor in the process of writing a book she hopes will move her up the professorial ladder quicker. She's had dreams her whole life of dying and betrayal at the hands of her lover, but she never knew that those things actually happened and that she was fated to save the world from some mysterious dark force that only she knows how to stop.
Like Cadan, I am drawn to the sexy smarts in my heroines. Not only was she smart and sexy, she didn't put up with Cadan's bullshit over-protective gene he carried over from 1st Century AD, and even went so far as binding him to the bed and trying to seduce the answers from him. It didn't work the way she planned, but it produced a nice sex scene that I, err.. the characters found quite enjoyable for all. Suffice to say, she was an awesome main character.
I also loved Cadan, even though I repeatedly felt the urge to hit him over the head with a blunt object and yell, "STOP BEING A SEXIST JERK." His reasoning behind his over-protective behavior that essentially led Boudica to feel betrayed by him felt warranted when Diana finally gets the truth out of the stubborn Celt, and I was glad when he apologized for being a jackass. The miscommunication is actually enjoyable in Braving Fate, especially since it isn't the answer to all the conflict! I hate miscommunication as the basis for a book.
Braving Fate is the perfect paranormal romance for any love was also deep enough for fantasy lovers to get their kicks as well. It was a fun, hot little read that I can see myself re-reading over and over again. I hope it's available in print soon, I would totally pay for a paper copy of this book! Fans of mythology, Gena Showalter, or Sherrilyn Kenyon should give this a go. You won't regret it!
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