Sunday, July 25, 2010
For nearly one hundred years, Rosemarie Edenberg has worked tirelessly to wipe the dreaded ogre tribe from the earth. Now the tribe has gathered in London to work a spell that will destroy the scourge of their kind, the woman they call the Briar Rose.
Two magnetic men will unite to aid Rose -- her mysterious Fey advisor, Ambrose, and the vampire, Lord Shenley, an Earl of scandalous reputation and even more scandalous appetites. One will save her, one will betray her, and both will challenge her to face the past that haunts her.
Once upon a time, she was ensnared in the mists of enchantment, cursed to sleep one hundred years. But this beauty wasn’'t awakened with a kiss, and has never known happily ever after.
With the help of her handsome allies, Rose may yet find it.
I'm reading so many fantastic books these days and speeding through them, I'm having a hard time keeping up with the reviews. Bear with me, this is a quickie!
Ever since I read Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire Chronicles, I've been looking for another historical paranormal series that is as good. It's like searching for the Holy Grail. Night's Rose was not as well done and riveting, but it did scratch my itch in more ways than one.
Rose is a slayer, but not of vampires. She's for the most part human - mortal - and it is her duty to kill evil paranormal monsters that threaten the Earth. She goes after ogres and demons and that sort of thing. Vampires seem to be okay as long as they don't try and kill her and feed on her. Rose has a complicated history along the lines of the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. It's too involved to go into, and frankly it was flawed. To me, it seemed almost a bit unecessary to even have the Sleeping Beauty comparison theme for I didn't quite get the point of it. This was one of my gripes about this book. Her background was sketchy and hard to understand. At one point she had been asleep for 100 years, and then for another 100 years after that she has been at the mercy of the Fey de Nuit who have been using her to do their dirty work slaying their enemies. The setting is London in the mid-eighteenth century. I like this time period and the costumes and customs, so I really enjoyed much of the book, for it had the historical element I love and the suspenseful paranormal aspect with a couple of love interests thrown in for good measure.
The whole Sleeping Beauty part was lost on me and only detracted from the main part of the story which was battling the ogres and wondering which one of the two men in her life she can trust. Rose had a traumatic experience when she awoke from her 100 years sleep, it wasn't a prince that kissed her, and the experience has haunted her. She has nightmares and flashbacks that refer to it, but it left me wondering and puzzled about how and why it happened. I couldn't quite understand why if she is part fey her grandfather, the grand king of the Feys allowed the "awful" thing that happened to her to happen! (still following me?) Lots of unanswered questions and loose ends, but there's another book so maybe that will answer some of these questions.
During that second 100 years after she wakes up from her spell and traumatic experience, Rose meets Ambrose, who becomes her mentor. He is fey and there's an attraction between the two, but it is tamped down, for he is more of a father or brotherly figure to her, still we're uncertain if he's "the one" for her or not. Does he love her and if so, why is she only finding out about it after one hundred years of knowing him? Another man in her life is the attractive and seductive vampire, Gareth who is another question mark. Is he really good for her, or is he lying to her as well? These two men are integral to her survival and interweave through the plotline. Gareth certainly has the sensuality factor covered, one particularly erotic love scene made me think twice about what it would be like to make love to a vampire. Ms. Evans also writes erotic romance as Anna J. Evans, so it's not surprising she has quite a flair for writing it, but, it still bugged me that he was a vampire! I kept thinking about how hard it would be to be married to one when he must "feed" and sleep all day. Yuck, it's just not a concept I'm comfortable with. I still have a ways to go on the whole paranormal romance drinking your blood while making love thing. I prefer mortal men in general, but I suppose a lusty vampire or werewolf is okay for a change once in a while. ;)
Most of the book follows Rose and her search for truth and duty to kill these ogres that are planning on wrecking the world, starting with the revival of this giant ogre that has lain dormant under the River Thames for centuries. He is supposedly enormous and I couldn't shake the idea of the giant Pillsbury Dough Boy from Ghostbusters out of my head. Imagine the damage this ogre could do to the many steeples and buildings of Georgian London! Rose, Ambrose and Gareth are all trying to prevent the ogre from coming to life and her special blood is crucial to making it happen so she must be protected at all costs. She's protected, but Gareth who has fed off her a little bit (from their big erotic love scene) is captured and I won't go into it, but there's a big rescue at the end and all is sort of resolved. There's plenty of sword and battle scenes, with heads flying and gore spurting, so if you're into this sort of thing, this book's for you!
Overall, I liked this book despite it's complicated back history, I intend to read the next in the series. The plot development and characterizations were not as good as Colleen Gleason's. I didn't feel as much of a close and personal connection to the characters here but it wasn't bad either. I recommend it for paranormal romance fans, particularly if you like historicals.