Book: DARK PASSAGES: TRISTAN AND KAREN
Author: SARA REINKE
Genre: PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Published: February 2011, BLOODHORSE PRESS
Series: The Brethren series #4
Source: Author via Bewitching Book Tours, no other compensation given to me for an honest review
Tristan Morin is a vampire on a mission: to not fall in love with Karen Pierce. To do so would prove that humans and Brethren were meant to be physically and emotionally bound to each other -- something he, as a full-blooded Brethren, refuses to believe. It would be so much easier if Karen wasn't beautiful. And if there wasn't something about her that draws him like a moth to a flame, damn near impossible to resist.
Karen has always felt an inexplicable attraction to Tristan. More than just the fact he's strikingly handsome, it's as if being with him is something natural, comfortable and right. But soon a brash choice on his part leaves her heartbroken and confused, and a sadistic new enemy will put their tentative love -- and their lives -- to the ultimate test.
DARK PASSAGES is definitely different from your average vampire paranormal romance. Right away, it establishes that The Brethren do have special powers, but they can succumb to mortal sicknesses and diseases like the rest of us. I liked this bit of fallibility that Sara Reinke gives her vampires. I like it when an author isn't afraid to put their own twist on an existing mythos.
Reinke explains much of the differences that she has given to the vampires (Brethren) through the eyes of her female protagonist, Karen, who knows about their secret. While some of the explanation came out a little bit like an infodump, I was never pulled out of the story, and I appreciated getting the background, especially since I haven't read any of her previous novels in the series.
There was an underlying danger that threatened the couples' lives, but it really took a back seat to the developing romantic relationship that Tristan and Karen were forming. Though this danger did become real, it wasn't until the end of the novel, and the reader is treated to a fairly emotion-filled journey with the two, mostly from Tristan, as he fights his bloodlust for this woman that he has spent so much time with as a colleague.
I enjoyed reading DARK PASSAGES, and it has whetted my appetite for the other books in the series. There are many secondary characters that are introduced that I would love to find out more about, and two of them do have their own books. Reinke takes the paranormal romance genre and delivers a real romance, not just hot scenes amidst mortal danger. There is a real development to Tristan and Karen's love for each other, one that follows a more real-life timeline, and one that I was compelled to follow to the end.
3.5/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
3.5/5 for language
My Rating: 11/15 (3 stars)
Recommended, if you liked:
Love at Stake (series) by Kerrelyn Sparks
A Werewolf in Manhattan by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Find the author at:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads
Purchase book at:
Barnes and Noble | Smashwords | Amazon
Available formats: NookBook, Kindle, Paperback (Trade)
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