I'm trying to get back into the blogging bit because it actually helps clear my brain a bit, so posts might be spotty for awhile. But I also have a desire to clear crap off my desk, so some book reviews are going to come your way so I can move them from my desk to my shelf where they can be their pretty little selves up there.
The Raven (The Florentine #1) - Sylvain Reynard
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…
When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…
I will start by saying I am SUCH a fan of Sylvain Reynard. Like if I could be a groupie who hides out in his front bushes, I absolutely would. I would buy anything that had his name on it because the romance in his novels is tremendous and it makes it a thousand times better because it is a man writing them. I don't know what it is about a man writing a romance novel, maybe it's the fact that it gives hope that not every guy is completely incapable. The ability is there. Right? I tried getting my husband to listen to me read passages and he rolls his eyes and says it's dumb. Yeah, it's dumb until it becomes a fast panty dropper. Then it's not so dumb, IS IT?!?
But let's talk about the book.
The book focuses around Raven, who is described as a crippled, possibly homely young woman who isn't skinny but she isn't fat. She's basically like the normal lot of us, but she uses a cane due to a childhood incident she doesn't like to talk about. Men don't regard her as beautiful so when she finds herself in the hands of the Prince, also known as William, who happens to be a vampire. (Right here I need to just tell you that I love this author that much more because you know I love a good vampire story.) Some artwork is stolen, but WHO CARES, because William is clearly dangerous, clearly has some issues, but he's amazingly gorgeous and he finds Raven irresistible. Even though it might not be in her best interest, and it's certainly not in his best interest, he finds it hard to be away from her. And she feels the same, except she has some really awful self esteem issues so she finds everything he says suspect. Which is understandable in the beginning, but as we get to even 3/4 of the book finished, GIVE IT UP, LADY. He thinks you're beautiful, stop questioning the guy or calling him a liar. Dang. That's the quickest way to get a guy to give up on you.
This is the first in the series (if you don't count the prequel novella The Prince), and I am so excited to read the rest. I love how William isn't depicted as the friendly neighborhood vampire but it's clear he's dangerous, it's clear the world he's a part of is highly dangerous and Raven shouldn't mess around because she doesn't know what she's getting into. I hope that in future books she isn't so flippant about danger because there is nothing more annoying than a female character throwing all caution to the wind and getting herself in trouble only to be rescued every few chapters.
So if you are in the market for a good romance novel with a good story line, I highly suggest this one. You can order it from Barnes & Noble and even Amazon.