Thursday, February 19, 2009

REVIEW: "Marked by Passion"

Synopsis from B&

Out of the blue one day Gabrielle Sansouci Chin receives an ancient scroll that she discovers she was destined to protect. Her possession only means one thing...her father is dead. Gabe has no idea how she is going to balance her new responsibilities as a Guardian with being a painter by day and a bartender by night. Having just been contracted for her new 'Enter the Light' series, Gabe tries to handle it all. But it seems like her luck has run dry when she's ill-trained to take her proper place as guardian, having a dry spell at painting, and for some reason can't help but fall for Rhys Llewellyn, the sexy Brit who offers his help in more ways than one...

A new paranormal voice has hit the market, one that is sure to only get even better as the years go on! And instead of focusing on vampires, like (as others say/complain) a lot of the paranormal romances have been, Kate Perry's Guardians of Destiny Series focuses on a new aspect, a mix of old Asian lore and magic.

Marked by Passion provided a fresh new read, and one that kept me reading from morning to night just to finish! Not many books have that affect one me. Oh sure, I READ from the time I get up in the morning until I fall asleep at night (Excluding breaks, work, etc, of course), but all those hours of reading are not always on the same book. But this time, I didn't want to pick up either one of the other two novels I was working on at the time-- my full attention was focused solely on Gabe's life and sexy encounters with Rhys. (Two words: British Accent!)

Though this was Perry's first novel (for this series, at least), I never would have guessed. From page one, I was pulled into the story, and instead of being lost and confused for a few chapters, like you can be in some paranormal worlds, this one was instantly explained. Of course, Gabe wouldn't have even had to have dealt with this new life if her father hadn't been killed, and the sacred Scroll sent to her, but still. The characters were fairly strong, not weak and 2-D, and I enjoyed a lot of their witty banter and dialogue. The story just seemed to flow, and the characters (along with the relationships) evolved along the way.

Gabe, for example, wasn't some wimpy heroine, which I can't stand to have in a romance. Rhys was a good example of a gentleman. Sure, he gave her more than a fair taste of passion, enough to tempt her, but he held out, not only because of their growing affection (and eventual love), but also because he respected her. She use to be the kind of girl that didn't want commitment-- if she needed companionship, she'd date someone for a few weeks, maybe more for the occasional good relationship she found, and they'd both benefit from it, but she never wanted commitment from them, it was pretty much about sex. Rhys, I believe, realized this and wanted to show that they could have something more than that.

Of course, when they finally did get together, it was pretty steamy. Maybe not erotic romance material, but definitely not some tame excuse for a sex scene either! I think the best part of watching their relationship throughout the book was the sexual tension. Because he'd always refuse her, at least for the first 200 or so pages, their connection and sexual tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife! This, of course, provided more than a few hot mini-scenes along the way, along with some interesting conversations between the two. To me, those things can sometimes be even better than the actual sex scenes, though don't get me wrong, the sex is (usually) a major element that I enjoy reading about,too.

Besides the romance, which was very well done, Marked by Passion also had a great plot line, fast-paced and interesting. Every time you'd think nothing more could possible happen, you'd be wrong. There was a bit of suspense, more than a few surprises, and the glimpse into the Guardians' world was enough to make me crave the next installment, which, sadly, will not be out until winter of 2010 (2010, can you believe it?!). As best-selling author, Jeaniene Frost, said in a review for Marked by Passion:

"A perfect combination of urban fantasy and romance!"

I second that, Jeaniene! That pretty much sums up the book in one short sentence, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

4.5/5 stars! I can't say enough good things about MP, it's simply a great paranormal romance, a new take from a genre that I've always loved, and I am anxious to read any future books from Perry, especially in this series! This one small taste of their world simple is not enough to whet my appetite, and I'm sure that you too will find that it applies to you after you've read the book. In my opinion, it might possible be on of the best 2009 debut paranormal series! Buckle up, and prepare for a fantastic ride with Gabe, Rhys, and all their friends and enemies!

Until next time,

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