Archive for Books Similar to the Sookie Books
Prague is a city filled with the fantasy romance of ages. It is also the city where Sarah Weston goes when she receives a mysterious note from her teacher and mentor Professor Sherbatsky just before he died in a very unconvincing suicide. She arrives at the castle of a handsome and mysterious prince to study dangerously valuable clues to the identity of Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, the work her mentor had begun.
Here she is surrounded by valuable works of art of every type, a reclusive and mystifying prince and the big question of the musical ages. Was the “Immortal Beloved” a woman – or something more? With a swirl of fantasy, romance in the wings and enough World War II back story to satisfy any history buff, City of Dark Magic is a brilliant homage to all three genres by a pair of established writers under a non de plume that fools no one. But boy – can these gals write a yarn that holds you right to the end!
A Weaving of Plots
While the story centers on Sarah and her need to find answers to her mentor’s questions, there is so much more in this delicious blending of mystery, fantasy, romance and history. When Sarah arrives at Lobkowicz Palace she is walked through an ancient building filled with art, and academics of every stripe. You can almost smell the musty air and sense of mystery as she is guided through the crumbling castle and into her tiny dark cell of a room. Even this early, you can sense that all is not as it appears. We know there will be questions to be answered, and Sarah may not be happy with what she finds.
The supporting characters, from the sexy Prince Max and a 400 year old dwarf to the child prodigy Pols, a power-hungry senator and a host of charming and eccentric art specialists are part of the pull of this remarkable book. Yes, there are some sex scenes, but they are definitely part of the story as we follow the building romance between the two main characters. Of course, as Sarah works to unravel the mysterious death of her mentor, she is drawn into an additional mystery that is held within the walls of the castle itself. She questions if she can trust the sexy Prince Max or even any of the fellow academics that are here to be part of this grand new art museum.
A Question of Time
The fantasy romance takes on a more fantastical element when Sarah is introduced to a mystery package that contains a clue to her mentor’s state of mind. In it is a substance that she can only guess about – but is soon revealed to allow her to shift in time. It is with this substance that she soon learns Beethoven’s secret and also what it was that drove her mentor through the castle window and to his death.
Fantasy Romance Beyond the Ordinary
Prague has long been seen as a portal to other worlds; so too this story will transport you to other times. There is a dark mystery that threads throughout the story, bodies piling up and a desire that somehow cannot be denied. In addition, there is the dark fantasy of the magical Prague itself. Like a secondary character of its own, the city and its history play a role along with the magic that radiates through it. If you are looking for a traditional urban fantasy, this may not be your book. But if you are a daring reader with a taste for history, fantasy, romance and mystery this may be just the ticket for your next adventurous ride.
Kim Knox has more than a few Fantasy Romance titles under her belt. This particular one is lushly romantic. It is darkly filled with secret longings and has a creature at the center of it that is strangely familiar. We get to sit inside the head, and heart of a woman that the society she lives within consider a monster so horrible it is amazing they even let her live.
We see the horror she could be and the strength of will it takes to control that monster within. I love that Knox pulls no punches either with the view into what this monstrous longing for blood and the soul of another reveals, or the erotic encounters she has.
Ava is a woman, and a creature of hideous longings. She is a being who in many ways resembles our tales of a vampire, for she survives by consuming blood and wrestles continuously with the need the “feed her soul” on others. I love the way our understanding of Ava creeps upon us, as well as the way the characters of those around her are slowly revealed.
A Fantasy Romance with a Dark Soul
In the beginning we watch through her eyes the ritual greeting of the sun by a naked and god-like Heyerdar. She drinks in his sensuality even as she longs for the touch of Reist, her master and savior. The relationship between Reist, an almost immortal Mage who is deep in the political machinations of the empire and Ava are complicated.
Ava longs to be seen by Reist as his lover, but when he turns to another she approaches Heyerdar to strike a bargain. One that she hopes will win her the heart of her master. But Heyerdar is an elemental, a being that draws its power from the earth and the sun and is sex incarnate. Just to be in the same room as him is to feel desire to your fingertips. Little surprise that Ava soon finds herself pulled to him. But what does he gain from these sensual encounters?
The Pull of Two Lovers
In much the same way that the Sookie Stackhouse fantasy romance books have her continuously being pulled into the paranormal world of the vampires, so too is Ava pulled into a dark world of clashing powers and hidden secrets. Ava also has that draw of two powerful men, each wanting her for their own reasons. As Ava continues to try and find a way to Reist’s heart, Heyerdar becomes much more than the tool to bring Reist back to her. For through his elemental power she comes to truly understand her own power and everyone’s need to control it, including herself.
This is a very adult fantasy romance book, just as a warning. The highly charged scenes of seduction and more are skilled enough to have you blushing if you were reading this on the train to work. They are also some of the most imaginative sensual passages I have read in paranormal romance in some while, and these days that is saying a lot! But there is so much more than that to this book. The complex world that Kim Knox builds here including the use of magic in a very inventive way, are really intriguing. I found myself thinking of the characters and the world they inhabit even when I wasn’t reading the book, always a good sign.
Inhuman Fantasy Romance Mystery
There is mystery, action more than a dash of fantasy romance and plenty of long detailed descriptions of bodies in motion. There is political intrigue that moves the story forward to keep you guessing just what everyone’s motivation is, all through the story. Best of all, the characters of Ava, Reist and Heyerdar are solid and intriguing. For all their fanciful romantic powers and setting, they are beings (certainly not human, she is good at portraying that) that we come to understand as the plot unfolds.
Dark Dealings is an aptly named fantasy romance that is one of the few I have read that truly portrays the non-human side of fantasy’s dark creatures. Knox successfully takes us into a world where humans are almost an after-thought. Where creatures of unimaginable power and lust can create or destroy at a whim, and makes them believable. I read Dark Dealings in the Kindle edition, but there is also an audio edition for those who want to listen to a bit of fantasy romance on the drive to work each day.
If you like your fantasy romance to start hot and go to sizzle from there, boy have I got a book for you! I guess it should come as no surprise that if you write a story about a woman who falls in love with a succubus that the love scenes might just make the pages smoke a bit, but this one really does begin with one of the hotter scenes I have read for a while in a fantasy romance and just seems to escalate from there.
The opening epilogue is a torchy bodice-ripper, the idea being that we are seeing a piece of an historical fiction book whose author then becomes the center of the story that is to follow. It is a great device for dragging you into the story by the collar and making sure you never stray too far after that. At least, it certainly worked for me!
Vampies and Demons and Lust – Oh My!
Callie McFay is a recent college graduate with a thesis that has been turned into a bestseller. The thesis and book both dealt with the subject of demons lovers in gothic literature, so it is easy to see why the subject proved so popular. When we first meet her she is chatting with Elizabeth Brook, the Dean of a small college in Upper State New York. We will find out in time that Dean Brook is far more than her pearls and designer suits reveal. The college has a great folklore department, a perfect fit for someone like Callie; although she isn’t sure the non-urban setting will work for her. That all changes when she sets her eyes on Honeysuckle House, a setting she soon finds haunting her dreams.
The house, it turns out, was the home of an author that Callie was long interested in. Dahlia LaMotte was a woman who wrote such convincing and dark gothic romances that Callie focused much of her thesis on her works. The house enchants her, and in some disturbing ways calls to Callie. But no sooner does she move in, ready to begin her new life at the college, than she begins to have disturbing dreams. Dreams of a demon lover, much like the one Dahlia wrote of many years before. It turns out it is no coincidence.
Fantasy Romance and More
The book takes some dark twists; we learn more about Callie and her almost life-long relationship with a dream being who has comforted her ever since her parents died tragically when she was still young. The Dark Prince returns as she settles into her writers job, and although at first she convinces herself he is just a dream, in time she begins to see he is more. A lover made of moonlight that comes in the night to leave her breathless and wanting more.
But the price she may pay for his love is too high, for she knows if she allows him to continue to come into her dreams he will suck her soul dry. It is here the romance begins, and even by the ending of the book doesn’t quite resolve itself. For how can you have a HEA with a succubus?
There are other mysteries in the story, the tale of the aptly-named Phoenix who becomes Callie’s roommate; Callie’s digging into Dahlia’s manuscripts for a clue to the identity of her lover, and the appearance of the poetic and mysterious Liam who sweeps her off her feet. The tale gets darker and at the same time the erotic scenes get even hotter.
Romantic Mystery with Plenty of Fantasy
The romance never takes away from the mystery but I have to say it really sets the tone for this book. If you are at all uncomfortable with very honest physical scenes in a book, I would pass this one by. But if you like a little spice in your reading material, this one really covers it and with a strong set of characters that made me want to know more about them as I turned each page. The host of witches, demons and faeries that Callie comes to know are just one more reason to love this cast of characters. Luckily they are set to return soon in the next book of this series, The Water Witch.
A book I was surprised to find I liked more and more as I got further into it, I recommend putting some time aside to read this one alone; maybe with a nice glass of wine or nip of brandy on the side. It is just the thing for those long winter nights when you are missing a certain someone.