Author: Victoria Danann
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Series: The Order of the Black Swan: Book 1
Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forceably transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own. She is stranded. Alone. Far from home. A stranger in a "strangish" land.
Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?
This book was a RIDE! I simply cannot say enough great things about Victoria Danann and the genius that is My Familiar Stranger. Danann's writing style is uniquely honest and captivates her audience with both plot and characters in a well-developed and thoughtful world (or "worlds" as it seems). I cannot believe that this book is only a $.99 read.
The Love Nest:
To buy: Amazon - My Familiar Stranger
Elora Liaken is the perfect meshing of kick-assness and vulnerability. Literally dropping into an alternative dimension after watching her family be assassinated, Elora is saved by Storm, the de facto leader of the elite B-Team in the paranormal military unit, "Black Swan." All Elora remembers of Storm is his delicious smell and comforting words while drifting in and out of consciousness. Well, that and another voice saying, "We should kill it."
After healing, Elora distinguishes the latter from B-Team's resident womanizer, Ram, who immediately recognizes Elora as his elven mate. Showing more brains than brawn, he doesn't try to force his culture on Elora, knowing that humans rarely mate for life. Ram is crude at best while competing for Elora's affection - but he is unaware that the competition is with not just one other man, but instead, two! The last in this triad being the ancient, overtly sexy, and repentant vampire, Istvan Baka.
These relationships seem to be straight forward at first, but progress interestingly enough and actually? One of my initial complaints is now my most favorite piece of Danann's puzzle. I really did want Elora to choose each one of the men depending on the page I was on, to the point of being extremely frustrated that said gentleman was taking time away from my current fav, but, in what I've come to know as classic Danann style, this was exactly the point. As a reader, you are physically but moreover, emotionally pulled in several directions - just like Elora.
There is not one clear stand out mate until a choice is made and you're like WHAT?! HIM?! Wait...but what about...?! These relationships develop organically, taking ample time before jumping into any sexual relationship. I enjoyed the flirting so much! Most writers do not give enough attention to the simple act of flirting. *sigh*
The major qualm I had with this trio of suitors was that Baka wasn't really ever in the running for me. Even though he was sexy as all get out, he was never a true contender for Elora's heart. So this "trio" is really just a "duo" with a super sexy friend involved.
The premise of a woman not needing protection from her man also brightened the read. I loved how competent Elora was in all aspects without being an unobtainable heroine or perceived as perfect - well from anyone but her men!
Danann's world building is quite astounding. She has a knack for detail and can write such vivid imagery that I could recount to you with reasonable accuracy what rooms and buildings looked and felt like. I could not however tell you just what all three of our male characters looked like...well except some inappropriate details. ;)
This book had a slow first few chapters but once I understood Danann's style and relaxed into her flow I enjoyed every page turn. I will be waiting ever-so-patiently (HA!) for the next installment, The Witch's Dream to be released in Fall 2012. And with that, I leave you with the next beautiful book cover:
|Release: Fall 2012|