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Our Review

“I am the monster, hiding in the darkness.”

I’m loving this series. Not only because Sylvain Reynard’s writing is exquisitely beautiful and it evokes such emotion and vivid imagery but also because the paranormal aspect interwoven with the cultural and of course our beloved Emmerson’s makes this a reader’s heaven.

“You brought beauty to my world. I wanted to do the same for you, if only for one night.”

The story itself makes for compulsive reading as the reader is swept away in an intriguing sensual romance set in the heart of Florence. Raven and William’s story is addictive and mesmerizing as new meets old with humour, passion, danger and mystery.

“You’re the shadow on my wall.”

“I’ve always been more comfortable in the shadows.”

Raven is an old soul with a huge magnanimous heart. She faces not only the struggles of any woman in our time but also those of William’s yester years. I fell more and more in love with her as the story progressed; my heart grew for this girl and her tragic past. Her vulnerability was beyond endearing.

“A bird in a cage is never as beautiful as a bird that is free, Cassita. You’ve been wounded enough. I won’t add to your wounds.”

She has had to face some real demons whilst trying to come to terms with finding love in the most problematic and unusual way with a hero so thrilling, enigmatic and shrouded by an eerie darkness. She’s strong, fierce in her vulnerability even, whilst trying to come to terms with a world that demands her to question everything she knows and believes.

“You are my greatest virtue and my deepest vice.”

The Prince; our villainous hero of Florence – the vampire who rules with power and destroys anything that threatens his will, his city and ultimately his love.  He ended up with my heart; this magnificent stoic man.

“You’ve ensnared me, Cassita, I’ve never been less eager to escape.”

The fight on his hands is great and proves to be even more so as Raven burrows deep within him in an unfathomable way as he comes to terms with the changes upon his very being. William’s tragic past is revealed in snippets which softens his ruthless somewhat cold and unapologetic behaviour. He doesn’t spare his words nor does he dress them up in emotion and often they’re delivered with a tone so matter of fact. However; as Raven and William’s journey slowly unfolds and each has to go through their own change, for want of a better word, they each bring out the emotion in the other and realisations, discoveries and feelings are uncovered and evoked.

“Don’t you want to fix me?”

“Why should I want to fix you? You aren’t broken.”

Their journey has not ended by any means nor is it set in a safe and comfortable place. The thrilling suspense continues with only the tip of the proverbial iceberg uncovered. Some secrets are shared with consequential repercussions that had me reading with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.  I doubt very much that Raven and William’s journey will be close to smooth sailing as an old warring intrigue, honourable misjudgments and an impending legendary battle will no doubt arise. I for one personally cannot wait!

**ARC provided by the publishers in exchange for an honest review**

Synopsis

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…

Cassita vulneratus.

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…

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