More and British please…

A Cut Too Deep Marissa Farrar

Marissa Farrar’s latest book was a welcome treat today.  With a busy day at work, a cracking headache and a number of small but annoying things to sort,  I needed a book tonight for a bit of light relief be easy to pick and put down but yet absorbing.  Perfect!

Although once I started I remembered Ms Farrar’s habit of not sticking to the rules! Eek!  Time after time with her fab Serenity series she’s left me breathless. So, I read holding my breath worried that there wouldn’t be a happy ever after ending. Phew – this is one author who knows her audience and happily delivers.  Impressive that she writes so nicely across different genres.

A Cut Too Deep is a sweet romantic thriller with a good bit of sexiness thrown in. Jenna’s struggles with her body image and PTSD draw you in inch by inch.  As for Ryker? Well, he’s not going to be thrown out for eating crisps is he?  I like him flawed but knowing what he wants. Life’s made them mature beyond their time and whilst there’s a happy ever after it comes at a very high price.

The villain was a nasty piece of work. You could feel his anger, hatred and drive for revenge.  You felt Jenna’s terror but especially her anger and her strength. And this is a book about finding your own strength even when you’re so headed in the wrong way.

Piercings, tattoos, scars and curves all wrapped up in a gorgeous little romance. Yummy!

Two complaints though: please next time make it longer and especially make it British!

Thank you to THE bookclub on FB for an advance copy in return for an honest review.



Vampires are people too

Serenity Box Series 1-3 books Marissa Farrar

Oooh! She’s good in fact she’s so good, she’s got to be bad.  Marissa Farrar has me hooked on her Serenity series.

I started on this series as I love vampires and romance.  But now I’m hooked I know its not really a paranormal romance series, in fact not at all.

Romance stories are all about the alpha male; finding his true love usually sends him all Tarzan.  He can’t be 100 metres from her and he’s happy to take on any challengers and win.  Yet, despite their connection and his feelings for her Sebastian leaves Serenity, when he comes back his choices don’t end well for her.  They both know he can’t defeat Dimitri, in fact he’s amazingly sanguine about it.

Vampires are usually all conquering all powerful – not so Sebastian and his kind.  They can’t kill each other for starters, and then there’s the absolute inconvenience of the dawn.  To make it even messier he feeds only on humans.  Sebastian might feel badly about it but he still eats and he has no way to tell the good from the bad humans, only those who won’t be missed straight away.  Hardly, the makings of a hero.

Each book isn’t formed around a “happy ever after” ending which defines the romance genre.  Marissa Farrar doesn’t play that game, that’s for sure.  The ending of Buried totally shocked me.  I thought my kindle had lost a chapter.  Unthinkable for a romance book.

In fact in parts Buried (the brilliant dark second book) is quite frightening, and Jackson is replusive.  As for the twist in third book, I didn’t see that one coming!

Sebastian said it best telling Serenity he might be a vampire but he wasn’t a super hero. Vampires have never seemed so human.  Even a witch seems stronger.  That’s the real cleverness – yep its a vampire book, but actually its all human – family, love, guilt, ego, betrayal,  jealousy, choices, weaknesses, anger, longing and so on…

Marissa Farrar’s series defies an easy description, which can’t make it easy to sell but to read – its fantastic.  Having just finished book three, there’s almost a hint of a happy ending – do I take it run?  Hell no – I’ve just downloaded book four – Dominion here I come!


Challenging the formula

Alone (Serenity No 1) Marissa Farrar

Paranormal romantic heroines frequently have some kind of violent/difficult background – often alluded to in comments about step or foster fathers.  But generally its referred to in the past tense and when they were younger.  This usually shows how they overcame and developed their spiky nature etc.

Given that most PNR books follow the successful formula (which truth be told I don’t mind at all!), having your heroine be the victim of domestic violence is a brave move.  Even more so when its so well described and the “heroine” actually has no intention of leaving even when the opportunity is laid out for her.

This is Marissa Farrar’s starting point for her Serenity series.  Serenity isn’t the most likeable character to start with, but she does grow on you.  As for Sebastian he has the usual vampire traits: gorgeous, physically imposing, lethal, sexy, rich, tragic blah blah.  So, in vampire terms very easy to like, in fact his moral approach may send him sky rocketing in my vampire stakes (get it?!).   Sebastian might just be my new vampire crush – yum!

I don’t want to ruin the ending but there’s more to it than you might expect.

As a break from the standard PNR fare I really enjoyed this. It’s challenging and surprising – nothing about Serenity is easy.  Perhaps it was a bit short, and the kick off with Serenity and her home situation was a bit detailed.  But I’ve already downloaded books 2 and 3 (right now you can get them as a set from Amazon UK for kindle at 99p for all three books – seriously!).

Now once this month’s bookclub read is done, I’ve got my next two choices lined up, thank you Marissa!