A review by Vanessa.
Gabe is no ordinary fallen angel. He did not choose to fall from the realm of the Light into the chaotic world of Earth, with its overwhelming human emotions and its strange experiences. He was forced out, and he has no intention of staying on Earth. Gabe is determined to seek his redemption and rejoin his fellow Angels in the parallel realm they inhabit. But to redeem himself he must take on an important mission to protect and guard a very special person… a person known as a key. Cassie has lived most of her life with a strange haze of purple energy that emanates from her body at inappropriate times, blinding headaches, and strange shadows that seem to surround her. It is not until Gabe falls into her life that she finally begins to understand that she is much more than she seems. She is a key, a child born of a fallen angel and a demon from the realm of Darkness. But she is not just any key… she is the Sacred Key. Very soon she will have to make a grave decision and choose a side: the light or the dark? She will have to make a blood bond that will change her life forever, and may change the course of history on Earth. With Gabe shadowing her every move and playing on her lust and her heart, she will have to rely on herself. After all, one realm wants to use her for their own gain, and the other wants her dead. What’s a girl to do?
Casale and Moss have penned a fast-paced entertaining romp in A Touch of Darkness. Firmly ensconced in the traditional attributes of a true urban fantasy, this book embraces the timeless fight between good and evil, while giving it an interesting twist. Angels are not always entirely good, and Demons may not always be bad, but everyone is definitely out for themselves. That leaves the human element as a source of balance which is well played within the story arc. One struggling point for the reader might be the shifting voice. At times verb choice becomes a little awkward, and disturbs the flow of the story. That is a classic issue when multiple authors are involved however, and though there were some small hiccups, the pace kept up throughout the book. Although the romantic aspect comes on a little abruptly, it is sizzling hot and likely to keep the reader interested. Gabe’s personal struggle with human feelings and needs gives him an interesting depth. His struggle contrasts nicely with Cassie’s struggle to reconcile her human understanding of herself with her supernatural origins. It should be noted however, that the reader’s experience could be better enhanced with more depth to the other supporting characters in future books. This is definitely a fun read, and with the ending the authors have chosen, the following books should be very interesting.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
A Touch of Darkness
Key Series, Book One
Yelena Casale and Tina Moss
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Publisher: City Owl Press
Date of Publication: 3/2/2015
Cover Artist: Tina Moss
Cassie Durrett dreams of the darkness. And lives the nightmare. She’s working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she …well, whenever.
So, when mystery man, Gabe, walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when his predictions start to come true, she’ll need his help to beat back the darkness-spawned creatures invading her reality.
Pretty soon Gabe has her running half way across the country in search of answers. As a bond grows between them, Cassie worries not about losing her mind to the paranormal madness, nor her life to hellish monsters. Rather her deepest fear is surrendering her heart to a powerful man fallen from grace.
FIRST PLACE in 2014 Readers’ Crown Award for urban fantasy.
FIRST PLACE in Central Florida RWA’s Touch of Magic contest for paranormal romance.
Cassie moaned as the remnants of the attack wore off. She opened her eyes to stare into her dream man’s gaze. Oh, just great. I need to dream about him again? Her body already tingled with pleasure at the familiar vision. A trench coat molded to his tall frame. Across his chest, droplets of water clung to a black shirt, then dripped down to run over his dark jeans and heavy boots. Gabe. The name came to her. How do I know his name’s Gabe? Reality flooded back with a vengeance, the whole encounter snapping into focus as if the picture emerged from a snowy TV. What she didn’t recall was what happened after and why this man was now here, in her apartment.
Her gaze darted around the room, looking for something to use as a weapon. Bookcases lined the far wall with plenty of thick books inside, but she’d never make it past him to reach the shelves. A tiny statue of a marble angel stood on top of the old TV just a foot out of her reach. Next to the TV sat an opaque yellow vase with a couple of long-stemmed white calla lilies. Neither the statue nor the vase, she decided, would be adequate for the job. When she couldn’t find a satisfactory weapon, she opened her mouth to yell.
Before she could utter a sound, Gabe moved so fast she saw him in nothing more than a blur. His hand covered her mouth and he breathed into her ear. “You fainted. I had to get you home, off the street. Please don’t scream. I mean you no harm. I promise.” As if to punctuate his last words, he took his hand away.
Cassie suppressed the rising terror as she considered the situation and chose anger instead. She narrowed her eyes and curled her hands into fists.
“How did you find out where I live if I was unconscious?” she said, her body tensing in the fight or flight response.
“Your wallet. I went through it.”
“Oh…” Her hands remained fisted.
“You’re a strong woman, but you shouldn’t direct your anger at me.” He went to touch her shoulder, but she flinched away. “Look,” he said. “There’s something we need to talk about. But first tell me, how long have you had these headaches, this pain?”
“How do you know about them?” Her voice raised an octave higher.
“I just know. I also know what they mean. Do you?” He seemed eager to hear the answer.
“I’ve had these episodes forever,” Cassie said, unsure why she answered him. “They’ve been getting worse lately.” Her head titled to the side. “Are you a doctor or something?”
“And have you ever felt any other feelings or sensations during or after the headaches?” Gabe went on, ignoring her last question.
“Yes…Maybe…But how on earth would you know?”
“Tell me more,” Gabe insisted, his voice flowing smooth like water.
She pressed her lips together and shook her head. “Enough. I’m not telling you anymore until you tell me what the hell is going on, who you are and what you want from me.”
Cassie heard him whisper under his breath, “Easy…” It seemed more instructions to himself than to her. She ignored it and waited for his answer.
“Cassie, I know everything I’m going to say will sound crazy to you, but you’ve got to listen to me. Haven’t you ever wondered at all the weird things happening to you over the years, at the feeling you get with the headaches, the energy?” She was about to interrupt but he raised his hand to silence her and continued, “This is not going to be easy for you to understand but…there’s more to you than you think.”
And I thought I was crazy. Cassie started to tremble. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well…you’re not exactly…technically…you’re not…” He struggled with whatever he was trying to get out.
“Just say it.”
Gabe locked his gaze with hers. She didn’t look away. She couldn’t.
“You’re not completely human.”
About the Authors:
Yelena Casale is an award-winning author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she moved to New York at thirteen. Being very curious, she has been a devoted reader and writer since childhood. As a 2nd degree black belt and instructor in Shotokan karate, an avid traveler, and history and art enthusiast, she weaves universal themes with martial arts philosophies into her stories. She lives with her amazing, supportive husband and the best Siamese cats. In her spare time, she reads, paints, watches cool shows on TV and tries to get more sleep.
Tina Moss is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and New Adult novels. She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5’1″ Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.
5 eBooks of A Touch of Darkness and, $10 Amazon or BN gift card
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