Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Dark Sins and Desert Sands by Stephanie Draven

Harlequin Nocturne
Publication date: November 1, 2011
Category: Paranormal Romance
ISBN-10: 0373618719
ISBN-13: 978-0373618712
Book 5 of the Mythica Series

Book Description:

Wrongfully accused and broken by torture, an American soldier transforms into a mind-controlling minotaur bent on revenge… 

Escaping a hellish Syrian prison, U.S. serviceman Ray Stavrakis emerges with uncanny powers and an eerie ability to morph into a mythical Minotaur, half-man, half-bull. Only one woman can prove his innocence and soothe the savage beast inside–the same woman who’d driven him to the brink of insanity with her cool-eyed interrogation and her hot-blooded sensuality.

But Vegas psychologist Layla Bahset has no memory of Ray or her past. Only a feeling of being stalked by a nonhuman predator. Is it Ray…whose eyes condemn her soul even as his hands ignite her body? Or is another evil force hunting her down like prey?

Now nothing can stop Layla from remembering what she really is…and what her evil creator has planned for her and her soldier lover…

Being new to the Mythica series I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a romance based on a mind controlling minotaur, it just seems more far-fetched than what I normally read, so I was surprised that the romance practically scorched the pages! Not sure how I feel about a man that can command orgasms with his mind (I think I might prefer the traditional way on that one) but it was an interesting idea and fit with the storyline of Layla's missing memories.

Ray is a flawed hero that has a great deal of baggage to overcome and a short amount of time to to do it. His years as a hostage have shaped him into a raging machine bent on rage and revenge. He obtained the ability of mind control and shifting into a Minotaur while he was being held captive, tortured on a constant basis so his rage is quite understandable. Upon his escape he turns his focus to Layla, the doctor that was involved in his torment, and force her to reveal the name of the ones that betrayed him, the ones that falsely accused him of being a traitor to his own country. Nothing goes as planned because Ray quickly discovers that Layla's mind is an empty landscape, barren of memories and feelings. Her mind is simply wiped clean. They agree to help each other, eventually, and passion leads them to old memories and new feelings...for each other.

I enjoyed the fresh new take on mythology, so many new and exciting creatures to learn about. Don't be put off by the book 5 label because I had zero problem following along and I don't think that the stories are closely linked, maybe just the world being played in. That could be very wrong (only a guess on my part) but regardless, you won't have any trouble diving right in and enjoying the unique blend of suspense and paranormalcy. I'd be interested in reading more from the Mythica series and I'd rate the romance/sexuality a solid C+, with the worldbuilding having a B. A great afternoon read with plenty of heat to warm you up.

As with most Nocturnes, everything happens fast. The books are shorter than a full length novel but longer than the average novella, at least by my estimation. I like switching things up and the change in pacing is sometimes just what I need to escape from the daily grind without the time investment of a longer story.

Book in the series:
*Midnight Medusa
*Wild, Tethered, Bound
*Poisoned Kisses
*Siren Song

Author website:

1 comment:

Rie Conley said...

That cover looks like it's Elana and Damon from The Vampire Diaries.

This book sounds good!