Series: Mounting Darkness #1
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publication Date: October 2nd 2012
Format: Mobi submitted by author for review
Rating: 4 Stars
Sometimes the monster that haunted you as a child truly is real...
All it took was one phone call to bring Nicole Jones' life crumbling down around her. Now a nightmare she thought she'd left in her past is back, and he's not exactly bringing her candy and flowers. While fleeing, in a non-terrified fashion, she meets a menacing man in a dark alley. Then promptly passes out at his feet.
Gideon Evans hasn't exactly been having the best run of luck, but all that changes when a buxom little blond collapses right in front of him. Or at least he thinks it has. It doesn’t take him long to realize that bombshell is an appropriate description for more than just her looks. Now he's facing several problems, including a surprising enemy, his own dark past, and a rather inconvenient case of lust.
Can they work together to battle the nightmare that's chasing them? Or will they succumb to the monster within?
I wouldn't say I am a huge fan of Paranormal Romance but I do enjoy a good story with some crazy characters and sexy situations. Lola Rayne definitely brings both to the table in this short yet steamy novella. This story starts off with Nicole Jones doing her everyday job of working at a high end Fine Goods store working the reception desk. All seems fine until she gets a call from someone she thought was dead. She doesn't know whether to shit or go blind.. well actually she barfs on herself and runs off leaving the store behind not even locking it in her haste to get away from that voice. She is starting to panic hardcore and her vision is getting spotty when she sees a big man in dark clothing approaching and wigs out even more until she realizes it's not who she is running from but the stress of the "Freak Out" is too much and she passes out. When she wakes up she is BUTT ASS NAKED in a strange bed, in a strange building with a man she doesn't know but is oddly attracted to. Enter Gideon. A big oaf with a fucked up honker and not really drop dead gorgeous but you wouldn't kick him outta bed either with his broad shoulders and warm brown eyes. She manages to pull herself out of her lust filled thoughts of this strange man and cleans herself up in the bathroom where she sneaks in a phone call for help.
When she comes out from the bathroom freshly showered she finds out why she ended up in Gideons apartment naked. They end up in a heated moment when his door bursts open and her help comes busting in the door. She assures her friends she is fine and tries to get them to leave but they don't want to leave her with Gideon, fearing for her safety. When she calls forth her power she proves to them she is fine and forces them to go. Gideon explains how he was changed into a "Beast" and shows her a picture of the man who created him to be the way he is and Nicole recognizes him as the man she had been running from. They gather his friends and hers and make out a plan to try and bring down this man known as Slaine. She explains how she thought she killed him years ago and has tried to start her life over not using her magic. They are given amulets to wear to protect them from his power but when Gideon loses his in the heat of passion with Nicole he becomes a tool used by Slaine to kill Nicole. The entire time Gideon is being treated to mental images of of Nicole's torture and can do nothing to stop it, while Nicole and Slaine are in a fierce battle using their powers. Nicole digs deeper inside herself than she ever has and calls forth a tremendous power she didn't know she had and sends Slaine flying out of the window four stories to his death but he once again proves he can't be killed as easily as thought.
This was a pretty intense little novella for me. It almost had an X-men sort of feel to it in the way the character's "power" was described. Gideon was a "beast" but not in the change into a werewolf sense, and Nicole could channel Fire and Wind almost like Storm. I love the X-men series so this was right up my alley in terms of story line and paranormal aspect. The story itself was well written to be so short and I am hoping there will be another one so we can find out what happens with this dick head Slaine. Seeing a small snippet from his perspective in this book was both sick and exciting. He has a serious attachment to Nicole having snatched her as a young child and when she was older the bitch tried to make her his lover. EW! Sounds like someone has a pedophile fetish LOL!
As for Gideon, well he isn't how most male characters are described. Strong jaw, chiseled handsome features, NO! Gideon is just average, with a sort of Craggy face a bent up honker but his personality and the way he cares for Nicole is what makes him special. From the moment he finds her passed out he is attentive and gentle seeing her as his mate. I loved his internal dialogue with himself when he ends up at her apartment and sees it's a damn mess. It's like that episode of Friends when Ross dates the messy girl and freaks out when his hand touches something nasty LOL! Love that show!
Nicole was such a strong character and I really loved how fierce she was. This girl lost her family at a young age and was held prisoner by a madman and still managed to survive growing up with him. When she was old enough for him to look at her in a different light she didn't become the victim but she gathered strength to actually try to kill him. That shit takes guts and I admired her for that as well as managing to start fresh with her life and move on. To be such a short read there was plenty of character development and dialogue to fill you in on some story aspects. The only thing I didn't understand is exactly what Slaine did to transform Gideon into the beast he became. Hopefully if there is another book after this we will get a little more info on Gideon's back story.
The Monster Within was a great little short novella packed with action, laughs and some amazing steamy scenes between the main characters that will make you lick your lips and want more!
So either the man had a shamefully tiny penis, had been extraordinarily gentle, or hadn't actually assaulted her. Loc. 217
"You shouldn't taunt the beast. That gets nice little girls like you eaten all up." Loc. 460
"If I can't play with the toys I want, I don't want to play at all." she whipsered in a sultry tone. Loc. 1141