Title: Blood Rose
Author: Riley Shane
Series: Realm of Nine, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 29 November 2011
To save his people, a half-mad prince must enlist the aid of a woman who has no reason to help him...and who he has every reason to desire.
At sixteen, Rose Carrison lost both her parents and her freedom. Since her father’s death, Rose has had to pick up the mantle of her family’s legacy and guard an object of incredible power, one the monsters who murdered her parents would kill to get their hands on. After ten years on the run, Rose’s luck finally runs out. A fate worse than death threatens to consume her. Then, out of the darkness, comes the most unlikely of rescuers...
Grayson van Court is a man skating on the edge of damnation. He’s a revenant: a powerful, blood-drinking, returned-from-the-dead, magical creature that no other magical species wants anything to do with. For centuries, Gray has bargained and fought for the revenants’ right to survive, but his efforts are hampered by his sociopathic mother and the madness that permeates his own soul. When Gray rescues Rose from his mother’s machinations, his intention is only to stop the attacks against his people that would surely come if Rose were harmed. But then he sees her, and everything changes. Two people who should never have met soon find themselves fighting side-by-side for the chance at a love that could prove to be their salvation.
I have to start this off talking about the two main characters - who drive this story. When we first, really, meet Rose, she's a young woman that's having everything stripped from her. Her family is dead, her control over her life is done, and her very survival is dependent on those more powerful. She's just a human, surrounded by eight species that are all contain magic and strength in abundance. But that doesn't take anything away from her. She's strong, with opinions of her own, smart, able to reason through things others often overlook, and incredibly caring.
Gray is honorable at his core, but he's fighting a pretty damning madness - one that's threatening to overtake him. While fighting for his people, against his mother no less, he certainly doesn't need anything more pulling at him. Honor pulls his to rescue Rose, but then he gets something he never bargained for. Rose pulls him, eases him, challenges him as nothing ever before. He's thrilled by this, and scared by the possibility of following a little too closely to his father's footsteps. The line he walks between good and evil is as sharp as a blade, and I was pulling for him to overcome everything and get his happiness throughout the book - even when I sometimes wondered how that'd come to be.
The Realm of Nine is the world that Rose and Gray inhabit. So called because of the Nine species that make up the balance of magic: Fae, Elf, Shifter, Merrow, Sylph, Shadowkin, Goblins, Witches/Revenants, and Humans. I loved how the world was, at the same time, incredibly intricate and detailed, and practical and easy to understand. Everything made sense within the world, I never felt lost on how the magic worked or why, and there's definitely enough there to keep me wanting more. With so many species in the world, I know that Ms. Shane has a lot more up her sleeves for me to learn!
Blood Rose fairly thrums with tension, from beginning to end! I couldn't wait to see how Rose and Gray could work through their incredible difficulties and tasks. And they never let me down. One of the true pleasures of this story was seeing them work as a team. They went from attraction, to lust (oh-so-sexy times!), to love beautifully. It was easy to see why they fell in love with each other, because they fit one another.
Because I usually like to know this, there is some deception (by omission) in this story. While this is usually a hot-button issue for me, I thought it was well done, the reasoning for it was completely understandable, and it was perfectly handled. In fact, I'd say this is how it should be done.
I'm so excited to see where Ms. Shane takes me next in the Realm of Nine. I'm particularly interesting in a certain cousin to Gray - and definitely interested in the mystery that pops up near the end. I've got some ideas and can't wait to see if I end up right!
Highly, highly recommend for those looking for an excellent paranormal romance. This one has everything I look for. Characters you can love and root for, a world you could live in, and tight plotting that keeps you turning pages.
Book Link | Kindle | Sony | Loose Id