Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Release Day Review - Scent of Salvation by Annie Nicholas

Series: Chronicles of Eorthe (Book 1)
Author: Annie Nicholas
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Pages: 391, eBook
Goodreads Rating: 4.5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Content Rating: 18+ (This is an erotic romance - not appropriate for younger readers!)

Summary from Goodreads: Love blooms across species, culture, and time. 

Chronicles of Eorthe, Book 1

Stranded in another dimension, on a primitive version of Earth, Dr. Susan Barlow needs to find a way to survive. There’s no electricity, no cities, and to her shock, no humans. Instead, she faces a population of werewolves, vampires and incubi. The people are vicious but she must find her place among them. And live.

An illness is killing Sorin’s pack. As alpha it’s his responsibility to save them, but it’s a battle this warrior doesn’t know how to fight. Then a blue light in the sky brings a creature he’s never seen. She calls herself human, but to him she smells like hope. 

Sorin offers Susan a safe haven in return for a cure, but she’s not that kind of a doctor. She’s a doctor of physics, not a physician. Yet as they search for a cure to save a dying people, they find something special—each other. 

But even with Sorin’s protection, Susan can’t help but wonder how long she can survive in a world without humans…


Okay, well I have to start out by saying that I was taken a bit by surprise with this book.  It was listed as a paranormal romance (which I read a lot of), but I didn't realize that it was an erotic paranormal romance.  My confusion was compounded by the fact that the erotic parts of the book didn't happen until almost two thirds of the way through the book - so I was suddenly kind of shocked to realize what type of book I was reading. The book overall didn't read like an erotic novel - until you got that last third.  Then, um, yeah - it was.  I have to admit that I get a little squeamish about erotic novels, especially when certain words are used to describe body parts (some words just seem a bit nasty to me and I'm not a fan of them).  But, I will say that this book was not all about sex - it was part of the book, but it wasn't the central focus of the book, which was good.

For the purposes of my review, however, I am going to ignore my own personal feelings about erotica.  I know there are plenty of people who like it, and you, the reader, have now been forewarned - you know exactly what you're getting into.

So, taking the slightly-too-explicit-for-me sex out of the equation, I really enjoyed this book.  Read on for details...

The negatives:

  • Erotica.  Okay, I know I said I was going to leave this out of the rest of my review, but just in case you're one of those people who only look at the bullet points and bold text, I had to put it here too.  Otherwise, you'll do what I did and get three-quarters of the way through the book and go, "Oh, it's that kind of book!"  Plus, it's really the only thing I wasn't crazy about.
What I loved:
  • The concept.  I thought it was really unique and interesting that Susan finds herself in another dimension where vampires and werewolves are the norm, and she is the oddball human.  I loved how there were parallels between the two dimensions and yet there were so many things that were different.  I also really loved the fact that Nicholas created a compelling backstory - reasons why the werewolf dimension had developed the way it did.  This is a mystery that unfolds throughout the entire book.
  • The pack.  I loved the Apisi pack!  Susan struggles to help save the pack and she comes to realize the true meaning of family and community there.  I could definitely see how she would long to be a part of that.  I loved how this was contrasted to the rival werewolf pack, which was built much more on rivalry and competition than on community.
  • Sorin and Susan.  I definitely found myself rooting for Sorin and Susan's relationship throughout the book.  As a scientist, Susan had always relied on her intelligence to get her through life and had buried herself in her research., finding no time for relationships. Likewise, Sorin (the Alpha werewolf) was so busy protecting his pack that he hadn't been able to think about something as trivial as love.  When their two worlds collide, they find that they have more in common than they might have first thought.  Sorin's wildness is tempered by his tenderness toward his pack, which makes him a perfect leading man.  And I loved that Susan was an intelligent, strong woman who was thrown into a situation that made her completely doubt her ability to survive on intelligence alone!
  • Benic.  Benic, the sole vampire character in the book, was a great sometimes-villain.  I loved that Nicholas created a character who we sometimes hated, but who we could still sympathize with.  He was not a cardboard cut-out bad guy and sometimes I didn't know whether to root for him or not!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It could easily be a standalone novel, but there are plenty of places to go in future books in the series.  I give the book 4/5 Stars.

**Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

Amazon    BN   Apple  

About the Author:

Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont. 

Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.
Facebook * Twitter * Website * Blog
Goodreads * Newsletter